The results of German concert experiment ‘Restart-19’ have been released, with professors behind the study saying that “concerts are not dangerous”.
The experiment saw German singer Tim Benzdko perform to an indoor crowd that was split into sections, each using different kinds of distancing, sanitiser, ventilation and other Covid protection measures.
Researchers from the University of Halle (Salle) 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 said he was “surprised” by the impact of good ventilation on reducing the number of potential infections.
The results found that more interactions between attendees occurred during entry and exit to the venue than inside the venue itself.
The researchers are recommending that event venues provide effective ventilation and air flow in order to allow them to host events again. They also recommend that an evaluation system for ventilation is set up.
Gekle added: “The reaction to the study has been overwhelming, and I didn’t expect that at all. 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. Because we know concerts are not dangerous.”