Music festival heads to Sefton park as part of national events pilot

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Sefton Park is to play host to a brand new music festival as part of the national Events Research Programme (ERP).

Sefton Park Pilot will take over a small area of the Grade 1 listed historic park on Sunday 2 May, with one of the hottest indie bands of the moment taking to the stage.

On the line-up are chart topping band Blossoms, BBC 6 Music-championed The Lathums and Liverpool singer-songwriter Zuzu.

Doors will open from 4.30pm and as this event is part of a scientific experiment, tickets can only be purchased by Liverpool City Region residents.  

Once through the gates, gig-goers will not have to wear face coverings or maintain social distancing as this forms part of the research on the transmission of Covid-19 in an outdoor, music festival setting.

Produced by Festival Republic, tickets will go on sale from from 10am today (Sunday 18 April) and will be £29.50. Only one ticket can be purchased per person.

Drink and food concessions will be available onsite.

In order to be eligible for a ticket for this event you must be:

  • Over 18
  • Living in the Liverpool City Region and registered to a local GP
  • Healthy and showing no sign of Covid-19 symptoms

You cannot attend this event if you:

  • Have been advised that you are clinically vulnerable
  • Are shielding, or someone you live with is shielding
  • Are pregnant

Tickets and full terms and conditions can be found here.

Scientific Research

The ERP will be used to provide key scientific data into how events for a range of audiences could be permitted to safely reopen as part of the roadmap out of lockdown, commencing no earlier than June 21.

The review will be crucial to how venues could operate this summer.

For the Sefton Park Pilot, scientists are looking to see if and how crowds mixing outdoors increases the risk of transmission of Covid-19.

Ticketholders will have to take a Lateral Flow Test at a community testing site 24 hours before the event and will have to produce a negative result to gain entry.

As part of the research element of the programme, those attending will be urged to take an at-home PCR test on the day of the event and five days afterwards to ensure any transmission of the virus is properly monitored. This is a non-mandatory but important part of the event research data requested by the scientists.

Melvin Benn, Managing Director of Festival Republic, said:

“Live music is a must have in my life, and a year without it is a year too long.

“The Sefton Park Pilot is the most important event in the Event Research Programme for getting festivals back this year and I’m delighted to play my part.

“It’s not about vaccines, it’s not about passports, it’s not about limiting it to a section of society only: it’s about a universal approach to our love of live music for all and demonstrating we can do it safely.” 

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

“We’re one step closer to a summer of live events now our science-led programme is underway. Testing different settings and looking at different mitigations is key to getting crowds back safely and the Sefton Park pilot is an important addition to the programme.

“After many months without live audiences, Festival Republic are bringing live music back to fans with this very special event and I hope it won’t be too much longer until gigs are back for good.”

Liverpool’s Director of Public Health, Matt Ashton, said:

“Liverpool is renowned for its live music offer and so it makes sense for a gig like this to be part of our pilot programme.

“The evidence we will gather from this one-off event, alongside the rest of the Events Research Programme, will enable us to better understand whether and how the Covid-19 virus spreads when we’re mixing in a busy, outdoor setting, with some control measures in place.

“This data can then be used to help shape how the entire events sector can safely reopen, both locally and nationally. Yet again, Liverpool is leading the way in bringing about change which will genuinely make a difference to people’s lives and livelihoods.”

Professor Iain Buchan, Dean of the Institute of Population Health at the University of Liverpool, said:

“It is good to see Liverpool bringing a live, outdoor music festival to the Events Research programme. The festival in Sefton Park will make the most of an iconic, accessible fresh air venue.

“Restarting this part of community life is important to society’s wellbeing and is therefore of public health importance as well as minimising COVID-19 risks.

“Liverpool’s people have embraced public health innovation for over 200 years, just as they have with Covid-19 SMART symptom-free community testing and now the Events Research Programme.”

Vaccine passports are not part of Liverpool’s pilot events programme. For the latest FAQs click here.

Further announcements about Liverpool’s other pilot events will be made in the coming days.