Lobbying group the Arena Resilience Alliance (ARA), an offshoot of the European Arenas Association (EAA), has published a report with the findings from a series of indoor test events that took place recently in European venues.
ARA said there are no recorded “clusters of infection” from those who attended the 20 test events at 12 different ARA partner venues, and there is no published evidence that these events caused any spread of the virus.
The events vary from 100-capacity shows to larger events such as 3,500 attendees at the Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam’s Ahoy Arena (cap. 16,426) and concerts in Barcelona’s Palau Sant Jordi (17,000) and AccorHotels Arena (20,300) in Paris, which held up to 5,000 people.
The event protocols covered a range of differing approaches involving heightened safety and preventative measures, customer service delivery and infrastructure adaptations.
The report found 83% of venues required all visitors to have taken a PCR or antigen test within a specified timeframe prior to the event and 58% required another test taken within a fixed timeframe after the event. Some 92% of the venues employed enhanced cleaning protocols, with 83% providing hand sanitizers at the entrances and throughout the venues. Only 17% of venues adopted a temperature check protocol.
Security checks at entrances were contactless, with 67% requiring a full body scan on entrance. Inside the venues, social distancing was required at 50% of the venues. Face masks were not required at all the events but they were handed out at 58% of the venues.
As for customer experience delivery, ARA said every venue provided pre-event customer guidance communications and ensured all onsite staff were given training to be able to deliver the new protocols. It said 58% of venues offered F&B services and 42% operated contactless payment processes.
The number of visitors admitted at each event varied from under 5% of normal venue capacity to more than 30%.
As well as London’s 20,000-capacity O2 Arena, other venues to feature in the report are: Avia Solutions Group Arena Vilnius (12,500), Barclaycard Arena Hamburg (16,000), Mercedes-Benz Arena Berlin (17,000), Quarterback Immobilien Arena Leipzig (12,000), Rockhal Luxembourg (6,500), Saku Suurhall Talinn (10,000), and Ziggo Dome Amsterdam (17,000).
ARA co-founder, EAA board member and CEO of Rockhal in Luxembourg, Olivier Toth said, “These events are an important step forward in testing the efficacy of safety measures we can employ. We are very happy to share our experience and insights and hope that they provide a framework of safety protocols that can support back to business strategies and enable us to get back to hosting fan-attended events.”