Pilot events ignite hope for the electronic music industry
Ever since the pandemic began, music fans up and down the UK have been waiting for the opportunity to return to the dance- floor. For much of the last year, the thought of being at a festival, surrounded by strangers, united by music, seemed like a distant dream. Although the pandemic has wreaked havoc worldwide, its effects have varied country to country, with some areas of the world still able to hold events in a COVID-safe manner. In the UK, the pandemic has left little room for large gatherings, with case numbers preventing events from going ahead. This was the case until the May bank holiday weekend, when pilot events were conducted in Liverpool. For many, these pilot events mark the beginning of the resurrection of the nightlife industry.
Taking place at Liverpool’s warehouse nightclub Circus, 6,000 partygoers attended across two nights. There was no need for face masks or social distancing, as all those in attendance had to provide a negative COVID-19 test result in order to be granted entry. People were encouraged to act normally and make no attempt to distance themselves. Such a scenario would have been almost incomprehensible just months ago, but this pilot scheme looks to be the first stepping stone in the road towards reopening the nightlife industry. Scientists have been closely monitoring the event to establish how the events industry can reopen safely permanently, and will be closely monitoring whether any COVID-19 cases were transmitted during the course of the shows. As well as the transfer of COVID-19, Scientists will also be looking at air quality during the event and the movement of attendees throughout.
In order to obtain a ticket for the event, attendees had to live in the Liverpool area, be registered to a GP within the Liver- pool area, and be willing to submit to two PCR COVID-19 tests. The first test required attendees to visit one of the specified testing areas the day before the event, the second test was a non-compulsory at-home PCR test that, if taken, would provide scientists with even more data in order to better understand the course of the weekend and the potential for any spread of the virus. The final required PCR test took place 5 days after the initial event. This final test would ascertain whether or not any COVID-19 cases were transmitted over the course of the shows. It is the results of these final PCR tests that will determine the future of the nightlife industry in the UK, and could affect whether or not we see non-socially-distanced events return this year.