A business event in Liverpool, the EFL Cup Final and an FA Cup Semi-Final are set to be among a range of pilot events hosting audiences as part of the government’s science-led Events Research Programme (ERP).
The business event curated for the pilot is the Good Business Festival Presents: Change Business for Good at ACC Liverpool and will take place on 28 April with an indoor audience of 1,000. The EFL Cup Final on 25 April is to have 8,000 supporters with the FA Cup semi-final on 18 April hosting an audience of 4,000.
The pilots programme will be used to provide key scientific data and research into how small and large-scale events could be permitted to safely reopen in line with the Prime Minister’s Roadmap out of lockdown as part of Step 4, commencing no earlier than 21 June.
Venues participating in the programme will test specific settings to collect evidence and best practice. The evidence will then be shared widely so that venues can prepare to accommodate fuller audiences. This review will be crucial to how venues – from major sport stadiums to comedy clubs, theatres to live music spaces, wedding venues, conference centres and nightclubs – could operate this summer.
Researchers at the events will gather evidence associated with different settings and approaches to managing and mitigating transmission risk. The pilots will explore how different approaches to social distancing, ventilation and test-on-entry protocols could ease opening and maximise participation.
Covid-status certification will also be trialled as part of the pilot programme. Researchers will also be at the venues to monitor crowd movements at the pilots and look at how attendees behave in these environments as well as consider the economic impact of any mitigation measures trialled such as changes to the layout.
The initial list of pilots is as follows:
16 April – Hot Water Comedy Club, Liverpool – 300 people (indoor seated)
18 April – FA Cup Semi-Final – Wembley – 4,000 people (outdoor seated)
17 April – 3 May – Snooker World Championships – Sheffield Crucible Theatre – up to 1,000 people a day (indoor seated)
23-25 April – Luna Outdoor Cinema, Liverpool – 1,000 people (outdoor seated)
24-25 April – Three 10k runs – Hatfield Park – 3,000 people and up to 3,000 spectators at each event (outdoor, mass participation run)
25 April – Carabao Cup Final, Wembley – 8,000 people (outdoor, seated)
28 April – Business Event, Liverpool – 1,000 people (indoor, seated and mixing)
30 April – Circus Nightclub, Liverpool – circa 3,000 people (indoor club night)
15 May – FA Cup Final, Wembley, London – 21,000 people (outdoor, seated)
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “By piloting a range of measures to reduce transmission, we can gather vital scientific evidence to inform our plans for allowing events in the future. Thanks to the input of our clinicians and the best science available, we can prepare for the moment where we will be able to gather again in some of our best-loved cultural venues.”
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng added: “It has been enormously tough for the events sector over the past year, but these pilots are a real beacon of hope as we cautiously emerge from the pandemic. This programme will not only provide valuable scientific evidence, but also offer confidence to the industry so we can make the most of the Great British summer and host large-scale events in a way that’s safe for everybody.”
The events research programme will include looking at risk factors in indoor and outdoor settings; small and large venues; seated and standing events and different forms of audience participation.
Transport to and from events; duration of events and catering and alcohol will also be factors that are looked at. The programme will be run in partnership with local and national health authorities and will be subject to the latest health data. Events may be delayed or cancelled as a result.
The events research programme will produce a report to Ministers by the end of May to help inform government decisions on step four of the roadmap. It will also feed into the Government’s COVID certification review, announced in the roadmap.
Join us today 7th April 3pm BST for our ‘talks’ on what we can do when. Details here