Project RESTART-19 Begins To Publish Findings

Since it was announced in the Spring, we’ve been following the large scale German study, Project RESTART-19, a multi-disciplinary research effort in Germany to identify conditions necessary to safely restart live performance events.

The group began releasing results from their study at the end of October with a kick-off press briefing on October 29, 2020. While the project’s website includes quite a few videos from that event, none are in English. Having said that, they do have closed captioning which means you can take advantage of Google’s auto-translate tool. While it’s not perfect, it’s an entirely serviceable option (and a handy tool to keep tucked away):

  1. Select the gear icon.
  2. Select Auto-translate then select English from the available list.

As of now, none of the full reports are available for download but they do have a version of the overview press release available in English.

The most important finding for us was how big the effects of good ventilation technology are. This is a decisive factor for the risk of infection.

Highlights (auto-translated from German to English):

  • Poor ventilation can significantly increase the number of people at risk of infection.
  • There should be several entrances to access the venues in order to direct the flow of visitors. Waiting areas [should be] relocated outdoors.
  • During the event, you should eat at the seats in order to avoid crowds and long contacts at snack stands.
  • As long as the pandemic lasts…[there must be] mask requirements in the hall [along with] stewards to ensure compliance with the standards.

Ideally, we’ll begin to see additional report content made available in English.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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