Yes, yes, I remember (more or less) well: the techno and the green strobes, the millions of floating heads, the patolas and the pastries (pastilla = pill) grabbing me by the waist as I was sort of dancing , wondering where my friend’s pemba is.
It was my last experience in the Apolo hall, one of the most traditional nightclubs and concert halls in Barcelona, before the imprisonment which shut down the nightlife and put everyone in the hall at home to dance, he exactly one year ago.
Fast and Furious for December 12th. On that day, exceptionally, after a hard year of closed doors, Apolo opened – but not for a normal nightclub, but as part of a study by researchers at Can Ruti Hospital, with the support from Primavera Sound (an event company that organizes one of the most famous festivals in the world).
On the extraordinary program, two DJs and two shows by local artists. We were then heading towards the third wave of the pandemic, stuck between prenatal gifts and (many) collective restrictions.
In the main environment of Apolo, with a capacity of 1,300 people normally, just under 500 were admitted, each with approved masks and negative antigen tests carried out hours before.
The same tests were performed on 500 other volunteers, who were excluded from the group as a control group.
The aim of the study was to cover a large age group – there were people between the ages of 18 and 60 – without a history of serious illness, without living with people at risk and, of course, in which they did not. had not caught the virus. the last 14 days.
They allow people to have fun without social distancing, but with plenty of gel alcohol available to them and restricted areas for smokers and drinkers.
Eight days later, the 1,000 study volunteers underwent PCR.
And the results were startling: in the group that attended the party, nobody-aka-zero-nobody contracted the virus. And in the control group, only 3 people tested positive.
In other words: statistically, they concluded, one cannot say that there is more risk in a cultural event than outside, in merrma’s life.
The area celebrated, but not much happened afterwards as the aforementioned third post-Christmas wave engulfed us and here we are again removing the hair from our faces and wondering if we are closing it all up or if we go to the beach.
The second stage of this type of Laboratory for a post-Covid cultural life will take place on March 27, when the group-queridiña-dos-indies-Catalans Love of Lesbian will perform for 5,000 people at the Palau Sant Jordi, another very famous concert. . (and, like the others, quite coronacombalida) in the city.
Again, participants will test for antigens and there will be site specific safety measures. Everyone will be required to use approved masks, and the audience will be divided into four areas with no interaction between them.
The initiative, called “Festivals for a Safe Culture”, has points of contact with other similar ones that have emerged on the European scene.
Here it was born from the union of the most important festivals and concert halls in the region, and enjoys the support of the city of Barcelona. The city is an international cultural mecca, and the area suffers here as it does over there across the Atlantic.
The dream idea behind the project is, as one of the clinical researchers involved put it, to prove that “cultural activities can be safe and are not ‘super’ transmission events”.
Here I am thinking of the title of Love of Lesbian’s next album: Travel epic hacia la nada *. So far, less than 5% of Spaniards have taken both doses of the vaccine and 75% of hotels in Barcelona remain closed. I’m sure we are. But, I don’t know, 2021 is still steeped in the feelings of 2020. Isn’t it?
* Epic journey to nowhere