Blossoms headlined a milestone pilot gig in Liverpool that hopes to pave the way towards bringing back live events.
Five thousand people, without face coverings, danced shoulder to shoulder to live music for the first time in more than a year at Sefton Park for the outdoor gig on May 2.
Concert-goers had to produce negative coronavirus tests to enter the event but did not have to follow social distancing rules.
It comes as a different pilot event, which saw around 3,000 clubbers return to the dancefloor, was hailed as a glimpse of what the future might hold by public health leaders on April 30.
‘Next level amazing’
After the event, headliners Blossoms tweeted: “That was unreal, we’re buzzin.”
Speaking to Liverpool City Council after the gig Zuzu said: “Indescribable, it was actually unreal.
“The energy was just unbelievable, it really was.
“I got emotional and I cried on the way out. Fully next level amazing.”
The Lathums simply tweeted: “We’ll cherish this moment forever.
“Thank you Liverpool x”
Festival Republic, which hosted the event, said that it was “incredible” to see the lucky 5,000 ticket holders arrive at the venue after showing their negative Covid test results.
It added: “It’s been incredible to see the lucky five thousand ticket holders arrive into Sefton Park after displaying their negative Covid-19 test result. Tonight is going to be special.”
Culture Minister Caroline Dinenage said it was a “momentous occasion to celebrate” as fans got their first taste of a music festival for more than a year – and all in the name of science.
Tickets were only available to those living in the Liverpool City region aged 18 or above when they went on sale.
Ticket holders were required to take a rapid lateral flow test before entry and 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 face coverings.
They will also have to provide contact details for NHS Test and Trace to ensure everyone can be traced in the event of a positive test.
Researchers at the event will examine the movements and behaviour of the crowd as part of the Government’s Events Research Programme (ERP).
The ERP is looking at a range of settings and events including a business forum in Liverpool, club nights and the World Snooker Championship.
It will explore how different approaches to social distancing, ventilation and test-on-entry protocols could ease opening and maximise participation.
The ERP events will provide evidence to inform decisions around the removal of social distancing at stage four of the Government’s road map on June 21.
Additional reporting by PA.