No Distancing, No Masks: Blossoms To Headline Festival Pilot In The UK

Tom Ogden of Blossoms, who are scheduled to headline Festival Republic
Simone Joyner/Getty Images
– Tom Ogden of Blossoms, who are scheduled to headline Festival Republic
This picture was taken during day two of Reading Festival 2019 at Richfield Avenue, Aug. 24, 2019, also a Festival Republic event.

A 5,000-capacity festival promoted by Festival Republic is the latest pilot event taking part in the UK government’s Events Research Program (ERP).

The one-day event – which features Blossoms, The Lathums and Zuzu on the bill – is scheduled for May 2 at Sefton Park, Liverpool. The poster explicitly mentions “no social distancing & no masks inside the event” as the event is part of a scientific experiment.
Ticket holders will have to take a lateral flow test at a community testing site in Liverpool 24 hours before the event and will have to produce a negative result to gain entry.
Once through the gates, visitors will not have to wear face coverings or maintain distances to help research the transmission of Covid-19 in an outdoor music festival setting. 
“As part of the research element of the program, those attending will be urged to take an at-home PCR test on the day of the event and five days afterwards to ensure any transmission of the virus is properly monitored. This is a non-mandatory but important part of the event research data requested by the scientists,” the event announcement states.
The poster for the pilot.
– The poster for the pilot.

The maximum capacity of the event is 5,000, Pollstar was told upon request. A big top on site will house the stage,  surrounded by food and beverage vendors.

Tickets, which are priced at £29.50 ($40), can only be purchased by residents of the Liverpool City region, who are above 18 years of age and healthy.
Promoters inform ticket buyers that they cannot attend this event if they have been categorized as “clinically vulnerable,” are shielding, or if someone they live with is shielding, or if they are pregnant.
“It’s not about vaccines, it’s not about passports, it’s not about limiting it to a section of society only: it’s about a universal approach to our love of live music for all and demonstrating we can do it safely,” said Festival Republic managing director Melvin Benn.
The results of this study will be crucial to the success of UK prime minister Boris Johnson’s plan to reopen the country fully by June 21.
Said Benn, “Live music is a must have in my life, and a year without it is a year too long. The Sefton Park Pilot is the most important event in the Event Research Program for getting festivals back this year and I’m delighted to play my part.”
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden added, “We’re one step closer to a summer of live events now our science-led program is underway. Testing different settings and looking at different mitigations is key to getting crowds back safely and the Sefton Park pilot is an important addition to the program.”
Liverpool’s director of public health, Matt Ashton, thinks the data gained from this pilot at Sefton Park “can then be used to help shape how the entire events sector can safely reopen, both locally and nationally.”
The UK government recently unveiled a list of pilot events it intends to hold prior to the country’s reopening date, June 21.