Hanover (dpa) – After half a year of forced Corona break, the NDR Radiophilharmonie played in front of a live audience for the first time. At a concert on Thursday, researchers examined the distribution of aerosols in the large broadcasting hall in Hanover. The physicist Wolfgang Schade from the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute had placed dummies and measuring devices in the auditorium. Two converted mannequins emitted aerosols and CO2, and two breathed in through hoses. “A good ventilation system is essential,” said the scientist from Goslar.
Schade had already measured the aerosol distribution in the hall there in November on behalf of the Dortmund Concert Hall in order to gain data to assess a possible Covid-19 risk of infection – but without an audience. With a complete air exchange with outside air every 20 minutes, the concert hall could not trigger a superspreading event, was the result at the time.
In Lower Saxony, with a seven-day incidence of less than 35 indoor concerts are possible if the audience has been tested and sits in the so-called checkerboard pattern. The hall will then only be half occupied. For the test concert, the Radiophilharmonie worked together with the social enterprise Diakovere. According to the organizers, the approximately 130 listeners were fully vaccinated. At the place they could take off their masks. Actually, many more people could have been there. The large broadcasting hall has 1200 seats.
“In a responsible decision-making process between culture and health authorities, reliable facts count,” said Matthias Ilkenhans, manager of the NDR Radiophilharmonie. The aim is to find out whether cultural events are safe in well-ventilated rooms: “We hope to be able to play again in front of a full audience by the end of the year at the latest.”
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210610-99-944973 / 2