Scientists in Spain are happy to report that a concert experiment that drew 463 people to an indoor venue last month has resulted in no infections of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The experimental concert event took place on December 12th at Sala Apolo in Barcelona and was conducted by the Foundation against AIDS and Infectious Diseases of the University Hospital Germans Trias I Pujol in the municipality of Badalona, and was sponsored by Primavera Sound.
Researchers entered into the experiment with the hypothesis that a live concert performed under safe conditions would not be associated with an increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, which has thus been proven. The safety measures introduced by researchers and the venue included lowering capacity from 900 down to 500 (only 463 attendants showed up), a mask requirement whenever not actively drinking, optimized room ventilation in the concert room and bar, staggered exiting to a limited smoking patio, and the use of arrows and security personnel to direct the flow of foot traffic.
Participants who signed up for the study were between 18 and 59 years of age. Each person signed a consent form stating that they had no comorbidities, were not living in a household with elderly people, and had not tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days. Upon entry to the concert—which comprised of four different DJs—each guest underwent a same-day screening for the virus and received a certified N95 cloth mask.
In addition to the 463 concertgoers, the study also included 496 subjects who did not attend the event and acted as the control group. Eight days after the concert experiment, all participants—including those from the control group—returned to researchers for a follow-up visit to complete another nasal swab test to detect SARS-CoV-2 infections. The final result showed that none of the 463 concertgoers were infected with SARS-CoV-2, while two of the 496 members of the control group were infected.
In light of these results, researchers concluded, “Attending a live music concert staged with a series of security measures that included a negative antigen test for SARS-CoV-2 done on the same day, was not associated with an increase in COVID-19 infections.”
The study concluded, “Hopefully this data will pave the way to save live concerts during the COVID pandemic.”