Crowd cheering at a concert

Paris also experiments with a live concert

Paris also experiments with a live concert

After Barcelona and several Dutch cities, Paris is testing the readiness of its event sector on 29 May

Eager to test the grounds for the relaunch of cultural activities of scale, the authorities of Paris announced this week that they will be experimenting with a real-like corona-proof musical event. Following similar trial events earlier this year in Barcelona and several Dutch cities, on 29 May 2021, a live concert will take place in Accor Arena, Paris, under the slogan Ambition Live Again.

The event will bring joy not only to spectators, but to scientists as well: it will represent a true scientific study, tasked to evaluate the risks of COVID-19 transmission in a realistic concert setting. Namely, during a large-scale gathering of standing people not observing distance at an indoor space.

Mass PCR testing might be the solution to the resumption of events

The experimental concert is the product of the collaboration between PRODISS (the national union of musical and variety shows), AP-HP (Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, a public health establishment and university hospital centre), supported by the City of Paris. The latter is providing a hall at the city-owned Accor Arena, an emblematic culture, sports and events establishment. With its dimensions, ventilation system and equipment, the event venue is believed to perfectly meet safety requirements while guaranteeing the quality of scientific results.

The event is in fact, primarily a scientific experiment, relying on a preliminary study promoted by AP-HP named Spring. The abbreviation stands for Study on PRevention of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in a large INdoor Gathering event. The main hypothesis of the study, according to the event website, is that “a negative screening test for SARS-CoV-2 before the concert can considerably limit the risk of generating infectious foci of transmission”.

The contamination risks will be evaluated in comparison between two scenarios – a concert and a control setting. A first group of 5,000 people will attend the concert, standing and with a mask, but without distancing. A second control group, made up of 2,500 people, will not attend the concert.

The two groups will undergo two PCR tests 3 days before the concert and 7 days after. Scientists will then analyze the results and determine the risks of contamination. They will publish their findings during the summer. The results of the study will later be used to improve the health protocols for this type of events and could possibly bring about a sooner resumption of mass music events.

The registration for the test concert will open soon, on the Ambition Live Event website. However, prospective applicants to the study should be aware that by agreeing to participate, they also agree to the chance of falling within the control group and therefore, staying at home on the evening of 29 May.



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