A return to live shows?

Could there be a future for live concerts in a controlled environment? COVID-19, as everyone knows, has been a death knell for live concerts in 2020, but there may be good news on the horizon. An experimental concert was staged Saturday in Germany to examine how the virus could spread at indoor events.

Around 1,500 fans gathered in Leipzig for a performance by singer-songwriter Tim Bendzko. While the volunteer audience were allowed to experience the concert as normal as possible, they were given pre-entry tests and equipped with face masks, fluorescent hand gel and motion transmitters. The audience were exposed to three scenarios – the first was a “traditional” live event, the second was a crowded show with increased hygiene restrictions, and the third was based on social distancing, with a smaller crowd.

The information was gathered by researchers at the University of Halle who will use their findings to build a profile of “critical contacts” that can take place during a concert. The hope is that the data can be used to minimize risk of infection as the live music industry tries to return to full operation.

“We cannot afford another lockdown,” RESTART-19 project leader Professor Michael Gekle told CNN. “We have to gather the data now in order to be able to make valid predictions.” He added: “There is no zero risk if you want to have life. We want to give the politicians a tool in order to decide rationally whether to allow such an event or not. That means they have to have the tool to predict how many additional infected people such an event will produce.”

While no one knows how long the pandemic could last or when it could be controlled, last week, the head of the World Health Organization said he was hopeful that within two years things could come closer to the old normal. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus compared COVID-19 with the flu pandemic of 1918, which killed at least 50 million people. “Of course, with more consecutiveness, the virus has a better chance of spreading,” he argued. “But at the same time, we have also the technology to stop it, and the knowledge to stop it.” He added that “national unity” and “global solidarity” would be the keys to success.

Source: www.ultimateclassicrock.com

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