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German Health Scientists are Staging an Experimental Concerts to Inform the Reopening of Live Events

On Aug. 22nd, health researchers in Germany are going to stage an experimental indoor concert in order to study the transmission of COVID-19 at live events and, hopefully, better inform the live events industry on how to reopen during the pandemic.

The experiment is called “Risk Prediction of Indoor Sports and Culture events for the Transmission of COVID-19,” though is more commonly called RESTART-19, and is being conducted by University Medical Center Halle (Saale)'s Department of Clinical Infectiology and Institute for Medical Epidemiology, Biometry and Informatics. They’re currently recruiting 4,200 healthy volunteers between the ages of 18-50 to watch a concert by Tim Bendzko in one of three scenarios.

Scenario One simulates an event with 4,000 visitors and an event sequence, just as before the beginning of the pandemic.

In Scenario Two, 4,000 visitors will be admitted to the Quarterback Real Estate Arena, but according to an optimized hygiene concept and significantly larger distances between the participants.

In Scenario Three, a distance of 1.5m will be maintained on the spectator stands. During this scenario only about 2,000 test persons will be involved.

During the individual scenarios, Tim Bendzko will give a concert in order to depict spectator behavior as realistically as possible. The arrival and departure by tram will also be simulated.

All the volunteers will be tested for COVID-19 two days before the experiment and only those who test negative will be admitted. As well, all participants must wear a mask while inside the venue, and hand sanitizer will also be made easily available.

The researchers say the RESTART-19 project aims to identify the possible conditions under which artists and athletes can play and perform again without endangering the population. In addition, the project will investigate which optimization processes and technical changes may be necessary in the event halls in order to minimize the risk.

All the volunteers will be tested for COVID-19 two days before the experiment and only those who test negative will be admitted.

For more information, go to the project’s website at www.restart19.de/en.

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Michael Raine is the Senior Editor at Canadian Musician. He is also a co-host of the popular Canadian Musician Radio weekly podcast.
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