Thousands attend post-lockdown pilot music festival at Liverpool's Sefton Park

  • Victoria Grimes spoke to music fans ahead of the event at Sefton Park.

Around 5,000 music fans packed into Sefton Park in Liverpool last night for a live gig.

The concert, headlined by Stockport indie band Blossoms, was part of the government's Events Research Programme.

The ERP is a series of trials, including two club nights in Liverpool and a cinema. It will look at how to get crowds back safely to mass events.

If the Sefton Park gig is deemed a success, it could be the foundation for how music festivals can go ahead safely this summer and going forward.

Headliners Blossoms tweeted to say they were "buzzing".

Speaking to Liverpool City Council after the gig Zuzu said: "Indescribable, it was actually unreal"The energy was just unbelievable, it really was.

"I got emotional and I cried on the way out. Fully next level amazing."

The Lathums simply tweeted: "We'll cherish this moment forever.

"Thank you Liverpool x"

  • Tom from Blossoms says the gig is happening "at the right time".

Festival Republic, which hosted the event, said that it was "incredible" to see the lucky 5,000 ticket holders arrive at the venue after showing their negative Covid test results.

It added: "It's been incredible to see the lucky five thousand ticket holders arrive into Sefton Park after displaying their negative Covid-19 test result. Tonight is going to be special."

Culture Minister Caroline Dinenage said: "Today is a momentous occasion to celebrate as fans get their first taste of a music festival for more than a year - and all in the name of science.

"There is nothing quite like the collective experience of hearing your favourite act live in the atmosphere of a festival and I hope everyone has a fantastic day.

"We've supported the live music sector through the pandemic with £250 million in grants from our Culture Recovery Fund going to more than 2,000 organisations.

"Now we want to get audiences back to the events they love and see the live music industry rebooted.

Around 5,000 people attended the pilot music festival. Credit: PA

Only people who live in the Liverpool City Region were allowed to buy tickets.

What were the rules?

  • The crowd didn't have to social distance or wear face masks, but they needed proof of a negative Covid test before entry.

  • Ticket holders took lateral flow test at a local testing centre before entry - waiting the 30 minutes to get their results first.

  • Attendees were then asked to take another test after the event.

How will the research be used?

  • Scientists are looking to see if and how crowds mixing outdoors increases the risk of transmission of Covid-19.

  • Those attending will be 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. This is a non-mandatory but important part of the event research data requested by the scientists.

  • Vaccine passports are not part of Liverpool’s pilot events programme.

Friday and Saturday saw thousands of clubbers at Bramley-Dock Warehouse in Liverpool. Credit: PA

On Friday and Saturday, 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. Those attending 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.