Circus Liverpool: clubbers return to nightclub in UK pilot event - without face masks or social distancing

Club-goers will be subject to a lateral flow Covid test before entering, which must be negative, and will not have to wear face coverings

Clubbers have been able to return to the dancefloor for the first time in more than a year at a pilot event for 3,000 people.

Club night Circus is hosting The First Dance in Liverpool on Friday (30 April) night, where excited revellers will attend without the need for face coverings or social distancing for the first time since lockdown began.

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The event will see more than 6,000 people pack into a warehouse at Bramley-Moore Dock in Liverpool over two consecutive nights, as officials gather evidence on how venues can safely reopen without the need for social distancing.

The event will see more than 6,000 people pack into a warehouse at Bramley-Moore Dock in Liverpool (Photo: PA)
The event will see more than 6,000 people pack into a warehouse at Bramley-Moore Dock in Liverpool (Photo: PA)

Everyone who attends will be subject to a lateral flow Covid test before entering the club, which must be negative before they are allowed in, and must take a second test some time after the event.

It is hoped the event will pave the way for clubs across the country to reopen their doors.

‘The energy’s great’

The first of the club nights will take place on Friday (30 April) night and attendees have been pictured queuing outside the venue for the big event.

Liverpool University student Elliot Cause, 20, said: “I feel like this is a big moment for the UK.

“I feel like uni students have been struggling without this, I feel like this will do a lot.

“You can already see people are so up for it, the energy’s great.”

Sam Murphy, 20, from Belfast, said that after starting at Liverpool Hope University last September, he had the “worst freshers ever” because of coronavirus restrictions.

He said even tearing ligaments in his foot and having to wear a protective boot had not put him off attending the first club night since March 2020.

He explained: “No chance – the first thing I said was give me a boot and let me out.”

Mr Murphy said he had taken a coronavirus test on Thursday (29 April) and again on Friday (30 April) morning and would take another in five days.

Eighteen-year-old Leah Lawless said she and her friends had been waiting to return to clubs for around a year.

She said: “We are very excited. It’s been hard, it’s been boring, a bit sad, depressing and not the best.”

The line-up for Friday includes Circus founder and DJ Yousef, Lewis Boardman and The Blessed Madonna, while Fatboy Slim is among the acts due to perform on Saturday (1 May).

A ‘vital’ event

Sam Newson, the event producer, said the pilot was “vital” after the events industry had been “decimated” over the last year.

He said: “For the last 12 months, it has been a disaster.

“People have moved on, I’ve got colleagues who have lost houses, it has been incredibly hard and so to try and get this back up and running is incredibly important.”

“I stood on stage early on and I had a little bit of a teary eye, I’m not going to lie, it is very emotional.

“Any event is special but with the amount of work that has gone into this and to be the first in the country in over 12 months, it is very special.”

Scientists will be looking to see whether crowds mixing and dancing indoors increases the risk of transmission of coronavirus.

Air quality and movement is also being monitored as part of a Loughborough University-led study to create clear guidance on how to design and operate non-domestic buildings to minimise risk.

The night is part of the Events Research Programme, which will also see crowds return to events including the FA Cup final and a music festival held in Liverpool’s Sefton Park.

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