Over the weekend, Barcelona’s Palau Sant Jordi venue hosted a 5,000 person concert, where social distancing was not enforced by design. The experiment sought to determine whether it is possible to stage large in-person gatherings in close quarters without contributing to the spread of COVID-19.
The night was soundtracked by Spanish rock band Love of Lesbian. "It’s been a year and half since we last set foot on a scenario as a band," the group's singer Santi Balmes said, addressing the crowd. "Some of the musicians are crying over here.”
The Fight Aids and Infectious Diseases Foundation backed the experiment to ultimately determine whether other precautionary measures—such as testing immediately prior to the event and requiring face masks—would be enough to mitigate the spread in the absence of social distancing.
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Attendees were able to activate their tickets only by first producing a negative test result that morning. Those who successfully did so were sent a code to their phones, where the ticket could be activated. At the venue itself, temperature checks were also administered and face masks were required to be worn.
Josep Maria Llibre is optimistic the experiment will yield promising results, and expects to know more about the results in around two weeks. "We expect it to be completely safe," he said. "Over the next 14 days we will look at how many of the audience test positive for COVID and will report back."