Concert-goers and COVID-19: are music festivals a good idea?

By William Yanes
Elm Staff Writer

With the ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be hard to know which activities are safe and which actions should be avoided.

 One activity in particular that is popular amongst college students is music festivals. While fun, these activities can present major logistical hurdles.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has issued information to help guide decision making, especially considering the delta variant surge. According to the CDC, people should “avoid large gatherings when possible.”

However, if people still feel like going out, there are a number of factors to consider. According to the CDC website, important risk factors to consider are “length of event, setting of event, and the behavior of people during the event.”

It is helpful to look at some of the policies of major music festivals to see what the crowd will be like.

For example, the entry requirements for Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Del. provides a guideline for how musical festivals are reacting to covid-19.

 According to the website, people will need to show either proof of vaccination or a negative test result in order to enter into the ground. Firefly will also be providing cashless transactions and touch-less wristbands.

Other musical venues are adopting similar precautions.

 The Governor’s Ball Music Festival will also, according to their website, requiring people to be fully vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

 The negative test must be obtained, at most, three days prior or earlier before the day a person is attending the festival. These policies are consistent throughout most of the major musical festivals in the US.

As the breakthrough rate for COVID-19 for people with the vaccine is incredibly low, this lowers the risk of potentially catching COVID-19 from one of these events.

According to a recent study, fewer than 0.2 percent of people experienced a breakthrough case a week or more after getting their second dose.

Since most of these music festivals are being held outside, it makes it safer for people to attend.

Music venues are taking as many precautions as possible to prevent the spread of Covid-19 at these venues.

It is important to note that Covid-19 polices have as much to do with the states as the venues.

States like Florida have aggressively been banning mask mandates, and thus musical festivals held in these states will have more lax policies.

It is important to check local state policies when making a decision. By looking at the CDC tips and taking the necessary precautions to keep yourself and others safe, it is possible to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at these large events.

The music venues themselves are constantly changing their policies according to the latest federal and state recommendations, so it is also important to constantly check their website to monitor for any new developments.

While it is important to continue to be cautious in order to protect public health, it is still possible to have fun in the new social context.

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