Scientists enlist live music fans for coronavirus experiment

(Image credit: Ollie Millington/Redferms - Getty)

Scientists in Germany are enlisting the help of music fans to try and better understand how they can prevent the spread of coronavirus in live music venues.

The Guardian report that 4000 people attending singer/songwriter Tim Bendzko’s show in Leipzig on August 22 will be given neck-worn devices which will collect data on their movements, while fluorescent hand sanitiser will allow the scientists, with the aid of UV lights, to see how fans are interacting with surfaces.

Those attending the show will also be sent test kits and have a swab taken two days prior to the event at a lab. They’ll also be given a face mask with valve.

Head of clinical infectious diseases at the University Hospital in Halle, Stefan Moritz, who is spearheading the experiment, says: “We are trying to find out if there could be a middle way between the old and the new normal that would allow organisers to fit enough people into a concert venue to not make a loss.”

Scientists hope to present the data to the public in early October.

It was recently announced that music venues and theatres in England would be allowed to reopen from August 1 as long as strict social distancing measures were in place.

Plans for venues in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to reopen will be decided by the devolved administrations, however, drive-in events will be allowed in Scotland from tomorrow.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.