Stockport Express

Blossoms return at pilot event


BLOSSOMS will be headlining a gig next month with no masks or social distancing measures in place.

The Stockport group will perform live in front of thousands of fans at the Government’s pilot event.

The audience will need to provide proof of a negative coronaviru­s test before entering the venue, ministers have confirmed.

It will be the first time music fans have been able to experience a live event like this since the pandemic began in 2020.

Blossoms will be joined by The Lathums - formed in Wigan - and singersong­writer Zuzu at the Sefton Park concert.

The event is part of a scientific experiment, with the £29.50 tickets only available to Liverpool City Region residents.

Blossoms said they were ‘excited’ to be taking part in the pilot event.

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden said he hoped the Events Research Programme (ERP) test event meant the wait for gigs to return would not be ‘too much longer.’

The Liverpool venue will operate below its usual capacity of 7,500.

Researcher­s will examine the movements and behaviour of the 5000-strong crowd as they watch the concert without physical restraints.

All attendees will be asked to take a test before and after the event, and provide details for NHS Test and Trace, as ministers and scientists look to assess the safety of outdoor settings for masses of people not wearing face masks.

A lateral flow test at a local testing centre will be required before entry - the tests provide results within 30 minutes and could play a key role in the return of large-scale events.

Cabinet minister Mr Dowden said: “We’re one step closer to a summer of live events now our science-led programme is under way.

“Testing different settings and looking at different mitigation­s is key to getting crowds back safely.

“The Sefton Park pilot is an important addition to the programme... I hope it won’t be too much longer until gigs are back for good.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the results from the event would ‘inform our approach to ensuring future big events can take place safely.’

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