5,000-strong concert held in Barcelona following mass Covid testing experiment

Masked crowd at the Palau Sant Jordi venue in Barcelona on March 27, 2021
(Image credit: LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images)

Slowly but surely, the live circuit is getting back on its feet. From Covid-secure bubbles to crowd-testing, the industry is finding new ways to ride the Covid wave back into the clear. Last Saturday, Barcelona organised an experiment to test whether a gig could go ahead safely, and held the biggest European concert since the pandemic began. 

The experiment, which was permitted by Spanish authorities, featured rock band Love Of Lesbian playing at the Palau Sant Jordi arena. Prior to the gig, all attendees were tested at three locations across Barcelona. Whether you were allowed to attend the concert or not was dependant on the results of the Covid test – only those who received negative results would be able to go to the evening’s show. Fortunately, just three of the first 2,400 people tested came back positive. Test results were reported back to the attendees via their smart phones within just 10 to 15 minutes of the procedure.

The ticket price for the event cost around $23, which included the same-day test and a new mask. 

Staff from local hospitals and event promoters joined forces to ensure the night ran smoothly, and to carry out the rapid testing. 

Doctor Josep Maria Llibre told AFP news agency: "We expect it to be completely safe. Over the next 14 days we will look at how many of the audience test positive for Covid and will report back”.

Recently, a two-day music festival was held in the Netherlands following a similar structure, where all punters underwent Covid testing before the event took place.

Here's hoping that these experiments prove successful, and we can return to our beloved live concerts with our only worries being whether we’ll manage to catch the last train home – and not a potentially life-threatening virus. 

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.