Hope for festival fans as outdoor gig used to test Covid safety

Kate Devlin
·2-min read
Many festivals are hoping to return this summer (Getty Images)
Many festivals are hoping to return this summer (Getty Images)

Thousands of fans will be able to enjoy live music again next month when an outdoor gig is used to test new Covid procedures.

The Festival Republic event at Sefton Park, in Liverpool, on 2 May will be the latest in a series of government pilots hoping to herald the return of mass events this summer.

Researchers will monitor the movements of what is expected to be a 5,000-strong crowd who, significantly, will not be socially distanced or required to wear masks.

They will have to wear face coverings when travelling to and from the venue, however, and follow other rules while they are there.

Before they are allowed to enter the event, ticket holders will also have to take a rapid lateral flow Covid-19 test at a local testing centre, and prove they have received a negative result.

They will also be asked to take a test after the gig and provide contact details to NHS Test and Trace, in case they have to be traced later.

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden said the news meant the country was “one step closer to a summer of live events”.

“Testing different settings and looking at different mitigations is key to getting crowds back safely,” he said.

“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.”

Health secretary Matt Hancock paid tribute to the scientists and clinicians across the country whose hard work he said would mean “we can start to enjoy these events again safely.”

The first event as part of the scientific trials began yesterday at the World Snooker Championships in Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre.

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