5,000-cap Barcelona pilot show had no impact on covid spread


April 28, 2021

In news that bodes well for the UK Government’s Events Research Programme, organisers have found there was “no sign” of increased Covid-19 infections following a pilot test event with 5,000 fans at a Love of Lesbian show at Barcelona’s Saint Jordi Arena (cap. 17,000), during which there was no requirement for social distancing.

The event, which was organised by Festivals per la Cultura Segura, saw all attendees provided with and required to wear an FFP2 face mask. Other Covid mitigation measures included enhanced ventilation in the venue, and the crowd being split into three areas but able to move without restrictions.

The event was carried out under the same conditions as a previous pilot in the city’s Sala Apolo theatre on 12 December, which resulted in none of the 463 attendees being infected with coronavirus.

Researchers found that in the 14 days following the Saint Jordi show only six attendees tested positive, representing a cumulative incidence of 130.7 cases per 100,000, while the average in Barcelona during the same period and between the same age groups has been 259.5 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

Four of the people that tested positive following the gig were deemed to have caught the virus somewhere other than the show.

“There is no sign that suggests transmission took place during the event,” said Josep Maria Llibre who led the experiment.

To gain entry ticket buyers were required to have been tested negative for Covid-19. When tickets were purchased, buyers were required to download a smartphone app that was loaded with their test result, it then generated a QR code that enabled the user to gain access to the show.

Marking the first concert at the arena since 29 February 2020, the show was an unprecedented collaboration between Barcelona’s biggest concert promoters including Primavera Sound, Sonar, Cruïlla, Vida Festival, Canet Rock and The Project, plus Barcelona’s City Council-owned BSM, which owns the venue. A team of scientists from Hospital Germans Trias and Fundación Lucha contra la Sida worked in partnership with the Health, Security and Culture’s Departments of the Catalan Government.

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