5,000 attend concert at Barcelona’s Palau Sant Jordi as a test for summer festivals

Negative antigen test and FFP2 masks in exchange for no social distancing

VilaWeb / Catalan News Agency
28.03.2021 - 10:46
Actualització: 28.03.2021 - 12:46

The 5,000 people who were lucky enough to buy tickets before they sold out have been able to attend a Love of Lesbian concert at Barcelona’s Palau Sant Jordi on Saturday evening. An oddity in times of Covid, those present were not required to sit down or to remain socially distanced within their designated section, but needed a negative antigen test as well as wearing FFP2 masks provided by the organizers, Festivals per la Cultura Segura and Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol. The animated gig-goers were asked to keep their masks on for the duration of the concert.

“This is one of the most exciting nights of my life,” lead singer Santi Balmes told a roaring crowd after they finished playing the first song. “The culture world is watching us and sending us messages of encouragement.” With this concert, the organizers hope to be able to study the efficacy of antigen tests, with an eye on possible summer festivals if transmissions remain low.

Yet, unlike the Sala Apolo experiment that attracted 1,000 gig-goers in December, the Love of Lesbian concert was not considered a clinical trial but rather a commercial event as those in attendance bought their tickets and were not volunteers. The organizers will ask public health authorities for permission to trace how many concert-goers end up testing positive for Covid-19 in the coming days.

“We are not entirely sure if this will be the final format—we’ll likely have to test other ways before summer,” Jordi Herreruela of Cruïlla Festival told the press earlier on Saturday. “But we want to be able to host events again this summer.” Saturday’s concert is estimated to have cost around 200,000 euros in all, of which 80,000 to 90,000 should be made up for in ticket sales.

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