Hopes for the return of live music as ideas for events at full capacity pour in
Few to no cases of COVID-19 transmitted at music festivals like the EXIT festival in Serbia and the Latitude festival in Suffolk promise the return of the live music industry.
As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted in many parts of the world, many are hoping the live music industry will make a comeback soon.
The EXIT festival in Serbia appears to have been the most successful full-capacity event so far, with no cases of COVID-19 detected among the crowd of 180,000. A scientific study conducted at the festival tested 300 participants before and after the event, and no transmission of the virus was detected.
Novi Sad Health Center and Project Lab conducted the study and highlighted the effectiveness of “Safe Events Serbia” and its health and safety protocols. Visitors were vetted for the digital green certificate and over 18,336 were tested via the festival’s free tests. Documentation for those who entered the country from abroad to visit the festival was also verified. Any visitor who tested positive for the COVID test was not allowed to enter the festival.
Although the final results of the study have not yet been determined, Veselin Bojat, director of the health center in Novi Sad, said that “the EXIT festival was not a place of massive infection with the virus” .
The Latitude Festival, which was the UK’s first major event after the restrictions were lifted, reported that only 20 out of 40,000 attendees tested positive as a result of the event. The UK government stressed that it was still too early to understand the full impact of the event, which was a pilot event for the Event Research Program. Although attendees were required to provide proof of vaccination or negative test results, masks and social distancing were not enforced at the Suffolk Festival.
In Hungary, foreign visitors were allowed to attend the country’s three automotive events. Visitors must present a negative COVID test before entering the country in order to attend the FIA Truck Racing Championship, the Hungarian Formula 1 Grand Prix or the FIA World Touring Car Cup.
While restrictions on large gatherings and nightclubs in Scotland have yet to be lifted, Prime Minister Nicole Sturgeon said there were “very good reasons for optimism” for the restrictions to be lifted. . The number of cases in Scotland has declined as vaccination rates have increased.
Sturgeon has since announced that Scotland’s ‘Freedom Day’ will take place on August 9th. COVID restrictions on businesses and nightclubs will be fully lifted, and social distancing laws will also be lifted. Face coverings should always be worn indoors.
Other European countries, including Switzerland, France, the Netherlands, Denmark and Belgium, have lifted restrictions or have plans in place to hold concerts and events at full capacity.
In the United States, several music festivals, including Rolling Loud in Miami and Lollapalooza in Chicago, have been organized. Country music star Blake Shelton performed to a packed house at Cheyenne Frontier Days festival in Wyoming. The transmission results of these events are not yet available.
Despite the return of live music to other parts of the world, the live music and entertainment sector was one of the only sectors in Ireland to remain completely closed during the lockdown. The Music & Entertainment Association of Ireland (MEAI) warned there could be a “summer of silence” and urged the Taoiseach in a firm letter in late July to consider reopening the live music business.
These and other events are fueling hope for the return of the live music industry. While the full impact of these events is still unknown, citizens and governments are hoping for a return to a full music and live entertainment industry soon.