Since that infectious asshole Coronavirus came to town, the music industry has been scratching its collective noggin to figure out how in the name of Aqium Antibacterial we’ll be able to get music festivals raging again in the dark age of social distancing. Now, one expert reckons he’s got the answer: socially. distanced. pig pens.
Yep, according to crowd emergency healthcare academic Dr Jamie Ranse, sweaty moshpits will effectively remain six feet under until a COVID vaccine is readily available, meaning some of our major festies won’t be able to go ahead without a major rethink in crowd management.
“What a music festival, a mosh pit might have looked like in the past, at this point of the pandemic we simply can’t have,” Ranse, founder of Griffith University’s Mass Gathering Collaboration, tells the ABC.
“There are going to be some sorts of events that simply won’t be able to go ahead based on the way they have been conducted in the past.”
And the good doctor reckons event organisers are already looking at a number of ideas, including a trial of large-scale, socially distanced arena concerts stacked with 500 individual platforms, each holding a maximum of five people, which is happening in Newcastle (UK) from next month.
“[It’s] almost creating like a pen-type of environment or a pig pen… where they can still enjoy the atmosphere of a music festival,” he says.
Of course, we’ve already had plenty of drive-in festivals pop up since the pandemic started, but they’ve brought little solace to those who desperately miss getting their ribs bruised in a heaving pit.
Check out an artists’ rendering of the ‘pig pen’ idea below via Newcastle’s Virgin Money Unity Arena.