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5,000 people gathered for a test concert in Barcelona

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                In Barcelona, ​​Spain, 5,000 people were able to attend a rock concert on Saturday evening, masked but without social distancing.  The objective of this experiment: to think about a health protocol which would allow the reopening of theaters.

                                    <p>The scene looks surreal after a year of pandemic.  Some 5,000 music fans were able to dance and sing in unison, without a safe distance but masked, during a rock concert that sold out on Saturday March 27 in Barcelona, ​​Spain.  This show was to serve as a clinical experiment aimed at showing that concerts are possible despite the Covid-19.

“I am very, very moved. It has been a year and a half since we took the stage,” said Santi Balmes, singer of Love of Lesbian, a flagship group of the independent Spanish scene, after a very apt first title. titled “No one in the streets”.

A euphoria shared by spectators jumping, dancing, singing at the top of their lungs and even having a beer at the counter, as if the pandemic had disappeared for an evening. Only the masks covering the faces showed that everything has not yet returned to normal.

“It’s incredible, a lot of emotion. We had forgotten the feeling of a crowd, it’s like it was my first concert,” said Jordi Sanz in the pit of the Palau Sant Jordi. “We wanted so much to do something different, to take a step towards normality,” said Marina Crespo, 25, who preferred, however, “to keep the distance” with the other spectators.

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Clinical experience

Organized by a group of festivals, music promoters and a local hospital, this experience is one of the few to have taken place in Europe in contemporary music. Another test concert took place in early March in the Netherlands with 1,300 people. The aim is to “find out how we can live with the Covid and organize concerts in a completely safe way,” Ventura Barba, executive director of the Barcelona Sónar festival, one of the organizers told AFP. “We hope this will be an inflection point,” he added.

And to ensure that the concert takes place in the best sanitary conditions, nothing has been left to chance. On Saturday morning, the dance floors of three Barcelona nightclubs, closed due to the pandemic, were transformed into field hospitals where white coats carried out an antigen test on each of the participants.

By midday, only three out of 2,400 people had tested positive. A fourth person was found to be in contact. For them, no concert, and a refund of the ticket.

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Like a sesame, the negative result automatically validated the ticket stored in the mobile phone. The cost of tests and masks was included in the price of the tickets.

Participants should be monitored for two weeks. “We hope that it will be completely safe. For 14 days, we will watch which of the spectators will have caught the Covid and we will notify” the cases, explained Josep Maria Llibre, doctor of the Germans Trias i Pujol hospital in Badalone, near Barcelona. .

Already in December, his team had organized a pilot project in a hall in Barcelona with 500 spectators previously tested. A few days later, none had contracted the virus.

With AFP and Reuters


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