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A 5,000-capacity, non-socially distanced festival is being trialled in the UK

The event will be held in Liverpool’s Sefton Park on May 2

  • Patrick Hinton
  • 20 April 2021
A 5,000-capacity, non-socially distanced festival is being trialled in the UK

A non-socially distanced outdoor music festival with 5,000 people in attendance is set to be trialled in the UK.

The event is being organised by Festival Republic, promoter of events such as Latitude, Wireless and Reading and Leeds Festivals, and will take place at the Grade I listed Sefton Park in Liverpool on May 2.

The event is being held as part of the government’s Events Research Programme (ERP), which is studying the viability of reopening the events industry safely with a number of pilot test events.

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Prior to arrival, ticket holders will be required to produce a negative COVID-19 rapid lateral flow test at a local testing centre, with these facilities set to be trialled as a means to reopen large-scale events. Vaccine passports are not being trialled at the event.

Once on site, attendees will not be required to wear face masks or maintain social distancing.

Scientists will be studying the pilot by “looking to see if and how crowds mixing outdoors increases the risk of transmission of COVID-19”.

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Festival Republic Managing Director Melvin Benn said: “This event is not about pushing vaccines or passports, we do not want to limit attendance to our events in any way. Working with the government we want to create a universal blueprint for reopening and demonstrate we can do it safely. Live music is a vital part of so many people's lives. This event is the first step in getting festivals back on track this year. It's about demonstrating our absolute commitment that we can and will open on June 21st. We want to get festival fans back at events safely this year. We all need a summer of live music.”

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “We’re one step closer to a summer of live events now our science-led programme is underway. Testing different settings and looking at different mitigations is key to getting crowds back safely and the Sefton Park pilot is an important addition to the programme.

“After many months without live audiences, Festival Republic are bringing live music back to fans with this very special event and I hope it won’t be too much longer until gigs are back for good.”

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Acts set to play are Blossoms, The Lathums and Zuzu, with gates opening at 4:30 PM. Food and drunk will be sold on site.

Tickets are priced at £29.50 and are only available to residents of the Liverpool city region, with other entry terms and conditions applying. Find out more here.

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Other trial events Liverpool is hosting includes two Circus club nights across April 30 and May 1.

Despite the testing the waters of reopening large-scale events, last week it was reported that many big festivals will cancel imminently due to a lack of government-backed insurance, which has so far seen events such as Shambala and Boomtown call off their 2021 editions.

Patrick Hinton is Mixmag's Digital Editor, follow him on Twitter

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