Thousands of revellers to return to dancefloor in trial for larger audiences

Catherine Wylie, PA
·3-min read

Thousands of revellers will return to a dancefloor for the first club night in more than a year as part of Government trials to gather evidence on how venues can reopen without the need for social distancing.

Around 6,000 people will descend on a warehouse at Bramley-Moore Dock in Liverpool on April 30 and May 1 – with up to 3,000 punters allowed in each night – for the Circus club event.

Club owner and DJ Yousef Zaher, best known as Yousef, said he can picture “super excited” revellers jumping around in a circle “going nuts” and seeing people they have not seen in a “long, long time” in a safe environment.

People who want to attend must live within a Liverpool postcode and will be subject to a Covid-19 lateral flow test which must be negative before they gain entry to the club, as well as a second test some time after the event, he said.

Yousef told the PA news agency: “What I’m looking forward to is just that feeling of being a DJ again, because you know that’s what I’ve been doing for 20 years.

“But I think when everything connects, all the dots connect the music, the environment, the people, me playing, everyone having a good time, feeling safe, we can forget about Covid for even five minutes.

“That would be more than enough for me.”

The DJ, who is also a producer and record label owner, said the venue is a “beautiful warehouse” which can hold 6,000 people and has outdoor space which has capacity for 10,000 people.

He said there is “enormous square footage” to be able to accommodate all the needs of the event, which he says will not just be a typical club night as there will be “a whole team of scientists” present.

“The whole point of this is to collect data,” he said.

Looking ahead to what it will feel like for the people there, Yousef said: “I think everyone, it doesn’t matter who you are in the world, we all understand this feeling.

“The kind of idea of being back into some sort of normality, and especially if you’re into music of any variety, half of the excitement of it is being with other people.

“It doesn’t matter which band or DJ or whatever it is, it’s the inclusive inclusion of what you’re used to.”

He said some people might be “reluctant” and a bit cautious, but he said he thinks that will go out of the window as everyone will know that a negative test was required for entry.

“And it’s all for the greater good,” he said, adding that it is a collaborative process and the most important people are the clubbers themselves.

“We’re all kind of contributing to get out of this difficult long-standing situation we’ve been in for so long,” he said.

Yousef said he cannot quite “compute” having the very first club night as the nation comes out of lockdown, adding: “Maybe it’ll go down historically in some way, but for me the important thing is to get out of Dodge the best we can, try and get Covid behind us.”

Circus has been a leading house and techno music event for 18 years.

The Government trials will take place in the hope of enabling the safe return of crowds to mass gatherings and will include Wembley football cup finals, a comedy club in Liverpool, and three 10K races.

Liverpool City Council has confirmed that events taking place in the city as part of the trials will not require people to show Covid-19 vaccine passports.

A spokesman for the council said on Sunday: “The line which was briefed out yesterday by the Government about Liverpool’s events being included in the vaccine passports trials is incorrect – none of our events in Liverpool will involve them.”