The 6,000-capacity Rockhal arena in Luxembourg is to stage five pilot concerts, with the results to be examined at a conference organised by lobbying group the Arena Resilience Alliance (ARA), an offshoot of the European Arenas Association (EAA)

The test shows will take place from 10-14 February in the arena’s 1,200-capacity club venue, with audiences limited to 100. ARA said it hopes the series of Because Music Matters concerts, hosted in conjunction with health officials, will act as a test case for the live events industry.

Physical distancing will be enforced at the events, masks will be compulsory, and attendees will be tested for Covid-19 prior to the event and again seven days later to allow close monitoring by local health bodies.

Rockhal CEO Olivier Toth told Access that test events are being conducted in conjunction within the framework of current government health guidance in Luxembourg, which currently requires physical distancing and mask wearing indoors.

“It is hoped the learnings from these events will allow the industry and key EU decision makers to begin to create a model that can be adjusted and scaled up with larger audiences. This is an ongoing conversation aimed at enabling the safe return of live events,” he said.

The findings of the pilot shows will be discussed at ARA’s second free-to-attend virtual conference – #AGameofTwoHalves: The Return Leg – scheduled for 18 February. Organisers said the conference will explore what support the live events sector needs from policymakers on both a national and EU level to enable long-term resilience and future growth. The discussion will bring together high-level speakers representing EU institutions, national governments as well as the sports and live music sectors.

Behind the scenes content and insights from The Rockhal test concerts will be screened as part of the conference. The event follows ARA’s first conference, which took place in December and attracted an audience of more than 1,000.

The ARA’s #AGameofTwoHalves: The Return Leg virtual conference will be delivered in partnership with the European Arenas Association and will be streamed live via the EAA You Tube Channel and Facebook page.

Robert Fitzpatrick, CEO, The Odyssey Trust, owners of The SSE Arena, Belfast (cap. 10,800) and co-founder of ARA said, “As the advocacy platform for European arenas, the ARA is proud to provide an opportunity for the industry to come together with key EU decision-makers to prepare for a return to live events, whilst working to protect the health and wellbeing of our communities and the sustainability of our industry, which will be central to the economic and societal recovery of countries across Europe. Together, we can build regional and national frameworks, with international collaboration that will help us get back to business.”

Among the acts to perform at the pilots shows will be French techo artist Mezerg, electro-house act Cleveland and metal band Fusion Bomb.