A series of concert simulations will take place in Germany on August 22 to investigate how to prevent COVID-19 from spreading at large events. The Restart-19 project will see scientists teaming up with soul-pop singer, Tim Bendzko, to run the concerts at the Quarterback Immobilien Arena in Leipzig.

A man holding a Restart19 Monitor
The 4000 participants will wear a tracker © University Medical Center Halle

They plan to equip 4000 people aged between 18 and 50 with “contact tracer” devices on chains around their necks. These trackers will transmit a signal every five seconds to record data on the wearer's proximity with other attendees. The participants will receive a face mask with an exhalation valve and must disinfect their hands with a fluorescent hand-sanitizer upon entry to enable scientists to examine the venue with UV lights afterwards. In this way, they can identify areas where a transmission of the virus through smear infection is most likely to take place.

The 4000 volunteers will be tested for COVID-19 48 hours before the concert starts, and must show proof of a negative test at the door to gain entry. They will be required to act out three different scenarios while at the concerts. In the first one, the audience will attend the concerts just as they would have done prior to the pandemic. In the second, they will enter through eight entrances to thin out the crowds and will sit on every second seat. In the third scenario, only 2000 spectators will be allowed to enter the venue and they will be seated at a 1.5m distance from each other.

The scientists hope to present their findings on how the virus could be prevented from spreading at indoor events in early October. Further information is available from the Restart-19 website here.

Lockdowns are easing globally as the planet adjusts to a new normal. Find out how COVID-19 is changing travel.

You might also like:

This Berlin theatre shows what socially-distanced entertainment might look like
Broadway shows will remain closed for the rest of 2020

Explore related stories

Freiburg im Breisgau is located in the foothills of the Black Forest.


These next-level German cities are wells of youthful energy

Sep 28, 2021 • 5 min read