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Scientists Analyze a Live Concert in Germany to Study Covid-19 Transmission

FOH Staff • International News • August 24, 2020

LEIPZIG, Germany – Singer-songwriter Tim Bendzko performed before a live audience at Quarterback Immobilien Arena on Aug. 22, but this was not just a regular concert. The concertgoers were participating in an elaborate experiment staged by researchers at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg called Restart 19. The scientists used a variety of techniques to get a better understanding of how germs might spread in a typical large, indoor gathering to help give authorities real-world data upon which to base their policy decisions.

A key priority, of course, was to minimize the risk of actual Covid-19 infection among the 1,400 to 1,500 music fans, all under age 50, who agreed to participate in the study. Precautions for the 10-hour study, which included concert conditions with three different levels of social distancing controls, included Covid-19 and temperature checks for all audience members and universal use of masks by the study participants.

Research methodologies included using wireless location trackers to analyze social distancing, fluorescent hand sanitizer to check for touched surfaces and smoke machines to test for the movement of germs through the indoor arena’s aerial spaces. The findings are expected in October.

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