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Primavera Sound hails successful PRIMACOV trial

Organisers have hailed as a successful the PRIMACOV clinical trial, which took place at Barcelona’s Sala Apolo on Saturday (12 December) after a two-month delay.

Originally organised for October, PRIMACOV – organised by Primavera Sound in association with Hospital Germans Trias in Barcelona and the Fight AIDS and Infectious Diseases Foundation – welcomed 1,042 people to the 1,608-capacity venue for a clinical study designed to show whether rapid testing could hold the key to staging concerts without social distancing.

Everyone who was allowed into the show, which featured performances by local artists including Marta Salicrú, Unai Muguruza, Mujeres and Renaldo and Clara, had had to first test negative for Covid-19 using rapid antigen tests – the results of which were available in 15 minutes – as well as traditional PCR tests.

“The objective of this study is to validate these kind of tests … to be able to carry out events without social distancing”

“That was, precisely, the objective of this study: to validate these kind of tests as an extremely useful tool to be able to carry out any type of event, whether musical or not, without social distancing,” explain the PRIMACOV team.

The show followed a similar trial in Germany, dubbed Restart-19, which found that live shows could take place safely under “specific conditions during a pandemic”. Several ‘Back to Live’ pilot events will also take place in the Netherlands, with the government’s backing, in January.

The results of the PRIMACOV trial will be released in mid-January, according to Primavera Sound, although the festival warns that the results will only be completely accurate if all 1,042 attendees have a second PCR test, on Sunday 20 December.

PRIMACOV is part of Primavera’s Back on Track initiative, which is supported by Live Nation, Universal Music Group, Ticketmaster, Sony Music, promoter Last Tour and collection society SGAE, among others.


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Spain to go ahead with pilot gig for clinical study

The Apolo hall in Barcelona will host a clinical study concert with more than 1,000 participants to determine whether concerts and nightlife can be safe spaces if certain measures are met, including screening attendees with Covid-detection tests.

The pilot gig, which was originally scheduled for October but was cancelled due to the second wave of coronavirus, will now take place on 12 December featuring DJs and bands including Marta Salicrú, Unai Muguruza, Renaldo & Clara and Mujeres.

The study expects to host more than 1,000 volunteers who will undergo a rapid antigen test, which detects coronavirus in minutes, on 11 and 12 December. Only those with negative test results will be permitted to attend the gig.

Then, before the doors of the venue are opened, a PCR test will also be carried out on half of the participants to evaluate the effectiveness of rapid tests as a screening strategy in large events.

During the concert, participants will have to wear a protective mask at all times, except when consuming beverages in designated areas, and use disinfectant gel.

The clinical study will determine whether concerts and nightlife can be safe spaces if certain measures are met

A week after the concert, on 20 December, a second rapid antigen test will be carried out on all attendees and a new PCR will be carried out on the participants who have already been tested on the day of the event.

The clinical trial is organised by Primavera Sound, the Fight Against Aids and Infectious Diseases Foundation, and the Germans Trias hospital in Barcelona.

The Spanish study follows in the footsteps of Germany’s Restart-19, which saw 1,500 volunteers spent ten hours inside Arena Leipzig on 22 August as part of a scientific experiment that aimed to show how coronavirus travels at indoor events.

The study comprised three concerts by singer Tim Bendzko: one with no social distancing at all, pre-coronavirus style; one with “optimised hygiene measures”, such as more entrances/exits and some distance between concertgoers; and one with full social distancing, with attendees seated 1.5 metres apart.

Key findings from the experiment showed that events “could take place in a pandemic”.


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