Non-socially distanced Covid-19 pilot concert to take place in Liverpool

© Ewan Ogden

Blossoms have been confirmed as headliners.

A non-socially distanced gig will take place in Liverpool next month as part of a pilot event scheme organised by the UK government. The event, dubbed Sefton Park Pilot, will be headlined by Blossoms. They’ll play alongside The Lathums and Zuzu on 2 May. 

Yesterday (18 April), 5,000 tickets were made available to local music fans residing in the Liverpool area. Sefton Park usually operates at a capacity of 7,500. Attendees will be required to take a lateral flow Covid-19 test at one of a number of designated test centres the day before the event. Concert-goers will also be asked to take an at-home PCR test on the day of and five days after the gig. The at-home tests have been described as “non-mandatory” but “critical for the event research data required by the scientists.” The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) states that face coverings and social distancing won’t be required at the event. 

“We’re one step closer to a summer of live events now our science-led programme is under way,” said Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden. “Testing different settings and looking at different mitigations is key to getting crowds back safely.”

He added: “I hope it won’t be too much longer until gigs are back for good.”

Liverpool’s involvement in the government’s Event Research Programme (ERP) pilot event series was announced last month. While the programme will be rolled out across the country, a string of pilot events are set to be held in Liverpool.

“Liverpool is an event city. They are a critical part of our economy, culture and community and so we are delighted to be working with partners across government, our colleagues at University Of Liverpool and a number of local venues and promoters to plan this series of pilot events,” Claire McColgan, Liverpool’s director of culture and tourism, told the BBC back in March.

She added: “Our experience as the pilot city for mass testing means we have the knowledge and infrastructure in place to deliver complicated projects safely, and we really hope we can help provide the evidence needed to ensure the wider sector is able to open across the country in the coming months.”

The pilot events programme forms part Boris Johnson’s four-step roadmap out of Covid-19 restrictions, with clubs and festivals set to return by 21 June at the earliest so long as cases, deaths and transmission rates continue to decline.