German Scientists Enlist Concertgoers For Coronavirus Experiment

Quarterback Arena Leipzig
Stefan Hoyer/Thomas Schulze/Alexander Graell
– Quarterback Arena Leipzig
The medical center of Halle University in Germany is planning to conduct a scientific experiment involving 4,000 concertgoers to establish the health risk of large-scale indoor gatherings.
Dubbed RESTART-19, researchers intend to develop a mathematical model for risk assessment, and be able to set the framework for future indoor events with large numbers of people.
Tim Bendzko
Georg Wendt/picture alliance via Getty Images
– Tim Bendzko
At the tour kick-off of “Night of the Proms” in the Barclaycard Arena, Hamburg.

Part of the research will be a concert with German pop singer Tim Bendzko, Aug. 22, at the Quarterback Immobilien Arena in Leipzig, for which people can sign up.

The arena’s concert capacity of 12,000 will be reduced to 4,000 on the day, and researches will play through three different scenarios.
The first will see 4,000 people entering and exiting the venue as they would on a regular concert or match day. In a second scenario, the same number of people will be guided in currents, while maintaining a distance.
Scenario three introduces 1,5-meter distance on the stands, and only 2,000 guests will be admitted.
Bendzko will be performing throughout the simulation, in order to make for a realistic concert going experience.
People will receive envelopes at the entrance containing their seat number and between two or three tickets. Some will be partaking in two scenarios, others in all three.
All three scenarios are subject to hygienic measures that includes surface disinfection and face masks.
What is more, all participants will be tested for SARS-CoV-2.
Head of the project, Dr. Stefan Moritz, explained that all participants would receive a so-called contact tracing device, which will measure and record distances as well as moments of contact and how long and often they occur.
The devices work in conjunction with some 30 strategically placed ultra-broadband amplifiers, so-called anchors, which will enable researches to determine the positions  of 4,000 people at all times.
More anchors will be placed on public transport, as researchers want to trace contacts on the journey to the venue, as well.
People can register on the website. At the time of publishing, 978 people had done so.
It’s a joint project realized by Halle University’s Institute of Medical Epidemiology, Biometrics and Informatics, the Leipzig arena, and handball team DFfK Leipzig, which faces economic ruin, just like the many creatives working in culture.
It is financed with €990,000 ($1.1 million) provided by the taxpayers of the German states of Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony, as well as the university’s own resources.
Researchers expect to present their findings between four and six weeks after the concert simulation.