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Germany kicks off new pilot show series in Berlin

Weekend performances by the Berliner Ensemble and Berlin Philharmonic began a new series of nine pilot events in the German capital

By IQ on 23 Mar 2021

Berlin Philharmonic conductor Kirill Petrenko

Berlin Philharmonic conductor Kirill Petrenko

image © Stephan Rabold/Berliner Philharmoniker

Germany kicked off its latest project to test the safety of live events amid the ongoing pandemic over the weekend, with the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra playing to an audience of 1,000 people in Berlin.

The show on Saturday (20 March) was the second event in a pilot programme (Pilotprojekt) being held across the German capital from 19 March to 4 April. The first, a performance by the Berliner Ensemble theatre company, took place the day before; seven further events will be staged at Berlin theatres, opera houses, concert halls and a nightclub.

The new pilot project is the latest scientific study out of Germany looking at the effect concerts have the transmission of Covid-19, following the influential Restart-19 study and a later test show at Dortmund’s Konzerthaus, both of which showed live entertainment could take place safely in a pandemic situation.

Of the 1,000 concertgoers, nearly half were tested on site in the space of 90 minutes

The Berlin Philharmonic concert, which saw the orchestra perform Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No 2 at the 1,180-seat Chamber Music Hall, was also attended by 45 medical professionals, including three doctors, according to public broadcaster RBB. Of the 1,000 concertgoers, nearly half were tested on site in the space of 90 minutes, while the remaining 520 were required to bring a negative Covid-19 test from an off-site test centre.

In addition to testing negative for coronavirus, attendees – who included Klaus Lederer, Berlin’s senator for culture – were required to wear face coverings at all times.

Despite a successful launch for the Pilotprojekt, chancellor Angela Merkel announced today (23 March) that Germans will once again be locked down over Easter owing to fears of a third wave of the virus. At press time, Germany had nearly 7,500 new daily casis of Covid-19.


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