- 04 Nov 20
Researchers assembled 1,400 volunteers for a 10-hour show back in August, featuring German pop singer Tim Bendzko.
A team of scientists conducted an experiment in the transmission of coronavirus at Quarterback Immobilien Arena in Leipzig, Germany back in August 2020.
The Restart-19 study have now released the results, with professors who undertook the research saying that “concerts are not dangerous”.
A team at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg performed the study, led by Dr. Stefan Moritz, head of the University’s clinical infectious diseases department.
The experiment, titled 'The Risk of Indoor Sports and Culture Events for the Transmission of Covid-19', saw German singer Tim Benzdko perform to an indoor crowd that was split into sections.
Each section used different kinds of distancing, sanitiser, ventilation and other Covid-19 protection measures.
Researchers from the University of Halle in Leipzig then collected the data and modelled the impact of different prevention measures on the spread of Covid-19.
According to Professor Michael Gekle, the dean of Halle University’s medical faculty, ventilation “plays a stark role when there is a low amount of potentially infectious contact.”
He commented that he was “surprised” by the impact of decent ventilation on reducing the number of potential Coronavirus infections.
More interactions between attendees occurred during entry and exit to the venue than inside the actual venue itself, according to the scientists.
The researchers are recommending that event venues provide effective ventilation and air flow in order to allow them to host events again.
“The reaction to the study has been overwhelming, and I didn’t expect that at all," Professor Michael Gekle stated to The New York Times.
"But we have learned this year that shutting down sport and culture is a massive restriction on people. And this shutting down has been done without clear criteria and parameters. Uncertainty has spread, and people are reluctant to go out.
“We hope that with these results, we can make events possible under clear regulations...and then possibly a mixed political situation arises where one must justify why it is not possible to hold a concert, rather than justifying why it is," Gekle added. "Because we know concerts are not dangerous.”
Currently, Irish restrictions on live events has resulted in the cancellation of all gigs and concerts for the foreseeable future and an uncertain future for the live music industry.
Dr. Gabriel Scally, President of epidemiology and public health at the Royal Society of Medicine, found the study’s results to be “potentially ‘useful’,” but warned that the environment may be difficult to replicate at normal events.
The full study has not yet been peer reviewed.