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Photo of the audience. Courtesy of Cruilla.
Audience photo. Photo: Cruïlla.

Barcelona celebrates Cruïlla, a music festival in a COVID-free "safe bubble"

This weekend in Barcelona saw the Cruïlla Festival, a pilot test that aims to demonstrate that culture and live shows can be safe again during pandemics.

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For the artists, it has been a difficult year and a half without being on stage.

But for the fans, the experience of enjoying a festival seemed very far away. However, and despite many doubts and criticisms, the Cruïlla Festival in Barcelona managed to create a "safe bubble” in the Forum Park to enjoy three days of music, dance and comedy. With required COVID tests every day before entering the festival, masks, and no distancing, the Cruïlla put everyone one step closer to the return of "normality."  

According to organizers, much consideration was taken to respect COVID-19 protocol inside and outside the venue: about 400 toilets were used throughout the three days in a space exclusively designed to make antigen tests to people who came to enjoy the concerts.

Meanwhile, inside, there were many staff handing out certified masks for mandatory use and ensuring that people wore them as much of the time as possible. Outside the Forum Park, guards and police officers were on hand to ensure that people did not congregate while eating and drinking in the street before entering the concerts.

"We are going to make this summer a festival for 25,000 people, jumping and hugging each other, like before," explained the festival director.

Returning to the concerts without distance and being able to dance was undoubtedly what the audience appreciated the most. To the rhythm of Rayden, Lágrimas de Sangre, Kase O, Amaral, Ana Tijoux, Delafé, Two Door Cinema Club, Fuel Fandango, Morcheba, Dorian, Joan Garriga and many more, the afternoons and evenings from Thursday to Saturday were animated at the Forum.

Cruïlla has become the first festival in Europe to open a venue for 25,000 people for three days without social distancing.

For the moment, the experience seems to have been successful, but as COVID figures continue to rise in Europe, it will be replicated in the next few years.

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