German city holds indoor concert in experiment on how to return to normality

WION Web Team
Leipzig, Germany Published: Aug 23, 2020, 12:49 PM(IST)

The gig featured a live performance from musician Tim Bendzko Photograph:( AFP )

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Music fans in Leipzig, Germany, were given the chance to rock for a day in the name of an experiment. This exercise was carried out with the help of glowing hand sanitiser and electronic trackers.

Organisers around the world have been waiting with bated breath for life to return to normality and a time when live events can be held. Venues are experimenting with virtual events, drive-through concerts, mandated personal protective equipment, or temperature checks on arrival in a world still ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.

With the number of coronavirus cases rising in many European countries, the dream of hanging out with friends or attending concerts may look far off for now. But music fans in Leipzig, Germany, were given the chance to rock for a day in the name of an experiment.

This exercise was carried out with the help of glowing hand sanitiser and electronic trackers.

Researchers in the German city of Leipzig staged a 1,500-person experimental indoor concert on Saturday to better understand how COVID-19 spreads at big, busy events, and how to prevent it.

The gig featured a live performance from musician Tim Bendzko.

Fans were given respiratory face masks, fluorescent hand gel and electronic "contact trackers". These trackers were equipped with small transmitters that determine the contact rates and contact distances of the individual experiment participants.

Using data from the contact trackers, scientists from The University of Halle will monitor the number "critical contacts" had by each participant during specific times and locations, while the residue left by fluorescent hand gel will identify frequently touched surfaces. 

Researchers directed volunteers to run three scenarios -- one that simulated a concert pre-coronavirus, a second simulating a concert during the pandemic, with improved hygiene measures in place, and a third, with reduced participants. 

Scientists will gather the data, apply a mathematical model, and evaluate the hygiene interventions, with conclusions ready by the end of the year. They hope to use the data to find ways to bring big events, including sports, back safely.

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