Skip to main content

New study trials same-day COVID testing at indoor music event

The Primavera Sound-funded trial concert was held at Barcelona's Sala Apolo venue

A new study funded by Spanish festival Primavera Sound suggests same-day COVID-19 testing could create a route back to indoor music events. 

1047 participants were all confirmed to have negative coronavirus disease test results within the two weeks prior to a test event taking place, and then tested negative again on the day of the study using rapid antigen tests. 

People were split into control and experimental groups. Only the latter were allowed into the concert, where they were given N95 cloth masks to wear at all times except for while drinking. No physical distancing was required, dancing and singing were permitted but movement into and out of specific areas was regulated.  The test event lasted five hours. 

Eight days after the concert, none of the participants in the experimental group tested positive. Researchers claim this suggests "attending a live music concert staged with a series of security measures that included a negative antigen test for SARS-CoV-2 done on the same day, was not associated with an increase in Covid-19 infections." 

Two members of the control group, which were not allowed into the event, did go on to test positive. 

The study was run by the Foundation against AIDS and Infectious Diseases of the University Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol in Badalona, with the test event held at Barcelona's Sala Apolo venue on 12th December. Major record labels such as Sony and Universal, alcohol firm Jägermeister, and event brands Live Nation and Ticketmaster were also involved through the Back On Track Initiative. 

The findings follow research in Germany last summer that suggested a "low to very low" risk of coronavirus transmission at well-ventilated indoor gigs. Meanwhile, prior to yesterday's announcement of a new national lockdown in the UK, London's 100 Club had unveiled plans to test a new ventilation system this month, which it hopes could make the address 'COVID-secure'.