- Results from the clinical study will help researchers understand whether rapid results testing could be a useful tool in screening for infections at large-scale events.
A trial concert is taking place this month in Barcelona to compare the accuracy of new rapid-result Covid-19 tests against polymerase chain reaction tests.
Primavera Sound is organizing a "pilot concert" in collaboration with Barcelona's Hospital Germans Trias and the Fight AIDS And Infectious Diseases Foundation (FLSIDA) to assess the efficacy of recently developed rapid result Covid-19 tests, El Mundo reports.
The 1,000-person clinical trial is taking place in the nightclub Sala Apolo at the end of October. It will compare new antigen detection tests, which deliver results in 15 minutes, against the performance of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, which have become standard throughout the pandemic.
Once inside, participants won't have to keep a distance of two meters from one another, but wearing masks, except when consuming a beverage, and frequent hand sanitizer use will be mandatory. The lineup has not yet been revealed.
All concert-goers will take the rapid antigen test, and half will also undergo the PCR test. Only those with negative results from the rapid antigen test will be permitted to enter the venue. Eight days after the event, everyone who attended will go through another round of rapid testing, with the same half as before taking PCR tests. FLSIDA will closely monitor anyone with positive results after this second round of testing.
If proven effective, these rapid tests could come to play a significant role in preventing the number of infection clusters stemming from events and large gatherings in the time before a vaccine is widely available.
In the United States, many in the private market have already started relying on rapid testing as a safety precaution for gatherings, the New York Times reports. Experts, however, are expressing concern about how useful this is. Due to the virus' two-week incubation period, one can easily get a negative result, even after having been recently exposed. The city of New York's deputy commissioner of disease control Dr. Demetre Daskalakis described negatives from rapid tests as "not definitive," and told the newspaper they re-test all negatives gleaned from this method a second time before results are considered conclusive.
In August, Germany held three indoor pilot concerts for a total of 1,500 volunteers for a live music study called Restart-19. The study's aim was more general than Spain's rapid-testing focus, with each concert using varying safety measures.
Photo credit: Primavera Sound