We all miss concerts and live music experiences. Although a return date for concerts is still up in the air during these unprecedented times, music fans have an opportunity to get their live music fill as long as they are willing to cooperate with scientists.
According to The Guardian, German scientists are planning to equip 4,000 fans with tracking tools and bottles of fluorescent disinfectant to get a better understanding of how COVID-19 could be prevented from spreading at large indoor concerts.
Researchers in Germany are recruiting volunteers between the ages of 18 and 50 for a “coronavirus experiment” to attend a concert with singer-songwriter Tim Bendzko on August 22 at an indoor stadium in Leipzig.
Each participant will wear a “contact tracer” device around their neck that transmits a signal every five seconds. The device collects data on each person’s movements and their proximity to other audience members.
Once fans are inside the venue, fans will disinfect their hands with a fluorescent hand-sanitizer designed to not only add a layer of protection, but also allow scientists to study the venue with UV light after the concert to identify surfaces where virus transmission is most likely to take place.
Additionally, vapors from a fog machine will give scientists the opportunity to visualize the possible spread of coronavirus. Scientists will do this in advance of the concert via computer-generated models.
Organizers of the experiment aim to “identify a framework” for how to hold larger gatherings and events “without posing a danger for the population.”
“We are trying to find out if there could be a middle way between the old and the new normal that would allow organisers to fit enough people into a concert venue to not make a loss,” Stefan Moritz, the head of clinical infectious diseases at the University hospital in Halle and the experiment’s coordinator told the paper.
As of Monday, 775 volunteers had signed up for the concert.