The Barcelona festival destination of Primavera Sound was not immune to the decimation brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. Like every other major international festival, the threat forced producers to cancel their 2020 installment.
With the aim of bringing music back in 2021, producers set out to host a trial event with the help of the Fight AIDS and Infectious Diseases Foundation and the Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital. The scaled down version of the live festival spectacle served as a test case for implementing Covid-safe protocol in an effort to establish a template of how best to move forward.
In December of 2020, Primavera Sound executed PRIMACOV. Hosted at Sala Apolo in Barcelona, Spain, the 1600-capacity facility that invited some 1042 guests for a bill that included two DJs and two bands. Some 959 participants opted in for the clinical trial festival.
Each of the guests between the ages of 18 and 59 had not tested positive for the Coronavirus for 14 days prior to the event. They were then given a rapid test prior to entry to ensure there was no one positive admitted.
Of the entire group of trial participants, 463 attendees entered Sala Apolo and the control group of 496 were prohibited. Those admitted received N95 masks and were able to dance and sing in the 900-person capacity concert room within the Sala Apolo footprint. The room featured “optimized airflow and ventilation.”
The total group of 959 clinical trials were then given both a PCR rapid test and an antigen test eight days after the festival event. No one from the group that was admitted to the festival tested positive, however, two people from the control group that were not allowed admission into the festival did.
“Therefore, attending a live music concert staged with a series of security measures that included a negative antigen test for SARS-CoV-2 done on the same day, was not associated with an increase in COVID-19 infections,” researchers said in publishing their results.
“That was, precisely, the objective of this study: to validate these kind of tests as an extremely useful tool to be able to carry out any type of event, whether musical or not, without social distancing,” reiterated researchers. (Via NME)
The findings seem in line with recent statements made by the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci. During a conference held by the Association of Performing Arts Professionals, Dr. Fauci offered the following with regard to the return of live music and entertainment.
“If everything goes right, this is will occur some time in the fall of 2021,” Dr. Fauci said. “So that by the time we get to the early to mid-fall, you can have people feeling safe performing onstage as well as people in the audience.” Dr. Fauci asserted that everything going right would entail some 70-85% of the population receiving the Covid-19 vaccine to best achieve herd immunity. Even then, venues will be advised to implement safety protocol like social distancing and mask wearing moving forward.