Has Germany Figured Out Coronavirus-Safe Concerts?

Could live music be back sooner than we think?

Perth Australia concert
Will concerts look like this again sooner rather than later?
Matt Jelonek/Getty Images

Over the summer, scientists in Germany held a test concert to determine how COVID-19 is spread at mass gatherings and whether there’s a safe way for live music to happen during the pandemic. Now, as The New York Times reports, they’ve released an analysis of their findings, and the results are a pleasant surprise: they suggest that the impact of indoor concerts on coronavirus spread is “low to very low” as long as organizers “ensure adequate ventilation, strict hygiene protocols and limited capacity.”

“There is no argument for not having such a concert,” Dr. Michael Gekle, part of the team at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg who conducted the study, told the Times. “The risk of getting infected is very low.”

However, other experts are skeptical about the results, insisting that they need to be replicated and reviewed and noting that “it might be difficult to replicate the controls that the researchers had implemented at many real-life events.” Festival organizers also said they’re waiting for more information, but added that the results are promising.

“Obviously if masks are going to work for larger gigs then that’s big progress,” Emily Eavis, co-organizer of the Glastonbury Festival, told the publication, adding it was much too early to tell if that’s actually the case. “We are hoping for more news by the end of the year.”

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