Festival Republic joins Government pilot programme with a live gig to trial the safe return of fans


On Sunday 2 May, Festival Republic will host an outdoor gig at Sefton Park, Liverpool as the latest event to join the government’s Events Research Programme to get large audiences back to live events safely this summer.

The Sefton Park Pilot, in partnership with Culture Liverpool, will further trial approaches to managing and mitigating transmission risks at outdoor events, building on the evidence collected at today’s FA Cup semi-final fixture at Wembley and other events in the programme. 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 across England. 

Researchers on site will examine the movements and behaviour of the crowd of 5,000 people at Sefton Park, which can host audiences of up to 7,500 at full capacity. The audience will not be socially distanced or required to wear face coverings in the controlled setting of the test event. They will be required to follow existing Government guidance on the use of face coverings when travelling to the venue and adhering to rules set out by the event organisers.

Ticket holders will be required to take a rapid lateral flow test at a local testing centre prior to entry to trial the role these facilities could play in the return of large scale events. All attendees must have proof of a negative test result to ensure the safety of staff and other attendees. Attendees will also be asked to take a test after the event to gather further evidence on the safety of outdoor settings, reduced social distancing and the removal of non-pharmaceutical mitigations like face coverings. 

Greg Parmley, CEO of LIVE, said: “The addition of an outdoor music event in the line up of ERP pilot shows is a hugely positive development and brings the summer festival season one step closer. The whole live music sector looks forward to working closely with the Government to reopen our festivals and venues as soon as is safely possible. “

Melvin Benn, Managing Director of Festival Republic, said: “Secretary of State Oliver Dowden and his team at DCMS are showing real commitment to making this a reality by launching the Event Research Programme and including the Sefton Park Pilot. I’m delighted to be able to support the Government’s efforts to get the live music industry back up and running. This gig is about our absolute commitment to demonstrating that we can and will open on June 21st.” 

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “We’re one step closer to a summer of live events now our science-led programme is underway. Testing different settings and looking at different mitigations is key to getting crowds back safely. The Sefton Park pilot is an important addition to the programme. After many months without live audiences, Festival Republic are bringing live music back to fans with this very special event and I hope it won’t be too much longer until gigs are back for good.”