German coronavirus concert study offers hope: 'The risk of getting infected is very low'

The study provides some much needed hope for a struggling industry
Empty concert stage
Photo credit Getty Images

Could concerts return sooner rather than later and not present an opportunity for a COVID-19 superspreader event? According to findings from a new study, it might be possible.

Back in August, a group of German scientists held an experiment to better understand how COVID-19 could be prevented from spreading at large indoor concerts. Researchers recruited 1,400 volunteers between the age of 18-50 to attend an indoor concert by singer-songwriter Tim Bendzko at Leipzig’s Quarterback Immobilien Arena.

Each volunteer was pre-tested for COVID-19, had their temperature checked, provided masks and hand disinfectant laced with fluorescent dye, and were given a digital location tracker. Volunteers were then asked to simulate three different scenarios: no restrictions with zero social distancing, moderate restrictions with checkerboard pattern seating and twice as many entrances, and strong restrictions with paired seatings at 1.5 meters apart.