South Korean local government holds K-pop concert with clear tents and ‘air shower’ gates

2nd November 2020 Sarah Wray

The Gyeonggi Provincial Government in South Korea organised an in-person K-pop concert at Goyang Main Stadium last month to “offer solace and hope to all those who have grown weary of the pandemic”.

The province undertook a range of safety measures, including limiting the number of spectators with a pre-booking system, and deemed the event “a resounding success”. It installed 300 clear dome tents, capable of accommodating four people from one household per tent, allowing an overall capacity of 1,200. An additional 400 spectators were selected to view the concert online in real-time.

Gyeonggi Provincial Government claimed the specially designed dome tents are the first of their kind in the world. They aim to prevent droplet transmission between spectators and create an atmosphere in which people could “enjoy the concert as much as before the COVID-19 pandemic”.

At the event, contactless thermal imaging cameras checked visitor temperatures and attendees had to pass through an ‘air-shower’ gate which sprayed a sterilising mist “to remove fine dust and viruses”.

Fences were positioned to maintain an appropriate distance between people in the waiting zone, and additional fences were installed at the performance venue itself.

The 2020 Live in DMZ: DMZ Concert was part of an annual event held to promote the value of the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and the goal of peace on the Korean peninsula.

‘New model’ for events

A spokesperson for Gyeonggi Provincial Government said: “This concert was significant for its value in supporting the arts and culture industry, which is suffering due to COVID-19, while offering a new model for the staging of safe outdoor performances during the pandemic.”

The province wanted to create an atmosphere in which people could “enjoy the concert as much as before the COVID-19 pandemic”

An advance health-check questionnaire was sent to attendees who made reservations through a pre-booking system, and automatically generated QR codes were sent only to those who had completed the questionnaire.

Lee Jae-gang, Vice Governor for Peace, Gyeonggi Provincial Government, told Cities Today: “By operating a web-based access system that enabled entry using QR codes for confirmation, the Gyeonggi Provincial Government was not only able to implement rapid and accurate quarantine procedures but [can] also undertake follow-up management by once again sending self-health-check questionnaires to concert attendees two weeks after the event.”

During the concert, which was hosted by Super Junior’s Leeteuk and actress Uee, popular K-pop stars including MONSTA X, Mamamoo, OH MY GIRL’s Seunghee and YooA, Kang Daniel, ITZY, (G)I-DLE and Loona performed for fans.

In summer, socially distanced music events were held at a race course venue in the UK. Groups of five fans had their own viewing platform to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Scottish events company DF Concerts, which runs the TRNSMT music festival, is reportedly exploring how to get large events back up and running through a coronavirus testing strategy.

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