Return to the dancefloor: Liverpool hosts UK's first nightclub event in a year in Covid test event

Thousands of people descended on Liverpool for the first club event in more than a year last night.

Bramley-Moore Dock in Liverpool saw around 3,000 clubbers return to the dancefloor in an event which has been hailed as a glimpse of what the future might hold.

  • Matt Ashton, Liverpool's Director of Public Health.

Matt Ashton said it was "wonderful" to see the looks on people's faces at The First Dance, hosted by club night Circus, in the city on Friday.

Revellers, who all had to produce negative coronavirus tests, did not have to wear face coverings or social distance for the first time since before lockdown began.

Revellers at the Circus Nightclub at Bramley-Moore Dock, Liverpool. Credit: PA

Guests at The First Dance are not required to wear face coverings or socially distance.

Only people who live in the Liverpool City Region are allowed to attend. Vaccine passports are not part of the city's pilot.

They must also have a negative Covid-19 lateral flow test before they are allowed in and are urged to take an at-home PCR test on the day of the event and five days afterwards to ensure any transmission of the virus is properly monitored.

The club event follow a trial business forum which was held in the city under similar rules earlier this week.

On Sunday, a 5,000-strong crowd is expected at a music festival at Liverpool's Sefton Park.

The events are part of a series of government trials researching how crowds can return safely to large public events.

The Events Research Programme will be used to provide key scientific data into how events for a range of audiences could be permitted to safely reopen as part of the roadmap out of lockdown, starting no earlier than June 21.

For the club pilot, scientists are looking to see if and how crowds mixing and dancing indoors increases the risk of transmission of Covid-19.

Liverpool’s Director of Public Health, Matt Ashton, said, "The ERP is all about getting back to doing what we love doing, safely. 

"We’re all craving a return to normality and although we know the Covid-19 case rate is currently low – it’s still there, and new variants and international travel are still a real cause for concern.   

"Staying in lockdown is not an option, so we need to understand what the best and safest way of reopening key events is."

Mr Ashton added there should be "an enormous sense of pride" that Liverpool is taking a national lead in the research.

Fatboy Slim is among the acts due to perform on Saturday.

Circus has been a leading house and techno music event for 18 years.

Yousef said he thinks the weekend may go down in history but added the most important thing is to "try and get Covid behind us".

Sam Newson, the event producer, said the pilot was "vital" after the events industry had been "decimated" over the last year.

He said: "For the last 12 months, it has been a disaster.

"People have moved on, I've got colleagues who have lost houses, it has been incredibly hard and so to try and get this back up and running is incredibly important."

He added: "I stood on stage early on and I had a little bit of a teary eye, I'm not going to lie, it is very emotional.

"Any event is special but with the amount of work that has gone into this and to be the first in the country in over 12 months, it is very special."