EXIT Festival: early scientific study results concludes no Covid infections from the event
A few weeks ago, EXIT Festival in Serbia became the first major European festival to reopen its gates since the pandemic struck. On it’s first night, the festival opened its gates to 42,000 visitors with no masks and no social distancing, with the only Covid-secure measure in place being on-site testing to gain entry or providing proof of a double vaccination. For those with Digital Green Certificates, over 16,111 checks were made and in five days, 18,336 visitors were tested. Headliners such as Charlotte de Witte, David Guetta and Solomun were on hand to deliver the entertainment, and now some promising early results have come back in regards to the infection rate at the festival.
Early scientific results – which will take some time to provide a final, conclusive result – have concluded that no cases of Covid-19 infection has been recorded coming from EXIT Festival’s attendees. The website stated that only one visitor, who took part in a research test, tested positive before entering the festival, who was then not allowed to visit the festival site. The research, organised by the Health Centre Novi Sad and the association under the leadership of the Head of the Research Team, epidemiologist and Assistant professor, Marija Milić MD, saw a total of 345 visitors divided into two groups. The two groups of people – split into vaccinated and those that tested negative to enter without a vaccine – were all tested from July 8-10 and again seven days later from July 15-17, concluding in no one testing positive.
“With rigorous entry control, such research results were expected. It will take some time to get the final analysis results, but it can already be said, both based on research and the daily number of newly infected people in Novi Sad, that the EXIT Festival was not a place of mass infection with the virus” – director of Novi Sad Health Centre, Veselin Bojat
It has also shown that ten days after the festival ended, there was no sign of any further spread of the virus or large outbreak in the area where the festival was held, Novi Sad, and the statistical average numbers did not change either. Only one visitor out of around 20,000 from other countries tested positive. About these promising results which could change a lot for the live events industry, EXIT Festival owner and CEO Dušan Kovačević said:
“Research from Exit proves that even during a pandemic, a means and a model can be found according to which even the largest events can take place completely safely. This research is our contribution to the struggle of the entire music industry for far better treatment in Europe and other countries than has been the case so far. We have proven that we have been treated unfairly in the past, and that there are no longer any arguments and justifications that can allow gatherings at sporting events, in cafes or shopping malls, and not at concerts and festivals. I call on our entire industry to, just like we have fought and won in Serbia, join forces and fight for the fair treatment of our industry on the international level”
This is exactly what the industry needs to hear, and is evident of the fact that festivals can take place securely in these times. EXIT Festival’s full statement on this can be read here. Registration for the 2022 edition is open now.
Main image credit: EXIT Photo Team (via Flickr)