British music fans will gather by the thousands on Friday at a live music event without face masks or social distancing, as part of the government’s Events Research Program (ERP). 

The event will provide scientific data to help officials determine how nightclubs and events might return to the UK this summer, according to a government notice 

The “First Dance” event will be hosted in a specially converted warehouse near the docks in the northern English city of Liverpool and will feature live music acts including Fatboy Slim and Jayda G, according to the city council.

Those living in the area can apply for tickets online and would need a negative result to enter the event. Partiers are advised to take another test five days after the event.

Normal coronavirus restrictions, like social distancing, will apply to attendees until they enter the event. While England has eased some restrictions – including allowing outdoor dining from April 12 – large indoor events are still banned.

Yousef Zahar – a DJ and founder of the nightclub hosting the event – said he couldn’t wait to see the dance floor erupt for the first time after nightclubs were closed fourteen months ago. 

Speaking on BBC radio Friday morning, Zahar said the event was going to be “monumental” and the response on social media had been encouraging.

“The overwhelming reaction is disbelief, people are really excited that they can come and have a dance,” Zahar said.

The city’s Director of Culture, Claire McColgan, said, “This hasn’t been an easy process, and it’s particularly hard as the night time sector hasn’t been open for over a year,” according to a statement from Liverpool council.

The experiment will see revelers enjoy an outdoor music event at Sefton Park in Liverpool on Sunday, with The BRIT Awards, London also welcoming a live audience to its annual UK music industry awards show on May11.


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