Study that tested indoor music concert in Spain found no Covid cases
A study that tested a live indoor music concert found no cases of Covid-19 after the event, where masks, antigen testing and ventilation were used.
The Lancet study – conducted in Barcelona, Spain, and funded by music concert organizers – offers preliminary evidence on the impact of security measures to reduce the transmission of Covid-19.
The study was carried out in December, when local travel restrictions were in place, indoor meetings were limited to six people, and Covid-19 vaccines were not yet available.
All of the 465 event attendees were selected using rapid lateral flow tests before entry, wore masks throughout, and adhered to crowd control in the well-ventilated venue.
They were compared to 495 participants who were randomly assigned to return home after passing a lateral flow test and who did not attend the concert.
None of the participants tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection by PCR eight days after the event, compared to two people in the control group.
The results offer a step towards restarting music and other cultural activities that were interrupted during the Covid-19 pandemic – but the authors stressed that the strict conditions of their study could be difficult to replicate in many places , or at larger events with more participants.
They insisted that more research is needed to understand mass gatherings in different contexts of the Covid-19 pandemic (eg, local incidence, local seroprevalence, and rollout of vaccination).
According to a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, the first randomized controlled trial to assess the impact of comprehensive Covid-19 safety measures at a live indoor music concert reports no cases of virus transmission .
Safety measures included same-day screening of participants using Covid-19 lateral flow tests before entry, mandatory wearing of an N95 mask, improved ventilation and crowd control.
Participants were allowed to sing and dance in the concert hall and there was no recommendation for physical distancing.
Lead author of the study, Dr Josep Llibre, German University Hospital Trias i Pujol, Spain, said: “Our study provides preliminary evidence that indoor musical events can take place without increasing risk. transmission of SARS-CoV-2 when comprehensive safety measures are in place, but it is important that our findings be considered in light of the situation in Spain at the time – when cases were not high and that many restrictions were in place.
“As a result, our study does not necessarily mean that all mass events are safe.”
About 1,000 people aged 18 to 59 were recruited to participate.
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People were excluded if they had tested positive for Covid-19 or had been in contact with a positive Covid-19 case in the previous two weeks, had pre-existing health conditions which are known risk factors for serious illness with Covid-19, or were alive with elderly people at the time of the study.
The indoor event took place at the Sala Apolo Hall in Barcelona, which typically has an event capacity of around 900 people.
The event itself lasted five hours and participants spent an average of two hours and 40 minutes inside the venue. There were two DJ performances and two live music acts.
Drinks, including alcohol, were served in a separate bar room and there was an outside smoking area with controlled capacity and physical distance.
You can find out more about the study here.