Health experts say attending music festivals IS safe for fully vaccinated people with a low risk of breakthrough infection – but recommend taking precautions while traveling such as masking and avoiding crowds
- Health experts say it is safe for vaccinated people to return to music festivals
- Many festivals have vaccine or testing requirements in order to attend, and these requirements have been successful at preventing outbreaks
- Transmission of the virus outdoors is rare, making the outdoor festivals relatively safe, especially for fully vaccinated people
- Attendees should still take some precautions when traveling to events where those requirements do not exist, the experts say
Attending outdoor gatherings such as music festivals is safe for fully vaccinated people.
A panel of health experts told The Washington Post that Americans should feel confident attending the returning lineup of music festivals this year.
They should still try to limit risks when they can, especially when they are travelling to and from events.
The experts recommend frequent masking in areas such as hotels, planes and trains, where many people may be in close quarters indoors.
Health experts believe it is safe for fully vaccinated people to return to music festivals since outdoors transmission is rare. Pictured: Machine Gun Kelly performs at Chicago’s Lollapalooza on July 31, 2021
Electric Zoo was one of the massive festivals to return this year, and has been tied to only 16 cases despite over 100,000 attendees. Events like Electric Zoo that had vaccine or testing mandates have been able to avoid large virus outbreaks as a result. Pictured: Attendees at Electric Zoo on September 5
‘It’s very difficult to catch COVID-19 outdoors, period,’ Jonathan Baktari, a Nevada-based pulmonary and critical care expert, told the Post.
While music festivals are often massive events with thousands of people congregating in one place, being outdoors often provides enough natural ventilation of air that Covid spread is limited.
If you add on vaccine or negative test requirements at many of these events, the spread of the virus becomes minimal.
The biggest music festival to take place this summer was Chicago’s Lollapalooza, where more than 350,000 people attended the festival at Grant Park.
Lollapalooza required all attendees to either show proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 case in order to attend.
The Covid protocols were largely considered a success, and only around 200 cases tied to the event.
New York City’s Electric Zoo required all attendees to have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, and offered refunds to people who tested positive for the virus in the weeks leading up to the event.
The festival, which had over 100,000 attendees, was tied to 16 Covid cases, though further investigation by health officials may unveil more.
Both events proved to have relatively low COVID-19 rates compared to the population that attended.
Even when these cases do occur, they are relatively minor since the attendees at the festival are vaccinated, significantly reducing the likelihood of hospitalization or death.
There are still some precautions even vaccinated people can take, however.
The experts suggest people still wear masks in transit and when they are not actively at the festival.
Attendees should also be weary of large crowds outside of the festival, in hotels for example, since the same vaccination and testing requirements often do not exist outside of the festival.
Regular hand-washing and other sanitation measure should be practiced as well.
Researchers believe that now is as good time to go to festivals as ever, since the virus will likely be around for a while, but vaccines have proven to be effective.
‘Covid is going to be with us in some way, shape or form for years,’ Baktari said.
‘And I think the time has come for people to start acting in concert – pun intended – with their own tolerance for risk.
‘We do have to get back to enjoying the music.’