A Sobering Reminder To Remain Vigilant

Even though they required patrons to demonstrate they were vaccinated, had recently had a Covid infection or had a negative Covid test a music festival in the Netherlands became a super-spreader event that led to 1,000 COIVD-19 infections.

You can find details in an article by Holly Ellyatt in the 7/15/21 edition of CNBC.com. What jumps out is the realization that while the music festival went to great lengths to protect attendees, there’s always the potential for something to happen.

All of this brings to mind the results from 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.

Their early reports highlighted the following key components:

  • 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] stewards to ensure compliance with standards.

It would be fascinating to see how this music festival in the Netherlands followed these recommendations and others from the study.

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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