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Fest Organizer Thinks Rapid Testing Is the Only Way Concerts Can Return To Normal


Melvin Benn, the Managing Director of Festival Republic (responsible for Latitude, Reading & Leeds Festivals, Download, and more), has an idea. What if we could bring back festivals with the caveat that all attendees had to get tested prior?

Benn recently spoke at the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMS) hearing on September 8 and pitched exactly that. According to Kerrang!, Benn said social distancing measures could be removed by "essentially testing people before they arrive at the festival or event, and creating an environment where everybody in the space has been tested and have tested negative, and therefore are unable to transmit the virus to other people."

Benn later added that while a "vaccine would be terrific if we had that," it's a bit of a long shot right now. Testing would be more of a certainty that is easily enforceable and will "allow everybody who is clear of the virus to enter the venue and work at the venue."

"I have a plan for up to 600 locations around the UK where we could effectively test people the day before they arrive and the app would effectively give entry.

"I think the government has a view about testing that it is a positive way forward. Unfortunately, what they’re not doing is sharing how that testing can work for the live entertainment sector with the live entertainment sector, so that we can begin to plan. Trying to open without full capacity is just not an option."

Rapid testing seems to be the only way to really get back to normal, vaccine or not. The key is making sure these tests are as accurate as possible and can be done right before the concerts. With doing the tests the night before, it leaves a risk of possibly contracting the virus after testing has happened and before entering the concert.

When will you feel safe re-entering concerts?

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