A new study by German researchers has suggested that indoor concerts might be closer to returning than previously thought.
This past August, researchers at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg held a concert at Leipzig’s Quarterback Immobilien Arena. Using fog machines to study air flow, fluro-dyed sanitiser to monitor crowd contact, contact tracing devices, and computer modeling, the scientists studied a group of 1,400 volunteers for 10 hours across three different crowd arrangements.
The first arrangement used no social distancing, producing obviously unacceptable results. The second utilized moderate social distancing with checkerboard seating and produced more favorable results. The third arrangement seated pairs of 1.5 meters apart from their nearest neighbors, which produced excellent results.
The results of the study were published last week, prompting researcher Dr. Michael Gekle to say, “There is no argument for not having such a concert. The risk of getting infected is very low.” However, there are definitely a few details that need to be highlighted. First and foremost, Leipzig’s Quarterback Immobilien Arena is capable of holding over 12,000 people. This 1,400 member audience represents less than 12% of the venue’s capacity.
The return of live music is something all of us are anxiously awaiting, with the debate for its return being even more intense in Europe. With more studies happening like this one, perhaps we can find a solution sooner than later.
You can take a look at the full findings of the study here, and watch a video of the experiment below.