Research for the return of mass events has been all go!
As we move out of lockdown, we are seeing infection rates begin to mediate and vaccination numbers are increasing. To ensure a smooth integration back into normality, in April 2021, the goverment began trial research for the return of mass events. It is incredibly exciting to see our industry getting the recognition and funding to be able to have event companies get back on track after a year of unprecedented hibernation.
How do the trials work, and what will we find out?
As part of the event trial series, event attendees are required to provide passes which will show whether they have been vaccinated, had a recent negative test, or natural immunity. They use an app to confirm their status upon entry to a controlled area.
These events will also explore how ventilation and testing before and after could help crowds return. With these series of measures, the government is looking to allow the safe return of events, sports matches and nightclubs.
The first event – Liverpool’s clubbing experience
The trial events have taken place in a range of different cities, with the city of Liverpool making headlines for bringing back the first clubbing experience since the pandemic began. The event which was held across a two day timeline in April was the host to 6,000 partygoers. With the exception of providing a negative covid test, the event was completely restriction-free. Only 9 cases were found amongst 6,000 attendees, which shows that the toughest part of the night economy could be brought back safely in the near future.
World Snooker Champions and The BRIT Awards 2021 – The results
During the World Snooker Championships that was held throughout a period of 17 days, only 4 cases of Covid occurred even though the event was staged indoors at the Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre. Another event that was held in Liverpool was the Festival Republic Gig that was held outdoors. Amongst the 5,900 partygoers, only 2 cases of Covid were recorded.
Alongside these, the iconic British music award show that was cancelled last year, The BRIT Awards, returned in May 2021 with zero cases recorded, even though the audience was allowed to mingle at tables and boxes without the compulsory use of masks. Such example events with low infection rates are further indications that events could be back in the near future with very limited to no limitations!
The first festival event trial – Download Pilot Festival
Now for music festivals! Despite having been called off in March 2021, Download Pilot Festival in Leicestershire will be taking place as a part of the government’s test event to examine how Covid-19 transmission takes place within a festival atmosphere. Even though the event will be scaled down to 10,000 as opposed to its usual 111,000 attendees, the partygoers will be allowed to camp for the duration of the event, which is a massive step for the events industry.
We can’t wait to hear the results from this next pilot event!
Trials events that have taken place, in order:
17 April – 3 May: Snooker World Championships, Sheffield Crucible Theatre – up to 1,000 people a day (indoor, seated)
17 April – 3 May: World Snooker, Crucible Theatre
18 April: FA Cup semi-final, Wembley Stadium – 4,000 people (outdoor seated)
25 April : Carabao Cup Final, Wembley Stadium – 8,000 people (outdoor, seated)
28 April: ACC Business Event, Liverpool – 1,000 people (indoor, seated and mixing)
30 April – 1 May: Circus Nightclub, Liverpool – 3,000 people (indoor club night)
2 May: Festival Republic Gig, Liverpool (outdoor)
11 May: The BRIT Awards, London – 4,000 people (indoor, seated)
14 May – 16 May: Luna Outdoor Cinema, Liverpool – 1,000 people (outdoor seated)
15 May: FA Cup Final, Wembley Stadium – 21,000 people (outdoor, seated)
21 June: Download Pilot Music Festival, Donington Park, Leicestershire – 10,00 people (outdoor, camping)
There was also three 10k runs set to take place at Hatfield Park with 3,000 people and up to 3,000 spectators at each event (outdoor, mass participation run) over the course of 24-25 April. This has been postponed, with organisers seeking an alternative venue.