Festival Republic to host non-socially distanced outdoor trial gig in Liverpool

Festival Republic is set to host a mask-free outdoor festival at Liverpool’s Sefton Park on 2 May, as part of the UK government’s Events Research Programme (ERP).

The Sefton Park Pilot, in partnership with Culture Liverpool, is part of a trial that aims to examine and mitigate Covid transmission risk at outdoor events. 

Building on evidence collected at last weekend’s FA Cup semi-final at Wembley and other events in the programme, the findings from the the trial gig and other pilot tests will be used to shape government policy around the return of live events.

“We’re one step closer to a summer of live events now our science-led programme is underway,” said UK Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden. “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.”

The lineup will feature Blossoms, The Lathums, and Zuzu.

Researchers on site at the gig will examine the movements and behaviour of the crowd of 5,000 people. The crowd will not be socially distanced and will not be required to wear face coverings once at the event. 

“This event is not about pushing vaccines or passports, we do not want to limit attendance to our events in any way,” said Festival Republic MD Melvin Benn. “Working with the government we want to create a universal blueprint for reopening and demonstrate we can do it safely.”

Ticket holders will need to take a rapid lateral flow test for Covid-19 at a local testing centre prior to entry. All attendees must have proof of a negative test result to ensure the safety of staff and other attendees. They will also be asked to take a test after the event to gather further evidence on live outdoor events.

“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, “ said Greg Parmley, Chief Executive at LIVE, the UK’s live music industry body. “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.”