As vaccination efforts across the United States continue to inspire hope for artists, promoters, and fans alike, questions of how to safely reintroduce concertgoers to live events remain. One company in Britain has come up with the solution of digital “health passports” that serve as proof of an attendee’s good health.
Start-up company You Check originally designed the app as a way to combat solicitors and as a communication tool between fans. Now, in collaboration with the Music Venue Trust and with the approval of the government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, trial runs of the “health passports” will begin at a pair of U.K. clubs.
“We’re working, not exclusively, with Innova in terms of testing – technology that looks for a viral load high enough to be contagious with 97 percent-plus accuracy,” You Check COO Fred Krefting told Event Industry News. “With COVID the incubation period is two to five days. For the honeymoon phase after the test, it’s the shorter the better, which means you’re good to go to a show for 48 hours.”
Signed on for the initial testing are London’s 100 Club and The Exchange in Bristol. These venues are set to resume holding live events at 25 percent capacity in March with two sets of tests on the same control group. Pending the outcome of those events, organizers plan to replicate the trial at other venues across the country before gradually raising capacity.
“You Check’s identity first solution has a lot of potential to help venues and promoters manage risk,” said Music Venue Trust CEO Mark Davyd.
“It has a fast and thorough authentication process which enables health information to be stored against portable digital identity and Music Venue Trust is pleased to be working with You Check to explore how this technology might form part of a comprehensive process which enables us to reopen every venue safely and revive live.”
This comes after the 100 Club announced the implementation of a new air filtration system that aims to eliminate 99.99% of airborne pathogens, including coronavirus, in the building. This trial run aims “to prove that the integration of this new system into a building’s air conditioning creates an indoor environment that is COVID-secure, allowing audience numbers to return to a pre-pandemic normal for Britain’s 1,100 theatres and thousands of live music venues.”
Numerous studies that have come out of Europe so far from Germany and Spain have shown that the key to holding safe, indoor events is proper air filtration. The director of the first German concert experiment at Quarterback Immobilien Arena in Leipzig back on August 22nd, Dr. Stefan Moritz, noted that “The most important insight for us was the impact of a good ventilation technology, which is a key component when it comes to risk of contagion.”
This concept of digital “health passports” is reminiscent of reported plans from concert giant Ticketmaster to begin offering vaccine and negative test verification services to promoters for future events. According to a report from Billboard made in November, Ticketmaster was developing a “framework for post-pandemic fan safety that uses smart phones to verify fans’ vaccination status or whether they’ve tested negative for the coronavirus within a 72 hour window.”