SANTIAGO – Vaccinated Chileans attended Thursday night the first of a series of concerts that will be studied in a clinical trial to see if mass incidents such as concerts can safely continue without spreading COVID.
The lawsuit is the result of a backlash between the Chilean Musical Authors and Performers’ Society and the University of Chile to assess the risk of infection in such incidents and try to get the live music industry back on its feet after the almost deadly COVID pandemic and long closures in Chile.
A total of 200 seats will be available for each of three concerts given by the local rock band Chancho En Piedra over the next three months in a carefully ventilated venue in the capital Santiago.
Participants must show evidence of vaccination, wear masks and undergo PCR tests before the event and again eight days after. Preliminary results will be published in September.
Similar attempts have been made with the audience of several thousand people who attended rock concerts in Barcelona and Liverpool and revealed a lower spread of Covid than in the community, but in the case of the Liverpool trial, less than half of the participants returned the post-concert COVID test. read more
The Chilean trial is unique in that it specifies that participants must be vaccinated, and takes advantage of the fact that Chile has one of the highest levels of vaccination in the world, with 70% of the population already fully vaccinated.
Dr. Alejandro Afani, who is leading the trial at the University of Chile’s Clinical Hospital, said that a break in Covid cases in Chile and the high vaccination rate made it an appropriate moment to try to restart mass events.
Eduardo Ibeas, vocalist in the band, said that he hoped the participants would take other self-protection measures seriously. “We want a positive result from this so that the live show can start again as soon as possible,” he said.
Among those queuing to take Covid tests before the concert on Thursday was Catalina Osorio. She said she was looking forward to letting go of her hair for the first time in a long time.
“I think for our mental health it is very important to have access to culture, art and music above all, to be able to go back to seeing live artists, jumping, shouting, singing, the experience that fills your body,” she says so. – I am very proud to be a part of this.