The future looks a little brighter today, with several coronavirus vaccines developed and rolled out in countries across the world. Local governments are beginning to develop roadmaps to the reopening of clubs and festivals. This includes hosting pilot events to assess the safety of reopening venues.
In recent months the UK government has selected the city of Liverpool to take part in their own pilot scheme for reopening venues. The government’s Events Research Programme will analyse key data from small to large scale events, to ensure their roadmap to reopening fully by 21st June 2021 is on course and most importantly safe.
The Liverpool pilot scheme will include a nightclub, comedy club and business events venue. At these events, the ERP will be monitoring venue layouts, mask-wearing, air circulation and no social distancing in a controlled environment. All attendees will need to provide a negative COVID test before the event and they will be tested post-event.
Another pilot scheme that took place recently was a 1,300 capacity event in Amsterdam, hosted on Saturday 6th March 2021 at Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome. The study was conducted by Fieldlab for the Netherlands Government. The Ziggo Dome hosted an event for four hours, attendees were divided into five groups of 250, plus one group of 50 – all the groups were given different sets of rules. All movement and contact were traced throughout the event, one group wore masks, another drank fluorescent drinks to study saliva spread and reach. Like the Liverpool event, attendees must provide a negative test prior to the event and undergo a covid test post event. Fieldlab has since hosted numerous events as part of their research, with the last taking place on Saturday 20th March at Biddinghuizen in the province of Flevoland. A total of 1,500 attendees were able to enjoy the festival. This is due to be the seventh and penultimate trial event as part of the Fieldlab research programme.
Berlin also announced a six-point plan for reopening on Wednesday 17th March, confirming the nightlife industry may not return to normal until 2022. The first steps are to include a series of pilot events with rapid COVID-19 testing and a centralised information hub where nightclubs will be expected to share hygiene recommendations and regulations regularly to ensure venues can adapt to the ever-evolving climate. The first pilot event took place on 20th March, with 1000 people expected to attend.
Finally, New York city governor Andrew Cuomo announced the city venues will be able to open from April at 33% capacity, plus an added cap of 100 people for indoor venues and 200 people for open-air events.
Many events are being planned and some already announced for the summer, clubbers are starting to buy tickets for events and festivals post lockdown. We can start to see light at the end of what has been a pitch black tunnel – stay tuned for more information on upcoming event announcements and reopenings from across the world.