The Government has announced further details of its series of planned pilot events, to take place with audiences, in April.
The events, staged as part of the Government’s Events Research Programme (ERP), include the EFL Cup Final, an FA Cup Semi-Final, a nightclub show with an audience of 3,000, and three mass participation 10k runs in the build up to the FA Cup Final on 15 May hosting an audience of 21,000 fans.
The EFL Cup Final on 25 April is to have 8,000 supporters with the FA Cup semi-final on 18 April hosting an audience of 4,000.
Government said the pilots programme will be used to provide key scientific data and research into how small and large-scale events could be permitted to safely reopen in line with the prime minister’s roadmap out of lockdown as part of Step 4, commencing no earlier than 21 June.
It said venues participating in the programme will test specific settings to collect evidence and best practice. The evidence will then be shared widely so that venues can prepare to accommodate fuller audiences. This review will be crucial to how venues could operate this summer.
The pilots will explore how different approaches to social distancing, ventilation and test-on-entry protocols could ease opening and maximise participation. Covid-status certification will also be trialled as part of the pilot programme. Researchers will also be at the venues to monitor crowd movements at the pilots and look at how attendees behave in these environments as well as consider the economic impact of any mitigation measures trialled such as changes to the layout.
The initial list of pilots is as follows:
16 April – Hot Water Comedy Club, Liverpool – 300 people (indoor seated)
18 April – FA Cup Semi-Final – Wembley – 4,000 people (outdoor seated)
17 April – 3 May – Snooker World Championships – Sheffield Crucible Theatre – up to 1,000 people a day (indoor seated)
23-25 April – Luna Outdoor Cinema, Liverpool – 1,000 people (outdoor seated)
24-25 April – Three 10k runs – Hatfield Park – 3,000 people and up to 3,000 spectators at each event (outdoor, mass participation run)
25 April – Carabao Cup Final, Wembley – 8,000 people (outdoor, seated)
29 April – Business Event, Liverpool – 1,000 people (indoor, seated and mixing)
30 April – Circus Nightclub, Liverpool – circa 3,000 people (indoor club night)
15 May – FA Cup Final, Wembley, London – 21,000 people (outdoor, seated)
London Marathon Events event director Hugh Brasher said, “The Government’s Event Research Programme is a very significant step towards the safe return of events and London Marathon Events, along with our fellow mass participation event organisers, is doing everything we can to assist the Government with this project. We would like to thank everyone involved for their support in putting on the Reunion 10k.”
Culture secretary Oliver Dowden said, “Our sports stars and great performers need us to find ways to get bums back on seats safely. This science-led pilot programme will be the springboard in getting the buzz back of live performance. We’ve supported the sports and arts with unprecedented sums, but it’s now time to make that Great British Summer of live events a reality.”
The ACC Liverpool Group’s event campus, which is home to the 11,000-capacity M&S Bank Arena (pictured), ACC Liverpool and Exhibition Centre Liverpool is to host two of the ERP pilot events –the Hot Water Comedy Club at the Auditorium at M&S Bank Arena on 16 April and The Good Business Festival Presents: Change Business for Good at ACC Liverpool on 28 April.