Live to play key role in Covid-19 vaccinations
Venues and festivals across Europe have offered their services as vaccination centres as the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine nears roll-out.
The vaccine is now approved in the UK, with the first vaccinations starting next week, and the EU and US are expected follow suit in the coming weeks. According to its makers, the vaccine is more than 90% effective against Covid-19.
In Germany, Dusseldorf venue company D.Live is establishing a vaccination centre in sports and entertainment venue Merkur Spiel-Arena, the 66,500-capacity stadium which serves as the ground of football team Fortuna Düsseldorf.
The centre, which will serve Dusseldorf, the state capital of North Rhine-Westphalia, will stretch over 8,000m² across two storeys and have the capacity for up to 2,400 immunisations a day, with the potential to expand if necessary.
Patients arriving at the stadium will first visit one of 12 check-in counters, before making their way through a one-way system to a waiting area, and then on to one of the ten boxes which are being converted into vaccination rooms.
Local guidelines dictate that the vaccine be made available gradually to the entire population on a voluntary basis, starting with vulnerable groups, including hospital staff and patients and carers in care homes.
Covid-19 vaccinations could start in the 27 EU nations before the end of December
Authorities in the UK are similarly requisitioning stadia and other event venues, with the 27,000-seat Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol, the Etihad Stadium campus in Manchester, Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey and among the sites identified for mass vaccinations in England.
The Bristol facility reportedly has the capacity to deliver up to 110,000 vaccinations a week to residents of the city and the surrounding areas, starting next week and continuing until April 2021.
In Belgium, meanwhile, newly formed Wallonian festival association FFMWB (Fédération des Festivals de Musique Wallonie-Bruxelles) is offering up its members’ sites and services to help the Belgian government achieve its goal of eight million vaccinations (around 70% of the country) when the vaccine is approved there.
“Our sector has been at a standstill for many months, and our many staff are eager to bring their creativity and dedication to the fight against coronavirus,” says Dour Festival’s Damien Dufrasne, president of the FFMWB.
FFMWB’s 11 members include Les Francofolies de Spa, Les Nuits Botanique and Brussels Summer Festival.
Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, said last week that said Covid-19 vaccinations could start in the 27 EU nations before the end of December. The EC has agreements with six suppliers that would allow it to purchase more than 1.2 billion doses of the vaccine.
Live Nation announces biggest concert in Germany since March
Live Nation has announced the biggest concert Germany has seen since March, marking the return of large-scale events this autumn.
Return to Live will take place in Septemeber at the 54,000-capacity outdoor stadium, Merkur Spiel Arena in Düsseldorf.
Bryan Adams, Sarah Connor, Rea Garvey, The BossHoss, Michael Mittermeier and Joris will play to 12,000 seated fans, who’ll be required to follow a strict health and safety procedure.
“The fans, artists, and crew, as well as the entire music industry, have been eagerly awaiting this moment” says Live Nation Germany CEO Marek Lieberberg. “We are opening the door for the return of live music which now has the opportunity to resume after the unpredicted intermission. We know that fans are enthusiastic to experience live music once again, and we’re excited to be able to bring them that opportunity.”
“The entire music industry, have been eagerly awaiting this moment…We are opening the door for the return of live music which now has the opportunity to resume”
Fans attending Return to Live will have to register their contact details when buying their tickets and agree to the special terms and conditions which includes wearing a face mask and adhering to the social distancing set out in the seated arrangement.
Further measures include larger waiting areas outside the stadium, tiered entry and exit time slots, an alcohol ban as well as regular disinfecting and additional hygiene precautions.
Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, announced in June that major events in the country will be banned until the start of November unless organisers can prove that social distancing measures and hygiene protocol can be met.
Alongside Return to Live, Bayreuth-based promoter Semmel Concerts is planning to invite 5,000 fans to open-air concerts at the Waldbühne amphitheatre in Berlin, in September.
A custom-designed hygiene protocol will be in place at the event, which will also respect all distancing regulations.
This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.