Primavera Sound Organizers Put On A Test COVID-Safe Festival Without Social Distancing

As far as the future of music festivals, it seems like a mixed bag right now. Just a few days ago, Glastonbury organizer Emily Eavis said she’s “still quite a long way from being able to say we’re confident” the re-scheduled 2021 festival will happen. However, others are testing ways to make attending a music festival a viable option for this upcoming summer: The folks behind Primavera Sound, alongside the Hospital Germans Trias in Barcelona and the Fight AIDS and Infectious Diseases Foundations, hosted PRIMACOV — a test run of a COVID-safe, non-socially distanced festival — last weekend.

The event took place on December 12 at the Sala Apolo venue in Barcelona, where 1,042 attendees saw local DJs at the 1,608-capacity venue. Before being admitted into the event, attendees had to submit to rapid-testing, which delivers results in 15 minutes, and get a negative test. The team behind PRIMACOV deemed the event a success and said in a statement, “The objective of this study [was] to validate these kind of tests as an extremely useful tool to be able to carry out any type of event, whether musical or not, without social distancing.”

It remains to be seen if this sort of testing methodology would be effective with a larger event like Coachella, but either way, it’s at least a hopeful sign that this upcoming festival season might not be as bleak as this year’s was.