A crowd of as many as 5,000 will be allowed to attend a UK concert in early May with no social distancing or face coverings, as part of an effort to determine reopening efforts and safety plans. The concert, which features indie-pop band Blossoms, will take place on May 2 at Liverpool’s Sefton Park, which has a capacity of 7,500 without distancing. The event will “inform our approach to ensuring future big events can take place safely,” according to Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
Attendance will require a COVID test immediately before entry, as well as giving contact-tracing information to the National Health Service. Organizers are requiring a lateral flow-type test, which can produce a result within 30 minutes. They are also asking that those who attend take another COVID test after the event, in order to determine the extent of any potential spread that occurs during the performance.
Current plans in the UK are for events to begin allowing fans at large events beginning on May 17, with limits in place for attendance and social distancing requirements. The Blossoms concert is one of several events planned by government officials to determine safe reopening methods as the return to live event attendance ramps up across the globe. A larger reopening with limited restrictions is currently expected for mid-June, though some shows remain on sale for before that time despite restrictions.
“We’re one step closer to a summer of live events now our science-led programme is underway,” says Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden. “Testing different settings and looking at different mitigations is key to getting crowds back safely and the Sefton Park pilot is an important addition to the programme. After many months without live audiences, Festival Republic are bringing live music back to fans with this very special event and I hope it won’t be too much longer until gigs are back for good”.
Tickets to the concert are £29.50 and are limited to one ticket per individual purchase. Additional requirements beyond testing include being registered with a medical practitioner and have no signs of COVID.
Festival Republic, a Live Nation offshoot, is promoting the event. The Lathums and Zuzu are also on the day’s bill.
“Live music is a must-have in my life, and a year without it is a year too long”, says Festival Republic’s Melvin Benn. “The Sefton Park Pilot is the most important event in the Event Research Programme for getting festivals back this year and I’m delighted to play my part. It’s not about vaccines, it’s not about passports, it’s not about limiting it to a section of society only: it’s about a universal approach to our love of live music for all and demonstrating we can do it safely”.