Barcelona to hold Covid trial concert with 5,000 people as big festivals get cancelled

Barcelona’s two main music festivals - Primavera Sound and Sonar - may have just been cancelled, but organisers will be holding a trial concert with an audience on Saturday instead, with masks and negative PCR tests required from concertgoers.


The concert will be held on Saturday, March 27th at the Palau Sant Jordi and feature, Spanish indie pop band, Lovers of Lesbian.

The band will play to 5,000 fans and no social distancing will be necessary. Attendees must, however, present a negative Covid test and wear a high-protection FFP2 face mask.

Tests will be carried out on the same day in some of the city’s biggest clubs, Luz de Gas, Sala Apolo and Razzmatazz.

The trial concert will be monitored by scientists from the Germans Trias I Pujol Hospital.

Organisers have said they will also guarantee air quality inside the venue at 350 particles per million CO2, meaning that it will be similar to the air quality outside.

“We have started a comeback,” one of the event organisers, Jordi Herreruela said in his briefing to parliament about the concert.

Both of Barcelona’s biggest music festivals – Primavera Sound (usually held at the end of May) and Sonar (usually held mid-June) have been cancelled for a second year, due to the Covid-19 situation. 

The trial however, seeks to prove that it is possible to organise concerts safely despite the pandemic. All the participants have agreed to follow the safety rules to help get back to some sense of normality.

In December 2020, Barcelona’s Sala Apolo club also held a trial concert with 500 people and no social distancing. Attendees also had to provide negative antigen and PCR tests in advance. The concert was deemed a success as no one contracted Covid-19 during the event.

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Why has the expansion of Barcelona airport prompted mass protests?

Around 10,000 people demonstrated against the expansion of the El Prat airport in Barcelona on Sunday.

Why has the expansion of Barcelona airport prompted mass protests?
People march during a demonstration against the expansion of the Barcelona-El Prat airport. Photo: Pau BARRENA / AFP

Several ecological and agricultural organisations, have demanded that the expansion be stopped due to the fact nearby wetlands and farms would have to be destroyed.

The demonstration took place on Calle Tarragona in the Catalan capital between Plaça d’Espanya and Plaça dels Països Catalans.

The protests still took place, even though last week, Spain suspended the €1.7 billion airport expansion project, citing differences with the Catalan government, after president Pere Aragonès said he wanted to avoid destroying La Ricarda lagoon, a natural reserve next to the airport. 

Environmentalists decided not to call off the march, in case plans for the airport expansion still went ahead.

READ ALSO: Six things you need to know about Barcelona airport’s €1.7 billion planned expansion

Political representatives from ERC, En Comú Podem and the CUP also attended, as well as the leader of Más País, Íñigo Errejón; the Deputy Mayor for Ecology of the Barcelona City Council, Janet Sanz, and the Mayor of El Prat de Llobregat, Lluís Mijoler.

People from neighbourhoods across the city marched towards Calle Tarragona and could be seen holding placards that read Nature yes, airport no and shouting slogans such as “More courgettes and fewer planes” and “Fighting for the climate, health, and life”. 

One of the largest groups of people were those from El Prat de Llobregat, the municipality which is home to the airport, who were led by tractors. 

People march during a demonstration against the expansion of Barcelona-El Prat airport. Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP

In addition to protesting against the expansion of the El Prat airport, people were also demonstrating against the Winter Olympic Games in the Pyrenees and extensions to airports in Mallorca and Madrid. 

A representative of Zeroport, Sara Mingorría said “We are here to defend not only La Ricarda, but the entire Delta”. 

The philosopher Marina Garcés also argued that the expansion of the airport would mean “more borders, more mass tourism, more control and more precarious jobs.” 

The leader of the commons in the Catalan parliament, Jéssica Albiach, who also attended the protest, asked the PSOE for “coherence”: “You cannot be passing a law against climate change and, at the same time, defend the interests of Aena [the airport operations company]”, she said. 

She also urged the leader of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, to “definitely say no. 

If the airport expansion in Barcelona goes ahead, environmentalists say that CO2 emissions would rise by a minimum of 33 percent. These levels would surpass the limits set by the Catalan government’s climate targets.