Live music is back, sort of
Are you missing live music? Do you want to go to an indoor concert surrounded by other, real concertgoers? Do you want to aid science in understanding how the novel coronavirus spreads? Then this is just the ticket for you.
German scientists are putting on a concert to see how COVID-19 spreads at large indoor venues, The Guardian reports. They will be recruiting 4,200 healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 50 to see German singer Tim Bendzko perform at a stadium in Leipzig next month.
Concertgoers at the Restart-19 simulation will be equipped with a wearable tracking device that transmits data on each person’s movements and their proximity to other crowd members every five seconds.
They will also disinfect their hands with fluorescent hand sanitiser to help researchers identify what surfaces are used the most, and therefore pose the most risk to people, and a fog machine that will be used to visualise the potential spread of the virus through aerosols.
All concertgoers will be required to test negative for COVID-19 two days before the event, and show proof at the door, to ensure the safety of the participants. They will also be outfitted with a face mask.
“We are trying to find out if there could be a middle way between the old and the new normal that would allow organisers to fit enough people into a concert venue to not make a loss,” the experiment’s coordinator, Stefan Moritz, head of clinical infectious diseases at the University hospital in Halle, told The Guardian.
Over 1,000 volunteers have already registered through the project’s website. The concert will be held August 22, with the researchers planning to present their findings by October.
Despite safety concers, English concerts are technically allowed to resume next month, though how feasible this will be practically or financially is up for debate. Lollapalooza’s co-founder Marc Geiger isn’t expecting concerts to return until 2022.