Will we be able to go to gigs again safely now that we live with coronavirus?
Well, German scientists are putting on a concert to see how COVID-19 spreads at large indoor venues, according to the Guardian.
The first part of the plan is to recruit 4,200 healthy volunteers between ages 18-50. Once they’re together, the scientists will outfit them with wearable tracking devices.
Each device will transmit data on every person’s movements, as well as their proximity to other audience members. This data will be transmitting every five seconds.
But will the gig goers actually get to have a good time? In an effort to mimic the real deal, German singer Tim Bendzko will be performing. The time and location? A stadium in Leipzig next month.
In addition to the trackers, concertgoers will need to disinfect their hands with a fluorescent hand sanitizer, to help researchers identify what surfaces pose the most risk. A fog machine will also be used to visualise the potential spread of the virus via aerosols.
To minimize the chances that the simulation itself, aptly named Restart-19, will spread the virus, anyone who attends will be required to test negative for COVID-19 48 hours before the event. They’ll have to show proof at the door, and will also be given a face mask with an exhalation valve.
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“We are trying to find out if there could be a middle way between the old and the new normal that would allow organisers to fit enough people into a concert venue to not make a loss,” Stefan Moritz, head of clinical infectious diseases at the University hospital in Halle and the experiment’s coordinator, told the Guardian.
The Restart-19 project will cost about €990,000. The German states of Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt will be footing the bill along with the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg. According to the project’s website, over 1,000 people have already registered to attend.
Post-concert, the scientists will be analysing the data and presenting their findings to the world by early October. Those in Germany can book now to attend on August 28.
Like everything in the world right now, coronavirus has had a big impact on the live music industry. Many musicians have come out in support, and recently, Metallica donated $295,000 to those requiring financial relief due to the virus.