6,000 clubbers will return to the dancefloor in Liverpool this month, to participate in a covid-secure event trial.
In February, it was announced that the government's Events Research Programme (ERP) — which is trialling events at nightclubs, stadiums, theatres and concerts with volunteers — would pilot several events in Liverpool to collect evidence and better understand best practice amid easing coronavirus restrictions.
On the 30th April and 1st May, 3,000 people will attend Liverpool's Bramley-Moore Dock each day for two of DJ and producer Yousef's Circus events, allowing the ERP to study club environments and coronavirus. People who want to attend must live within a Liverpool postcode and will be subject to rapid coronavirus testing prior to the event, as well as a second test some time after the event.
Claire McColgan MBE, Director of Culture and Tourism in Liverpool previously told the Liverpool Echo: "Liverpool is an event city. They are a critical part of our economy, culture and community and so we are delighted to be working with partners across Government, our colleagues at University of Liverpool and a number of local venues and promoters to plan this series of pilot events.
"Our experience as the pilot city for mass testing means we have the knowledge and infrastructure in place to deliver complicated projects safely, and we really hope we can help provide the evidence needed to ensure the wider sector is able to open across the country in the coming months."
In a statement issued following the announcement of Liverpool's pilot event, Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Assocation, said that although the developments were welcome, there needed to be more similiar schemes in place. “Really pleased to finally hear the announcement of the Events Research Programme pilots, starting mid April, in particular the Circus Nightclub pilot in Liverpool with Yousef and his team, who have been advocates of this sector for many years and will work hard to ensure we are represented.
“With limited pilots taking place in Night Time Economy businesses through April, we are concerned that this will only give an acute view of the challenges faced within such unique environments where one size does not fit all.
“We would welcome further engagement by Government to consider further pilots across a wider scope of NTE businesses.”
Earlier this year, MPs were warned that UK nightlife faces “extinction” without immediate government action, after a survey of over 20,000 night time economy businesses, workers and consumers were asked to share experiences and opinions on the huge problems currently faced by the sector amid the pandemic.
In the key findings of the survey, which were compiled by the Night Time Industries Assocation, the inquiry found that 85% of people working in the night time economy are considering leaving the industry, and that 78% of workers within the sector had, at some point in the last 12 months, been furloughed. The NTIA also highlighted the fact that on average, businesses in the night time economy had been forced to make 37% of their total workforce redundant, and that in the second half of 2020, clubs and music venues traded at an average of 28% of their pre-coronavirus turnover.
(Photo via: Bramley-Moore Dock Facebook)