Test Concerts to Better Manage the Relaunch of the Showbiz Industry

By Geneviève Cournoyer-Scalise May 04 2021

The pandemic is slowly running out of steam. Vaccination campaigns are picking up speed across the globe. Certain regions of the world are cautiously entering in a gradual reopening phase by announcing the resumption of certain commercial and social activities. In France, children are back in school. In England, people have been able to return to their patios and their pubs. In Italy, cafes and restaurants have resumed their service. And in Switzerland, concert halls are welcoming spectators again.
Slowly but surely, a return to normal seems to be on the horizon. This is good news for the entertainment and events industry, which is eager for the frenzied vibe of having a real flesh-and-bones audience. But how can we ensure the revival of this industry without contributing to the spread of Covid-19 and endangering the health of spectators? It’s time for test concerts!

Test concerts under scientific control
Spain is one of the volunteers and pioneer countries moving forward with test concert initiatives in order to collect scientific data that will help define the rules to be implemented to ensure a successful and safe recovery for the showbiz industry. Already last December, the city of Barcelona, supported by a team of researchers, welcomed 500 spectators, gathered without any social distancing during a concert, but wearing masks the entire time. Eight days later, the results of the PCR tests were conclusive: no participant had been infected.

Concert logistics
Source : Photograph Angel Garcia
during the event / Bloomberg

On March 27, the Catalan capital repeated the experiment with the same team of researchers, but this time with a crowd of 5,000 spectators who had to pass an antigen test before the concert, in addition to wearing FFP2 masks during the event. Among the health measures in place, the ventilation inside the concert hall was reviewed, as well as the maximum capacity in the restrooms, to which access was also restricted. Two weeks later, the results showed that only six asymptomatic positive cases were detected out of the 5,000 spectators attending. The researchers also concluded that four of the six cases detected were not related to transmission during the concert; the virus had been contracted elsewhere. “It’s safe to say that there was no super-transmission during the concert. It shows that we can organize safe events to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus,” said virologist Dr. Boris Revello in a post-event interview with Agence France-Presse (AFP). 1

Following the disclosure of these encouraging results, France is optimistic and intends to contribute to the experiment by becoming a host for test concerts too. Make no mistake, the entire study must be based on comparable data collected during various events to be conclusive. Accordingly, Paris hopes to welcome 5,000 spectators under scientific control at the AccorHotels Arena in May. 2

A Two-Tier Recovery

Back in Quebec, the Francos music festival and the Montreal Jazz Festival have been postponed to September, with a bit of hope that festivalgoers will get the green light to attend and gather at Place des festivals at Place des Arts located downtown. Therefore, our local artists still have to wait until fall to perform for a huge crowd at home. However, there will certainly be some opportunities to perform abroad in some areas of the world where the pandemic has been quickly managed and resulted in a limited health crisis. For example, New Zealand held a concert at the end of April for 50,000 people, without any masks or without social distancing measures. It should be remembered that this isolated island country has used strict border management and has been spared in some ways from the pandemic. “Out of a population of 4.9 million, New Zealand has only 26 deaths linked to the coronavirus,” according to Le Nouvel Observateur magazine. 3 Obviously, just like the spread of the virus, the post-covid-19 recovery is not happening at the same pace for everyone.

An upcoming tour abroad? Rely on Cargolution’s know-how

Several artistic companies have already resumed their activities abroad. If this is your case, you should know that as a freight forwarder specializing in the entertainment and events industry, Cargolution can really facilitate your transport in a pandemic context. Considering the current travel restrictions and quarantine measures that may vary from country to country, hosting a cultural event abroad can be more complex than usual. Discussing your logistics options with one of our team members can save you a lot of headaches. Cargolution’s know-how includes turnkey solutions starting at your door and full management of your air or sea cargo, assistance and preparation of customs documents, insurance options adapted to your needs, and the development of an emergency plan in the event of unforeseen delays that could interfere with your tight deadlines. In addition to relying on some of the top expertise in this sector and benefitting from personalized advice from our dedicated team available 24/7, we have a vast network of professional agents ready to support you on site, regardless of your destination!

For more than 20 years, Cargolution has been proud to contribute to the success of our local artists on the international scene. If you have any questions, need advice, or would like a quote for your next artistic contract abroad, contact our team specialized in transportation of stage equipment and event logistics now!


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