Dare we dream? Small outdoor concerts could be a thing in B.C. this summer | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Dare we dream? Small outdoor concerts could be a thing in B.C. this summer

Outdoor concerts with hundreds of fans may be possible in B.C. this summer. This photo is from a past event at Tinhorn Creek Vineyards.
Image Credit: Contributed
May 05, 2021 - 7:30 AM

In the United Kingdom on the weekend 5,000 people packed into a park for an outdoor concert as part of a government research project that could open the door for similar, albeit, much smaller events in B.C. this summer.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is monitoring what they’re doing in the U.K. where those people packed together into the relatively small Selfton Park in Liverpool for a six-hour mini-festival on Sunday.

“What we hope, with the (vaccination) program that we are on now, with the amount of vaccine that we have, is that we will be able to have some small outdoor events,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said in a news briefing, May 3. “I can say, there is not likely to be big events of any sort, even outdoors through this summer and into the fall and winter of next year.”

The concert — headlined by Blossoms, The Lathums and Zuzu — was part of a British government research project on the spread of COVID-19 in an outdoor setting, according to a BBC report.

The report said the music fans danced and jumped, sang together with strangers with no masks, no social distancing and no risk of fines. Scientists carrying clipboards moved through the crowds as they studied things like audience movement, ventilation and alcohol consumption.

Only Liverpool residents were invited to buy tickets. They had to produce negative COVID test results in order to attend and were urged to retested in five days. The results will help guide the gradual re-opening of into a post-COVID era scheduled to start as of June 21 in the U.K.

Dr. Henry isn’t suggesting doing anything on that scale in B.C.

“I can see many situations where we can have smaller, distanced outdoor events this summer with, perhaps, hundreds of people,” she said. “We’re watching really carefully some of the really cool things they’re doing in the U.K.

"We’re looking at the way that we can do things like that here, recognizing how important some of these festivals and arts events and cultural events that we’re missing so much are. But there will not be big events where there are lots of crowds of people this summer.”

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