Thousands of people attend rock concert in Barcelona after COVID tests | News on the coronavirus pandemic

 Thousands of people attend rock concert in Barcelona after COVID tests |  News on the coronavirus pandemic

Barcelona music fans hugged, danced and sang at a sold-out rock concert on Saturday night after passing rapid COVID-19 tests in a trial that could revive the live music industry in Spain and beyond.
Some 5,000 fans of the Spanish indie group Love of Lesbian show had to wear masks, but social distancing was not required in the Palau Sant Jordi arena.

“It was spectacular. We felt safe at all times. We were in the front row and that was something we had missed a lot, ”publicist Salvador, 29, said after the show. “We are very proud to have had the chance to participate. We hope this will be the first in a long series.

In surreal scenes after a year of social distancing, fans were dancing close to each other, but the sea of ​​masked faces showed things weren’t quite back to normal.

Health checks at the entrance also delayed the start of the concert, but could not dampen the spirit of celebration.

“Welcome to one of the most exciting concerts of our life! Singer Santi Balmes gave the crowd a roar of cheers.

“It’s been a year and a half since we last set foot on stage as a group,” he added. “Some musicians cry here.”

The government-approved concert served as a test of whether similar events can restart. ”

It will be safer to be at the Palau Sant Jordi than to walk in the street, ”concert co-organizer Jordi Herreruela told Reuters news agency on Saturday.

Ticket buyers chose between three locations in Barcelona where they could take a rapid antigen test on Saturday morning. People with heart disease, cancer, or those who have been in contact with someone infected with COVID-19 in recent weeks have been asked not to register.

By noon, three of the 2,400 people already screened had tested positive and one had come into contact with a positive case, said Dr Josep Maria Libre, a doctor who oversaw the tests. They were unable to attend the concert and would get a refund.

Participants said they received their antigen test results within 10 to 15 minutes via an app on their phones. The test and a mask were included in the price of the ticket.

Organizers said it was the first commercial event with such a large audience held in Europe during the pandemic.

The concert was supported by local authorities and by experts from the Foundation for the Fight against AIDS and Infectious Diseases of Barcelona, ​​which also organized a case study around a small concert of 500 people in December. They said the results of this preliminary case study showed that pre-screening with antigen tests and the use of face masks were successful in preventing infections inside the concert despite the lack of distancing rules. social.

“This is another small step towards the possibility of organizing concerts and cultural events” during the pandemic, said Dr Boris Revollo, the virologist involved in the design of the health protocols.

In addition to being 10 times the size of the December concert, this time there was no control group maintained outside the concert hall.

Instead, spectators agreed that public health authorities can notify the Revollo team if they contract the coronavirus in the weeks following the concert.

With this information, the Revollo team will perform an analysis of infection rates among the 5,000 spectators versus those of the general population to see if there are any deviations that could indicate contagion during the concert.

For Gerard Munne, 37, it was an outing.

“A feeling of freedom, of being able to feel the warmth of people,” he said. ” [It was] the normality of yesterday.


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