A Government approved pilot event in Liverpool saw the largest number of partygoers legally in attendance of a music event since the start of the pandemic.

Festival Republic is behind the event, which saw 5,000 music fans dance the night away at Sefton Park in Liverpool without social distancing or masks. You may know Festival Republic as they run a host of festivals including Wireless, Download and Leeds.

On Sunday 2nd May Blossoms, The Lathums and Zuzu played under a huge Big Top tent.

Also in Liverpool another pilot gig took place run by DJ Yousef at The River Mersey on Friday night (30 April) in a vast warehouse and featured Hot Since 82. Circus’s The First Dance club night at the Bramley-Moore Dock warehouse starred Sven Väth, the Blessed Madonna and Jayda G on Friday night with Fatboy Slim headlining on Saturday (1 May).

So what’s the catch?

Events part of the Governments Events Research Programme known as ERP are exempt from the wider coronavirus regulations, including the rule of six and are being run across a range of settings, venues, and activities. The programme’s findings will support the full reopening of similar settings across multiple sectors in the summer.

Attendees had to take pre- and post-event home PCRs tests, carried out to inform the research.

Festival Republic Managing Director Melvin Benn said:

This event is not about pushing vaccines or passports, we do not want to limit attendance to our events in any way. Working with the government we want to create a universal blueprint for reopening and demonstrate we can do it safely. Live music is a vital part of so many people’s lives. This event is the first step in getting festivals back on track this year. It’s about demonstrating our absolute commitment that we can and will open on June 21st. We want to get festival fans back at events safely this year. We all need a summer of live music”

Are there more events pre 21 June?

The remaining ERP events are:

11 May – The BRIT Awards, London – 4,000 people (indoor, seated)
14 – 16 May – Luna Outdoor Cinema, Liverpool – 1,000 people (outdoor seated)
15 May – FA Cup Final, Wembley, London – 21,000 people (outdoor, seated)

The pilots will explore how different approaches to social distancing, ventilation and test-on-entry protocols could ease opening and maximise participation. The evidence from these pilots will be used to inform and shape government policy to bring about the phased return of fuller audiences to venues and events up and down England.

What does this mean for the Summer?

Today (3 May) Boris Johnson has said there is a “good chance” that he will scrap the social distancing rules next month which means that at the moment June 21 is still currently on track for socially distancing to be scrapped and clubs to open.