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SEFTON PARK: REMOVING THE MASKS FOR AN AFTERNOON OF MUSIC As some 5,000 music fans descend on Liverpool’s Sefton Park, TPi speaks to the crew behind this UK government-endorsed pilot event.

In the same weekend that saw our own Jacob Waite head over to the CIRCUS club event in Liverpool (p34), across town, a hard-working team hoisted a big-top tent in preparation for a mini-festival event, which saw the likes of Blossoms, The Lathums and Zuzu take to the stage, much to the joy of the 5,000-strong crowd who gathered, shoulder-to-shoulder, to experience a true live experience without social distancing or face masks. Overseen by Festival Republic, this test event, like the others taking place in the UK, had each attendee take a lateral flow COVID-19 test at a local centre prior to being granted entry, as well as another test after the show. Although this event certainly did not mean that the industry was back to full working order, it offered a glimmer of hope to those on the side lines waiting for full-capacity shows to return. Since the event, The Liverpool Echo reported: “Liverpool public health bosses and scientists have found

the city’s pilot events did not cause any detectable spread of COVID-19 across the region.” Once the dust had settled, TPi caught up with some of the team responsible for making this event possible. First stop was Production and Stage Manager, Spike Beecham from the Music Consortium. Having been approached by Festival Republic on 14 April, Beecham was asked to take on the dual role for the festival. “As a trained COVID Compliance officer, I was able to ensure that protocols that had been put in place were adhered to from a technical production perspective,” began Beecham as, unlike the crowd enjoying the show, the technical crew were still following the COVID-19 measures. “All personnel working on site had to have a negative lateral flow test before arrival, and repeat this testing protocol every 72 hours,” he reported. “My main aim for the weekend was to ensure that social distancing 42

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