Germany’s Fusion Festival is determined to forge ahead with its 2021 edition by following an extensive testing plan, which is currently being examined by authorities.
The organisers hope to host 35,000 visitors between 24–27 June and 1–4 July at the Mecklenburg Lake District in Lärz, using their ‘innovative strategy of PCR mass testing’.
The strategy would require all ticket holders to take two PCR tests – one on the day before arrival and one during the festival.
In order to do this, the organisers plan to set up preliminary testing stations and laboratories in Berlin, Hamburg and Leipzig for attendees on the way to the festival.
There, a sample batch will be evaluated in the laboratory within 70–90 minutes and the results are transmitted to the Fusion Festival’s ticket system before attendees’ arrival.
Alternatively, festivalgoers can be tested at the festival’s Lärz centre, in the southeastern area of the airfield, which could test up to 15,000 visitors within twelve hours.
The Lärz test centre will also have parking spaces, as well as waiting areas for those arriving on the shuttle bus, where attendees can wait for up to 90 minutes for the results of their test.
Only those who test negative will be permitted to enter the festival and those who are attending both days will be required to take another PCR test on the Sunday morning. If the result is negative, the access wristbands will be reactivated. Festival employees will have to follow a similar protocol.
Social distancing and mask wearing will not be mandatory, according to the testing plan, and the organisers have also said that they may consider proof of vaccination upon entry to relieve the PCR testing facilities.
Last year, the organisers made the decision to split the festival over two weekends and have half as many visitors at a time. The festival has since raised the ticket price from €130 to €220 due to the cost of mass testing.
In a statement on the festival’s website, the organisers explain the hike in price: “This concept was not included in the calculation [of the festival]. In contrast to profit-oriented organisers, we don’t want to spare any costs or efforts to make the merger possible and to fight for freedoms. We don’t yet know whether or how it will refinance in the end, but we firmly believe that this will not fail because of the money.
“We ask politicians to actively promote and financially support progressive test concepts like the one we have developed. Culture in pandemic times needs state funding. The federal and state governments have slept through innovative test strategies so far. Massive PCR tests are more sustainable for festivals than the often promised compensation for downtime costs.”
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