MASSES of maskless Brits have packed out a non-socially distanced outdoor music festival in Liverpool.
Some 5,000 excited partygoers arrived at Sefton Park today for the pilot event as the UK sets its sights on returning to normality with the government navigating the country out of the coronavirus pandemic.
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The idea of the national Events Research Programme is to provide data on how gatherings can be permitted to safely reopen as restrictions ease.
It is hoped the events will pave the way for festivals across the country to kick start again.
Thousands of buzzing revellers were pictured this afternoon after lapping up the atmosphere at the pilot – one of the first post-lockdown raves to be held in the UK.
The outdoor gig, which began at 4.30pm today, is being headlined by indie band Blossoms and also featuring The Lathums and Liverpool singer-songwriter Zuzu.
Those attending do not have to wear face coverings or social distance, but were required to take a lateral flow test 24 hours before the event and produce a negative result in order to release their e-ticket.
They are then asked to take another test five days after the event and submit the results.
Melvin Benn, managing director of Festival Republic, said: "Live music is a must have in my life, and a year without it is a year too long.
"The Sefton Park Pilot is the most important event in the Event Research Programme for getting festivals back this year and I’m delighted to play my part.
"It’s not about vaccines, it’s not about passports, it’s not about limiting it to a section of society only: it’s about a universal approach to our love of live music for all and demonstrating we can do it safely."
Tickets, which were priced at £29.50, were only available to those living in the Liverpool City region aged 18 or above when they went on sale on April 18.
Operating slightly below its capacity of 7,500, researchers on site will be able to examine the movements and behaviour of the 5,000-strong crowd.
Liverpool City Council tweeted this morning: "If you’re attending The Sefton Park Pilot this afternoon, remember to take your first PCR test today.
"You will take the final test on Friday.
"Your support means scientists will have the data they need to reopen the events sector safely."
It comes after thousands partied at Britain's second post-lockdown rave at a Liverpool warehouse last night.
Some 3,000 partygoers rocked up at Bramley-Moore Dock on Saturday as part of a two-day event that started on Friday.
Fatboy Slim headlined as crowds packed the floor in the warehouse to dance shoulder-to-shoulder for the first time in more than a year.
Club-goers were seen hugging and kissing each other, with some sitting on others’ shoulders for a better view of the stage.
Meanwhile, Wembley welcomed 8,000 fans on April 25 for the Carabao Cup final clash between Tottenham and Manchester City.
It was just the second time the national stadium has allowed supporters through the doors since the pandemic began.
The weekend before, on April 18, 4,000 spectators were in attendance as Leicester beat Southampton to reach the FA Cup final.
This month, it's expected 21,000 fans will be allowed in for the FA Cup final between Leicester and Chelsea on May 15, also at Wembley as the country continues to open up from the latest lockdown restrictions.
Scientists will be looking to see whether crowds mixing and dancing indoors and outdoors increases the risk of transmission of Covid-19.
Air quality and movement were also being monitored as part of a Loughborough University-led study to create clear guidance on how to design and operate non-domestic buildings to minimise risk.
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