The eastern German regions of Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt are using funding of €990,000 to identify a framework for how gigs and other events can be held “without posing a danger for the population”.
The regions, where capacity for events is limited to 1,000 people, is to allow events with no upper capacity limit from September, with major events banned in other German regions until November.
Earlier this month, two concerts were held in Oschatz where crowds were split into four person socially distanced blocks. Blocks closer to the stage were more expensive than further back and a one-way system was implemented to avoid contact between groups.
The organisers said “Feedback from the more than 1,500 guests over the weekend was consistently positive. Fans showed their gratitude for the shows on the acts social media channels too, viewing them as a first step towards normality.”
The next steps are for a set of tests to be carried out at the 12,000-capacity Quarterback Immobilien Arena in Leipzig on 22 August.
The tests will replicate one event with 4,000 attendees, entering through two main entrances and sitting as prior to the pandemic.
A second test will have 4,000 participants with optimised hygiene measures, more entrances and larger distances between participants.
A final test will have 2,000 attendees, who will be seated 1.5 metres apart.
All concert goers will be tested for COVID-19 before taking part and will wear masks throughout.
The University Medical Centre Halle (Saale) will monitor small contact tracing devices to track concert goer proximity. Fluorescent hand sanitiser with will be used so scientists, using IV light, can identify surfaces where virus spread is likely to occur.
Prof. Dr. Armin Willingmann, Minister of Economics said “The coronavirus pandemic is paralysing the events industry. As long as infection threatens, neither large concerts and trade fairs, or sporting events can take place.
“That is why it is so important to find out what technical or organisational framework conditions can effectively minimise the risk of infection.
“With Restart-19 the University Medical Centre Halle is pioneering work for a new start of the events industry in Central Germany and beyond.”