The first concert without safety distance at the Palau Sant Jordi sells out in a matter of hours
Love of Lesbian will give a concert for 5,000 people with antigen tests
BarcelonaGood news for live music. The Palau Sant Jordi will host on March 27 a Love of Lesbian concert for 5,000 people, with everyone standing and wearing a mask, but without safety distance. This is a test similar to the one held at the Sala Apolo in December, but designed for large events; therefore, with antigen tests on the same day of the concert. In fact, this trial involves the Fundació de la Lluita contra la Sida (Fight Against AIDS Foundation) and the Germans Trias Hospital, who also supervised the Apolo rehearsal. The event, baptized as Festivals for Safe Culture, has the authorization of the Department of Health, a support made explicit by the Minister Alba Vergés with her presence at a press conference held this Friday in Montjuïc. "Today we start the comeback", said Jordi Herreruela, director of the Cruïlla Festival. Tickets have sold out in a matter of hours on the website festivalsperlaculturasegura.com.
Josep Maria Llibre, researcher at the Fundació de la Lluita contra la Sida and the Germans Trias Hospital, explained that the success of the trial at the Apolo, which did not generate any covid transmission, has paved the way to take a leap and create a concert for 5,000 people, with measures to reduce the risk of infection that showed that concerts "are not spaces of supertransmission of covid". There will be three fundamental measures. The first, a previous screening with antigen test that will be done the morning of the concert in three places: Sala Apolo, Razzmatazz and Luz de Gas. "Antigen tests are quick and cheap and identify the risk of infection", says Llibre. As on the day of the Apolo rehearsal, the results will be known through an app. The second measure has to do with "optimizing the ventilation measures of the facility to ensure air quality". The purpose is that the air inside the Palau Sant Jordi has the same quality as outside. And the third measure is the use of FFPP2 mask, which will be provided to the spectators at the entrance of the Sant Jordi.
Unlike the trial at the Apolo, this time there will be no control group (people who take the test but do not go to the concert), nor will there be a PCR test after a week. "It's not a controlled clinical trial. It is a commercial concert", said Llibre. Even so, there will be a follow-up to see if among the spectators there are those who are reported as infected in the health system during the two weeks after the concert.
"We are beginning a path that is not definitive, because this model will certainly not be the definitive one, but we are working with the idea of resuming the activity in the summer", explained Herreruela. The cost of the concert on 27 March at the Palau Sant Jordi is 200,000 euros, according to the director of the Crüilla: "Between 80,000 and 90,000 will be covered by the tickets. We have a hole that we assume the promoters with the support of the administrations and sponsors," added Herreruela.
"We want the public to be free, to be able to enjoy themselves as before", said Joan Rosselló, from the promoter The Project and the Porta Ferrada Festival. The Palau Sant Jordi arena will be divided into four sectors. "The audience will only have to follow two measures: wear a mask and use common sense", added Rosselló. There will be separate circuits for both access and mobility within the space.
The event brought together the directors of the main festivals in the country, such as Primavera Sound, Sónar, Cruïlla, Canet Rock, Vida and Porta Ferrada, as well as representatives of the Acadèmia Catalana de la Música, the Xarxa de Festivals Musicals, the Associació de Representants i Promotors, the Unió de Músics and the Associació de Sales de Concerts, among other organisations. In other words, sector unity and joint work with the administrations on an initiative that should open up a brighter horizon for a cultural activity that has been particularly affected by the pandemic. "The occasion deserved a unique response from the sector, as I had never seen before", said Ventura Barba, one of the directors of Sónar. This experience, a pioneer in Europe, is the model for similar trials to be carried out in Paris and Marseille.