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Liverpool has always been at the forefront of cultural events, a fact that provided the impetus to us staging the largest pilot event programme in the UK as part of the national Events Research Programme (ERP).

Following the government’s announcement of our involvement in their research programme, a huge amount of work took place behind the scenes to bring the worlds of events and science together. In doing so, our focus was clear – how to open venues up safely again and let the night-time economy thrive once more.

Famed for our unique music heritage, it was only fitting that we featured a nighttime music gig ‘Circus Presents The First Dance’ as well as an outdoor festival ‘Blossoms At Sefton Park’ to form part of this groundbreaking pilot project.

As well as supporting our residents with public pilot projects, we were also proud to host a unique business event – ‘Change Business For Good’ designed exclusively to support the return of the corporate sector.


AND NOW THE RESULTS ARE IN…


Liverpool Public Health officials and scientists have found the city’s pilot events did not cause any detectable spread of Covid-19 across the region.

The city hosted four hugely successful events, with a total of 13,258 people attending. All attendees were required to take a lateral flow test ahead of the event – a negative test would allow them access. Five people with the Covid-19 virus were identified through this process and were not allowed to attend.

Ticketholders were encouraged to take a PCR test on the day of the event, and a second one five days later.

This process identified four people as possibly having the virus at an event; and a further seven people were identified with the virus four to seven days after they attended and event. Of those who tested positive – two attended the music festival, nine attended the nightclub and none attended the business festival. Many of the cases were friends who meet outside of events and may not have been infected at an event itself.

Everyone who tested positive was successfully followed up by the contact tracing team. Scientists found the testing, data and contact tracing systems worked well, with key information being available to public health teams before the events which allowed contacts of potential cases to be traced quickly.

The research team also found that between 25 per cent and 43 per cent of people returned a PCR test after the event, with the Sefton Park Pilot festival seeing three times the number of the other Liverpool pilots due to the incentive of winning tickets to future gigs.

Every Covid-19 test result for the 2.6m population of Cheshire and Merseyside was examined before and after the events, with 96 per cent of tickets linked to test results. The results showed there was no evidence of any substantial spread of the virus around the pilot events.

Covid-19 infections remain low in Liverpool and the pattern of variants is being watched carefully.

The public health and science teams are cautiously optimistic that events can reopen reasonably safely with effective testing in place, and anyone feeling unwell should not attend.

Wearing face coverings or maintaining social distancing were not required at any of Liverpool’s pilot events.

If you have any questions about the pilot events programme, please visit the FAQs.


View our gallery from the events that took place…



Listen to our Director of Culture Liverpool…



Luna Cinema On The Waterfront

Luna Cinema On The Waterfront

Friday 14 May 2021, 8.30pm, The Greatest Showman: BUY TICKETS Saturday 15 May April 2021,
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TGBF: Change Business For Good

TGBF: Change Business For Good

Wednesday 28 April 2021, ACC Liverpool The Good Business Festival is a pioneering new global
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Circus Presents The First Dance

Circus Presents The First Dance

Friday 30 April & Saturday 1 May 2021, Bramley-Moore Dock World renowned Circus hosted the
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Blossoms At Sefton Park

Blossoms At Sefton Park

Sunday 2 May 2021, Sefton Park With an incredible line up featuring the Blossoms, Lathums,
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