PublishedMon, 3 May 2021, 12:10
- The UK's first step back to clubbing.
The UK's first legal raves since the pandemic began took place in Liverpool last weekend.
Run by Yousef's party Circus, the two, 3,000-capacity events took place at Bramley Moore Dock Warehouse on Friday, April 30th, and Saturday, May 1st. Artists included Jayda G, The Blessed Madonna and Sven Väth.
Attendees needed a negative lateral flow test before arriving to the venue, and then their personalised ticket would be validated against the test. They also had to prove that they live within the Liverpool city region. Once inside the event, there were no rules on social distancing or masks.
"The moment you leave the event, it's Covid conditions," Yousef told Mixmag, "so it's almost kind of like an oasis, like a brief oasis in the realms of the Covid situation." It's yet to be seen whether the event has had an impact on the Covid-19 case figures in Liverpool.
Although online feedback to the events has been overwhelmingly positive, there has been widespread criticism of the decision to book Väth, who toured India recently, playing in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Goa while Covid-19 devastates the country on a scale incomparable to anywhere else in the world. Solardo, the event's special guest, has also received similar criticism for playing events in Tulum.
Yousef wrote that the event "was part of a very long road and countless requests for support for our industry. I knocked on the door at Liverpool council, asking 'how do we get back to events?' This led to many high-profile conversations with lots of MPs, Kier Starmer [UK leader of the opposition], and even a long private chat with Prince William. Eventually, when Liverpool got the green light for pilot events, the Liverpool council and my excellent team at Circus discussed how we could do this. With three weeks notice we got the approval to move forward. Making it happen from that point to this has been EASILY the most complicated work experience of my or my team's professional career."
The parties were part of the UK's ongoing Events Research Programme, which also held a 5000-person, outdoor live music festival on Sunday, May 2nd, in Sefton Park, Liverpool. The Merseyside police received a number of messages reporting the Circus event. They tweeted to reply that it was lawful.
"Thanks to promoters such as Circus, we are going to be able to gather vitally important scientific research which will provide a blueprint to opening up vital sectors of our economy locally and nationally," says Liverpool's director of public health, Matt Ashton. "Events are an important part of the wellbeing, social fabric and economies of communities, particularly in Liverpool and there should be an enormous sense of pride that this city is taking a national lead in this hugely important research programme."
Photo credit: Sian Bennett