Music fans in Barcelona passed rapid COVID-19 tests before attending a rock concert on Saturday in a trial that, if successful, could provide a means of recovery for the ravaged live music industry in Spain and beyond.
Some 5,000 people will attend the sold-out concert by independent Spanish group Love of Lesbian and will not be required to observe social distancing. Participants will have to wear masks throughout the concert in the arena of the Palau Sant Jordi.
“(This concert) is about the excitement of going out, consuming culture and dancing in a more or less safe environment,” said Sebastian, 47, a teacher tested before the concert. “We’re going to dance and have a good time.”
The pilot concert, which has been approved by health authorities, will serve as a test of whether similar events can restart.
“It will be safer to be at the Palau Sant Jordi than to walk in the street,” concert co-organizer Jordi Herreruela told Reuters.
Pre-concert testing was offered at three locations in Barcelona and performed by 80 nurses wearing full personal protective equipment. Some people winced as the nurses dabbed their noses.
By noon, of the 2,400 people already screened, three had tested positive and one had come into contact with a positive case, Dr Josep Maria Libre, one of the doctors overseeing the tests, told Reuters. They couldn’t attend the concert and would get a refund.
Participants received their antigen test results within 10 to 15 minutes via an app on their phone. The test and a mask were included in the price of the ticket.
“People have fully understood the measures we are taking,” said co-organizer Dani Poveda.
“It’s a very responsible audience … We know that everyone will look at this concert as a possible model to continue to move forward in the fight against the pandemic, which has caused so much damage, both to our sector and to good. others. “
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