A CONCERT held at the WiZink Centre in Madrid has sparked outrage after more than 5,000 music fans packed the arena, just one day after Spain’s health minister called for ‘prudence’ over the Christmas period.
Fans gathered in the popular venue to pay tribute to veteran Spanish crooner Raphael, who was holding a concert celebrating 60 years in showbusiness.
Images of the concert soon appeared online, and were met with anger from many who were shocked to see such events taking place.
However, the Madrid government has defended the venue, and ensured that the event followed COVID-19 protocol ‘scrupulously’.
A spokesman from the venue explained that the seating had been staggered and the air was changed every 12 minutes throughout the concert.
Masks and gel were also used and temperatures were taken at the door.
“The images on social media are misleading,” said Isabel Diaz Ayuso, regional president of Madrid.
“The WiZink Centre was operating at just 30% capacity, below the required 40% outlined by parliament.”
The move to allow the concert to go ahead was heavily criticised by many who worry that such events will spark a third wave in the country’s capital.
Madrid has been a hotspot for the virus since the beginning of the pandemic, and is currently seeing a spike in cases thanks to the loosening of restrictions over the Christmas period.
“If the infection rate rises in Madrid, we will suspend these shows,” said Ayuso, “But for now, more cases are being detected in private gatherings.”
Concerts and music venues are currently working hard to make a comeback across Spain as the entertainment industry has been severely hit by the pandemic.
Venues in Barcelona had planned to hold a landmark test event as part of the Primavera Festival for 500 volunteers who tested negative for the virus.
However the event was postponed due to an increase in cases across Spain.