fbpx

PROFILE

MY SUBSCRIPTION

LOGOUT

x

The latest industry news to your inbox.

    

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Covid-sniffing dogs trialled at German test concert

The efficacy of coronavirus detection dogs was trialled last Sunday (19 September) at a test show in Hanover.

The German trial was led by the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover (TiHo), which recently published a study that found Coronavirus detection dogs could detect the presence of Covid-19 in people with 94% accuracy, even if they are asymptomatic.

The Hanover study took place at an open-air concert by Fury in the Slaughterhouse at the Gilde Parkbühne with 500 attendees.

As part of the trial, attendees were required to take a PCR test and a rapid antigen test, and provide two arm sweat samples, which were sniffed by several dogs to detect the presence of Covid-19.

“In order to check that the dogs in the on-site entrance situation are able to recognise infected people, we smuggled in inactivated positive samples,” explains Professor Dr Holger Volk from TiHo.

“The result: the dogs have displayed all inactivated positive samples!”

“For this, there were helpers in the admission line who had the samples with them and handed them in. The result: the dogs have displayed all inactivated positive samples! So they did an excellent job,” says Volk says of the interim results, which will be corroborated with results from the PCR tests.

The Fury in the Slaughterhouse concert was the first of four trials to examine whether trained corona detection dogs are suitable for use in everyday situations.

The trials, organised in conjunction with Hannover Concerts, ProEvent Hannover and AWiAS Aviation Services GmbH, are funded by a €1.3 million grant from the Lower Saxony Ministry for Science and Culture.

Sniffer dogs were first used to detect infection in passengers in a trial at Dubai airport and since deployed in airports in Helsinki and Santiago, Chile, as well as more recently by the Miami Heat basketball team in Florida.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Norway plans full reopening for September

Norway has announced plans to relax all restrictions before the end of September, by which point its adult population should have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.

“Norwegian society will have to live with the fact that we have this virus, as we live with other infectious diseases,” minister of health, Bent Høie, told VG.

“We cannot eliminate the risk completely, as we cannot with other diseases. This means that some will also become seriously ill and die of Covid-19 after we have finished the vaccination and society has reopened.”

Prime minister Erna Solberg added that Norway, unlike other markets, would not be introducing a corona pass to aid reopening.

“In other countries, corona pass is used as a lure for people to be vaccinated. We do not need Norway, because most people are positive about vaccination,” says the prime minister, who pointed out that, by the end of this week, everyone over the age of 18 will have been offered one vaccine dose.

The prime minister added that Norway, unlike other markets, would not be introducing a corona pass to aid reopening

The news of reopening comes weeks after Norway postponed the final step in the reopening of its economy for a second time, due to the continued spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19.

Until then, events without designated seating can take place with a maximum of 1,500 people (previously 1,000) indoors and 3,000 people (previously 2,000) outdoors. The audience must be divided into 500-capacity cohorts and the venue’s capacity cannot exceed 50%.

Events with designated seating can take place with a maximum of 3,000 (previously 2,500) indoors and 7,000 people (previously 5,000) outdoors. These events must also be divided into 500-capacity cohorts and the venue’s capacity cannot exceed 50%.

The reopening comes too late for many Norwegian festivals including Live Nation-owned festivals BergenfestTons of Rock and Findings, Superstruct-backed Øya Festival, Festningen, Over Oslo, Picnic in the Park, Stavernfetsivalen, Seljord Festival and Country Festival, which have already been called off.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Covid puts the brakes on big US recovery

A swathe of concerts, festivals and tours in the US have been cancelled or postponed in the last week amid concerns over the spread of the delta variant of Covid-19.

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival was officially cancelled on Sunday 8 August “as a result of the current exponential growth of new Covid cases in New Orleans and the region and the ongoing public health emergency”.

The AEG festival, which would’ve taken place between 8–17 October 2021, typically attracts around 500,000 attendees across the seven days.

The 2021 edition was rescheduled in January to October, from its traditional spring dates of 22 April – 2 May. The festival’s lineup included Dead & Company, Stevie Nicks, Foo Fighters, Jimmy Buffett, Lizzo, Demi Lovato and more.

Artists including Michael Bublé, Limp Bizkit, Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings have exercised similar caution, postponing or cancelling late summer and early august 2021 dates due to uncertainty surrounding Covid.

“I do not want to put my fans, band or crew at risk by putting them in a situation that could possibly affect their health”

Last week, Michael Bublé announced the postponement of a string of August shows in the US, citing the current surge in new Covid-19 cases in the country – which are at the highest rate since early February, according to a New York Times database.

The August shows have now been rescheduled to take place in the second half of October. For now, Bublé’s September shows in the US are still going ahead as planned.

“I do not want to put my fans at risk, nor my band and crew, by putting them in a situation that could possibly affect their health and therefore their friends and family. It is better for me to reschedule these shows to a time when all of us are confident that we can relax and enjoy the show,” he said in a press statement.

Rock band Limp Bizkit has also announced the cancellation of their remaining August tour dates, citing concern over the rising tide of Covid-19 infections.

“Out of an abundance of caution and concern for the safety of the band, crew and most of all the fans, the Limp Bizkit August tour is being cancelled. Refunds are available from your point of purchase,” a statement from the tour said.

“Out of an abundance of caution and concern for the safety of the band, crew and most of all the fans, the tour is cancelled”

Affected dates include eight shows in August, including performances at Stubbs BBQ in Austin, the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, and Irving Plaza in New York.

Canadian rock legends Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings have followed suit, announcing that the US leg of their ‘Together Again – Live In Concert’ tour has been cancelled, again, due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

Slated to start 1 September at the Foellinger Theatre in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the tour was scheduled to run through the rest of the month before finishing at the Smith Centre in Las Vegas on 24 September.

“While Randy and Burton have been looking forward to reuniting for their fans throughout the United States, they extend their love and appreciation to all of the fans that were planning to come to these shows, and they cannot wait to see you all again when things are more predictable in terms of travel in and out of Canada.”

The growing concerns about artists’ health and safety while gigging during the pandemic have been validated by a slate of cancellations due to touring members testing positive for Covid-19.

Counting Crows pulled out of their Boston show mere hours before the show after a touring member tested positive

On Sunday (8 August), American rock band Counting Crows pulled out of their Boston show mere hours before they were due on stage after a member of the band’s touring party tested positive for Covid-19.

The band were forced to postpone the concert at Leader Bank Pavilion, as well as their gig in Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre, Ohio, two nights later.

In a post on social media, they noted that the entire band and crew have been vaccinated and have been taking precautions to be as safe as possible.

Similarly, rock stalwarts Lynyrd Skynyrd postponed four upcoming performances on their current summer tour after the band’s longtime guitarist Rickey Medlocke tested positive for Covid-19.

Affected shows include 9 August performance at Tom Beson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio; 10 August at the Jackson County Fair in Jackson, Michigan; Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood in Atlanta on 13 August; and Rock The South in Culman, Alabam on 14 August.

The US is averaging more than 124,000 new virus cases each day – the highest rate since early February

Sebastian Bach also announced he had tested positive after several shows and days earlier, Fall Out Boy pulled out of their spots on the ‘Hella Mega’ tour (with Green Day and Weezer) in Boston, New York, and Washington DC.

The US is averaging more than 124,000 new virus cases each day, more than double the levels of two weeks ago and the highest rate since early February, according to a New York Times database.

As the Delta variant tears through the US, more key players from the country’s live sector are implementing mandates to keep staff and artists safe.

Yesterday (9 August), Live Nation announced it is allowing artists performing at its US venues to require all attendees and staff to be fully vaccinated or to show a negative test result to gain entry, where permitted by law.

While New York became the first major city to require proof of being vaccinated for anyone who wants to attend an indoor live show – reinforcing similar requirements already set by venues such as Madison Square Garden.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Freedom Day ‘bittersweet’ for UK live sector

Today (19 July) sees Freedom Day in the UK, so-called due to the relaxation of all legal restrictions imposed on live events that had been imposed due to COVID-19. But within hours of rules being relaxed, vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi has said that full vaccinations will be required for entry into nightclubs and venues with large crowds from September.

As of today, in England, all live events, such as music concerts and sporting events can resume without any limits on attendance or social distancing requirements and attendees are no longer be legally required to wear a face mask.

But against a backdrop of rising levels of infection across the UK, most nightclub operators have chosen not to enforce any level of certification, or ask patrons to provide proof of a recent test or vaccination.  In response today, officials have said that all attendees will have to be double-jabbed, and a negative test will be insufficient.

“There is still no commercial solution and it requires urgent intervention”

The new inbound restrictions come in addition to ongoing concerns about a lack of government-backed cancellation insurance, despite 56% of major summer festivals having already cancelled for a second year running.

“The lifting of restrictions today is bittersweet for the live music sector,” says a spokesperson from LIVE, the industry’s umbrella trade org. “The Government has repeatedly promised it would step in and the UK is now one of just a handful of countries across Europe not to act.”

“The sector has provided every shred of data and evidence Government has requested to support the case for insurance and the Secretary of State has repeatedly and publicly committed to act at Step 4 of the roadmap,” adds Paul Reed, CEO at the Association of Independent Festivals. “There is still no commercial solution and it requires urgent intervention”.

And insurance is not the only obstacle that remains. Earlier this afternoon. Andrew Lloyd Weber’s new production, Cinderella, was postponed indefinitely after cast members were told to self-isolate by the NHS Test and Trace app, having come into contact with a positive case. The show’s cancellation will be worrying news for many festival and event organisers.

“The impossible conditions created by the blunt instrument that is the Government’s isolation guidance, mean that we cannot continue”

“Freedom Day has turned into closure day,” says Lloyd Weber. “The impossible conditions created by the blunt instrument that is the Government’s isolation guidance, mean that we cannot continue. We have been forced into a devastating decision which will affect the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of people and disappoint the thousands who have booked to see the show… My sadness for our cast and crew, our loyal audience and the industry I have been fighting for is impossible to put into words.

Campaign groups from across the sector are calling for a cultural exemption to the isolation requirements through frequent testing, arguing that the 16 August rule change to allow double vaccinated not self-isolated when ‘pinged’ comes too late.

In addition to a Government-backed insurance scheme, associations and companies from across the sector also continue to call for a quarantine exemption, which would allow the arts the same exemption that professional elite sport has obtained. The exemption from sport has enabled football teams from around Europe to travel to the UK to play in the European Championship without quarantining.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ IndexIQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.