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Photography Sebastian Ervi, via Unsplash

How one of Europe’s first non-socially distanced gigs went down

Primavera Sound in Barcelona hosted an event attended by over 1,000 people, who were rapid tested for coronavirus

Last weekend (December 12), Primavera Sound employed rapid coronavirus testing to host a live music event without social distancing.

The festival held a successful trial for mid/post-pandemic gigs, inviting over 1,000 people to attend an event at the 1,608 capacity Sala Apolo venue in Barcelona. Organisers at the event, dubbed PRIMACOV, employed rapid testing on arrival, with each attendee having to return a negative test before being granted entry. The results were available within 15 minutes.

“That was, precisely, the objective of this study,” PRIMACOV said in a statement. “To validate these kinds of tests as an extremely useful tool to be able to carry out any type of event, whether musical or not, without social distancing.”

Alongside Primavera Sound, the event was co-organised by the Hospital Germans Trias in Barcelona and the Fight Aids and Infectious Diseases Foundation.

This isn’t the first live music event held during the pandemic. In August, scientists held three experimental concerts in Germany to study how COVID-19 might transmit in large, indoor venues. Publishing their findings in November, researchers said the risk of the virus spreading in venues following strict protocols is “low to very low”.

Here’s hoping rapid testing and other safety protocols – as well as the vaccine – could see the return of live music in time for festival season next summer.