– Jordi Herreruela, director of Cruïlla Festival in Barcelona.
His team has been instrumental in organizing the March 27 test event at Palau Sant Jordi.
The organizers of Cruïlla festival in Barcelona, Spain, announced that this year’s edition will go ahead with a tested and masked audience, but no restrictions on capacity, July 8-10.
The announcement follows a series of successful test events in the Catalan capital, the most recent one being the March 27 concert by Spanish rock act Love of Lesbian at the Palau Sant Jordi arena.
Only six of the 4,592 concert attendees, who gave their consent to the analysis of their COVID-19 diagnose, were diagnosed positive within 14 days after the concert.
Attendees of Cruïlla Festival 2021 will be subject to the same measures taken at the concert: an antigen test on each day they enter the venue, and the wearing of a FFP2 mask that will be provided at the gate at all times.
Festival director Jordi Herreruela told Pollstar, that the daily capacity will be 25,000 people per day over three days, making it a total of 75,000 people, who “will have total freedom of movement.
“We aim to carry out 25,000 tests in six hours every day,” he continued, adding, “The experience for the public will be very similar to how it was before the pandemic, although to enter the venue you will have to book a slot, do an antigen test that will cost €8.5, and after a few minutes, when they receive the result, they will be able to access the venue.”
That’s the price added onto a day ticket. Purchasers of a tree-day ticket, which is sold for €153.70 ($186) get three antigen tests for €15 ($18). FFP2 masks will be provided for free.
The test screening areas will be open each day from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.. Attendees will be able to book a time slot closer to the day.
According to Herreruela, “The concert at Palau Sant Jordi has confirmed that large cultural events and music festivals can be held without the risk of spreading Covid-19.”
He said the epidemiological situation in the country was “much better than the one that existed in March, with a higher vaccination rate and a clearly decreasing impact of the pandemic.
“There is no longer a sanitary reason for which festivals cannot be held. If the authorities want and the promoters are willing to take on the difficulties of the sanitary protocols, the artists can once again perform in front of thousands of people singing, dancing and hugging. We return live, We return to life,” he added.
Not allowed on site will be people with a positive result in the rapid antigen test at the festival screening, people who live with attendees who have tested positive, people with a body temperature above 37°C on the day of the event in a non-contact thermometer test, people with a confirmed diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 during the two weeks prior to the event, people, who are quarantined because they have been in contact with a person with a confirmed diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 during the two weeks prior to the event.
They will receive a ticket refund.
Cruïlla Festival has the support and supervision of the Spanish Foundation for the Fight Against AIDS and Infectious Diseases that led the scientific part of the Palau Sant Jordi concert, as well as the city’s health and culture ministries. While the past test events were an initiative of all Barcelona festivals, this on is exclusively promoted by Cruïlla Festival.
The festival has grown “little by little in a very organic way,” as Herreruela explains, “two great pillars define our DNA: We wanted to be the greatest festival in Barcelona for the local public, and we wanted to be the best, not the biggest. For this reason we have limited the capacity to 25,000 people per day.
“Festivals grow and grow without limit, but this growth damages the quality with which the public enjoys the experience.” Betting on these two pillars does not have the international impact of other major festivals in the city, said the promoter, however, “we have been the first festival in Spain to offer a 5G experience, being zero plastics, we have a real-time data control center that singles out the experience of each attendee, we have offered a series of workshops on social leadership, another on music and artificial intelligence and we are closely linked to the entire creative and innovation hub of the city,” Herreruela continued.
And he concluded, “There is a new trend, which we feel very comfortable with, that, in order to be sustainable and environmentally responsible, festivals cannot have thousands of people travel by plane from different cities.
“They need to take care of the visitor’s experience and should not focus solely on the headline show, but instead emphasize the importance of the whole line-up much more. If that is indeed the future, Cruïlla Festival is in pole position, and it is being demonstrated yet again, as it is the first major festival in Europe to return to post-pandemic activity.”