Covid-19 | A rock concert without going away in Barcelona for an experience

(Barcelona) Rock group, 5,000 spectators dance without a safe distance. A Barcelona site made a trip to a pre-pandemic world on Saturday to conduct a clinical trial to show concerts are possible despite COVID-19.


Daniel Forrest
France Media

“I’m very, very moved. It’s been a year and a half since we got onto the stage,” said Santi Palms, singer of Love of Lesbian, a leading group on the Spanish independent scene, after a debut title “Nobody in the Streets”.

The onlookers have a trance, jumping, dancing, singing at the top of their voice, and even drinking beer on the table, as if the epidemic had disappeared one evening.

“It’s unbelievable, a lot of emotion.” “We forgot this crowd feeling, it’s like it was my first party,” said Jordi Sanz at the Palau Sant Jordi crater.

“We very much wanted to do something different and take a step towards normalcy,” said Marina Crespo, 25, who preferred, however, to “keep a distance” with other spectators.

Tests and masks

Organized by a group of festivals, music promoters and a local hospital, this experiment is one of the few experiments that have taken place in Europe in contemporary music. Another test concert was held at the beginning of March in the Netherlands with the participation of 1,300 people.

And nothing was left to chance: tests, FFP2 masks at all times and enhanced ventilation.

Photo by Albert Gia, Reuters

The aim of this clinical trial is to “find out how we can live with COVID-19 and organize concerts in a completely safe way,” Ventura Barba, general manager of the Barcelona Sonar Festival, told AFP.

On Saturday morning, the dance halls of three nightclubs in Barcelona, ​​closed due to the pandemic, were converted into field hospitals where white coats tested all participants for the antigen.

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Like sesame, the negative score automatically validates the ticket stored in the mobile phone.

We hope you are completely safe. Josep Maria Lieber, a doctor at the German Hospital Trias i Pujol in Badalone near Barcelona, ​​explained that for 14 days, we will see which spectators have contracted COVID-19 and inform “cases”.

Already in December, his team organized a pilot project in an auditorium in Barcelona with 500 pre-tested spectators. A few days later, no one had contracted the virus.

Light at the end of the tunnel

The aim of this clinical trial is to “find out how we can live with COVID-19 and organize concerts in a completely safe way,” Ventura Barba, general manager of the Barcelona Sonar Festival, told AFP.

“We hope that this will be an inflection point,” he added.

This week, this popular electronic music festival announced its cancellation for the second year in a row, like many other festivals in Europe.

According to Ventura Barba, “The epidemic was horrific for everyone, but especially for music.”

According to a report published by the Música de España Federation, which represents the sector in Spain, the European music industry lost 76% of its turnover in 2020.

“It’s a way to poke a hole in this tunnel and for the cultural world to see a little light, or at least a possible way to do things,” said Love of Lesbian singer Santi Palms. .

The epidemic forced his group to delay the launch of their new record by eight months, but he feels fortunate compared to others “who are already in poor condition and are receiving food aid because they are no longer earning anything.”

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He said this concert was “an energy shock,” “but it makes sense because we’re in a time of restraint, with the handbrake pulled. We need to vent the momentum, to resume our previous lives.”

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