Scientists in Germany are planning a 4,000 capacity gig as an experiment to help them understand how Covid-19 can be managed for indoor events.
Researchers in Leipzig are working with singer-songwriter Tim Bendzko, who is performing in the city’s Quarterback Immobilien Arena on 22 August. The gig is intended to give the researchers an idea of how Covid-19 could be prevented from spreading in this environment.
The gig is part of a project called Restart19, run by the University Medical Center in the German city of Halle (Saale).
Concert-goers will wear matchstick-sized contact tracing devices around their necks, which will transmit a signal every five seconds. This will allow the researchers to see how closely distancing rules are being adhered to.
In addition, attendees will sanitise their hands at the trance with fluorescent hand sanitiser. This will show up in UV light after the concert is over, allowing the researchers to see which areas in the venue, such as railings, toilets and bars, have the highest risk of contact transmission.
Vapours from a fog machine will also help visualise the possible spread of the virus, which the researchers will attempt to predict using computer-generated models before the event.
Stefan Moritz, Head of Clinical Infectious Diseases at the University hospital in Halle, told the Guardian: “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.”