A trial concert in Barcelona has shown “no signs” of contagion among the 5,000 music fans who attended the non-socially distanced event last month.
Barcelona’s Palau Sant Jordi saw Spanish indie-pop band Love of Lesbian (pictured) perform to a masked crowd, who were also required to present a negative COVID-19 antigen test taken the same day.
Researchers have now reported that six people tested positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of attending the gig at the 17,000-capacity venue, but the incidence was lower than that seen in the general population.
Those overseeing the event said that they were “certain that in four of these six cases, transmission did not take place during the concert.”
Josep Maria Llibre, an infectious diseases specialist from the Germans Trias i Pujol hospital told a news conference: “There is no sign that suggests transmission took place during the event.”
The event is being used to test the strategy’s effectiveness in preventing outbreaks at future cultural events.
The event was the largest commercial event held in Europe since the pandemic began over a year ago.
The concert was able to go ahead due to permission from the Spanish health authorities. It was backed by experts of Barcelona’s The Fight AIDS and Infectious Diseases Foundation, which also organised a case study around a smaller concert of 500 people in December.
Attendees of Saturday’s 5,000-person concert agreed public health authorities could inform the team led by Dr Boris Revollo, the virologist involved in the design of the health protocols, if they contract coronavirus in the weeks after the concert.
The information has been analysed and compared to infection rates among the wider population to indicate whether or not mixing at the concert caused any infection.
Llibre said the six cases would equate to an incidence rate of 131 per 100,000 people, while the city-wide tally was almost double that.