This footage shows people mingling and dancing closely together.
These events which ran over the weekend did not require people to be socially distant, wear a mask or require a vaccine passport to get into the venues.
Attendees were only required to have a negative lateral flow test the day before. A few days afterwards, people will then be asked to take a second test to help monitor the infection rate at these events. This data will be used by the British Government’s Events Research Programme to help understand the effects of crowds on the spread of Covid-19.
This is part of a dozen pilot events organised in the UK.
On the events, one attendee Leah Lawless said, “We are very excited. It’s been hard, it’s been boring, a bit sad, depressing and not the best”.
“It has been incredibly hard”
Describing this pilot event as “vital”, promoter Sam Newson explained the effects this whole pandemic and the lockdowns that came with it have had on his sector.
“For the last 12 months, it has been a disaster. People have moved on, I’ve got colleagues who have lost houses, it has been incredibly hard and so to try and get this back up and running is incredibly important”.
Newson added, “I stood on stage early on and I had a little bit of a teary eye, I’m not going to lie, it is very emotional. Any event is special but with the amount of work that has gone into this and to be the first in the country in over 12 months, it is very special”.
“The most historic”
May 2 saw another pilot event take place in Liverpool’s Sefton Park. The event was organised by promoters Festivals Republic.
Their boss Melvin Benn said this.
“This will be the first gig in the Northern hemisphere where it’s a proper show, with 5,000 people not socially distanced, not having to wear masks, with bars and food stalls in the arena, and it will feel like a mini version of a festival”.
“The punters will just be able to behave as though COVID had never happened, he added.
“The whole world will be looking at it. You know how many gigs I’ve been involved in, but this is the most historic. I’m just so excited by it”.
“Once they get into the show they can party as though it’s 2019”, Benn said. “You can feel that the burden of the last 12 months, the last 15 months, has just been lifted a little”.
Headlining Sunday’s event ats Sefton Park was local band Blossoms. “It’s been 413 days since we were last on stage … It’s been a long time and we’re delighted to be here”, said their lead singer Tom Ogden.
As 25 year old labourer Harry Smith said, “Let’s enjoy life, lets get back to normal!”.