A rock group, 5,000 spectators dancing without a safe distance. A Barcelona venue took a trip to a pre-pandemic world on Saturday aimed at showing that concerts are possible, despite the Covid. “I am very, very moved. It’s been a year and a half since we went on stage ”, proclaimed Santi Balmes, singer of Love of Lesbian, flagship group of the independent Spanish scene, after a first title very aptly titled No one in the streets “.
A euphoria shared by spectators jumping, dancing, singing at the top of their lungs and even having a beer at the counter, as if the pandemic had disappeared for an evening. “It’s incredible, a lot of emotion. We had forgotten this crowd feeling, it’s like it was my first concert, ”said Jordi in the pit of the Palau Sant Jordi. “We really wanted to do something different, to take a step towards normality,” said Marina, 25, who preferred, however, “to keep the distance” with the other spectators.
Mandatory test before
Organized by a group of festivals, music promoters and a local hospital, this experience is one of the few to have taken place in Europe in contemporary music. Another test concert took place in early March in the Netherlands with 1,300 people And nothing was left to chance: tests, FFP2 masks at all times and reinforced ventilation. On Saturday morning, the dance floors of three Barcelona nightclubs, closed due to the pandemic, were transformed into field hospitals where white coats tested all participants for antigen.
Like a sesame, the negative result automatically validated the ticket stored in the mobile phone.
“We hope it will be completely safe. For 14 days, we will look at which spectators have caught the Covid and we will notify ”the cases, explained Josep Maria Llibre, doctor of the Germans Trias i Pujol hospital in Badalone, near Barcelona. Already in December, his team had organized a pilot project in a hall in Barcelona with 500 spectators previously tested. A few days later, none had contracted the virus.
An experience to repeat?
The objective of this clinical experience is “to find out how we can live with the Covid and organize concerts in a completely safe way,” Ventura Barba, executive director of the Barcelona Sónar festival, one of the organizers told AFP. .
This week, this renowned electronic music festival announced its cancellation for the second year in a row, like many others in Europe. “The pandemic has been horrible for everyone, but for music in particular,” according to Ventura Barba. According to a report published by the Federation Música de España, which represents the sector in Spain, the European music industry lost 76% of its turnover in 2020.