Barcelona club Sala Apolo will serve as the worldwide trial run of a technological solution that could breathe new life into a live event industry derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Later in October, a gathering of 1,000 will take place with attendees required to take rapid coronavirus tests upon entry.
Association of Concert Halls of Catalonia President Lluís Torrents announced the endeavor on October 4th alongside a doctor, Boris Revollo, from nearby Barcelona hospital Can Ruti. According to Diario de Ibiza attendees will be rapid tested at Can Ruti, and as long as they come up negative and show no symptoms they will be allowed to enter Sala Apolo. Use of hand sanitizer and face masks will be required of patrons, but social distancing guidelines will not be enforced.
Spain was one of the European countries to suffer the highest infection and resulting death rates in the early months of the pandemic. In August, Spain and Italy responded to a resurgence in cases by reimposing indefinite bans on nightlife.
Revollo is hopeful that the rapid COVID-19 testing experiment at Sala Apolo can help alleviate some of the strain faced by nightlife professionals. “We have always said that we wanted to work not to be the problem but the solution,” he said.