A scientific study, conducted at EXIT Festival to assess the impact of the event on the spread of COVID-19, has shown no signs of infection.
The study has assessed the degree of the effectiveness of the “Safe Events Serbia” security protocol, which was applied at the EXIT Festival. The research was organised by the professional staff of the Health Centre Novi Sad and the association Project Lab, under the leadership of Marija Milić MD, head of the research team, epidemiologist and assistant professor.
Milić MD said: “In order to examine the risk of contracting a new coronavirus during a visit to a mass event, in the situation where all preventive measures have been applied, and when all visitors were required to be fully vaccinated or have a negative test for coronavirus, it was decided that during EXIT Festival would be conducting a scientific study, thus using a unique opportunity to gain new scientific knowledge about the virus.”
A total of 345 visitors were divided into two groups – vaccinated and those who entered the festival with a negative test. They were tested before entering the festival, from July 8 to 10, and only one person was positive. That person was not allowed to enter the festival. The testing was repeated after seven days, from July 15 to 17, and the results are encouraging – in both groups not one person tested positive for COVID-19.
Veselin Bojat, director of the Novi Sad Health Centre, said: “With rigorous entry control, such research results were expected. It will take some time to get the final analysis results, but it can already be said, both based on research and the daily number of newly infected people in Novi Sad, that the EXIT Festival was not a place of mass infection with the virus.”
Another positive to be taken from the event is the fact that out of almost 20,000 foreigners who visited EXIT, and who in most cases needed a PCR test to return to their country, only one visitor tested positive.
Dušan Kovačević, founder and director of EXIT festival, said: “Research from Exit proves that even during a pandemic, a means and a model can be found according to which even the largest events can take place completely safely. This research is our contribution to the struggle of the entire music industry for far better treatment in Europe and other countries than has been the case so far. We have proven that we have been treated unfairly in the past, and that there are no longer any arguments and justifications that can allow gatherings at sporting events, in cafes or shopping malls, and not at concerts and festivals. I call on our entire industry to, just like we have fought and won in Serbia, join forces and fight for the fair treatment of our industry on the international level.”
Access restriction measures at EXIT Festival were applied rigorously, more than 16,111 checks of visitors with a Digital Green Certificate were performed, of which as many as 95 per cent were immunised by vaccination. For all those who did not have a valid Digital Green Certificate, free testing was organised. In five days, 18,336 people were tested, and only 10 tested positive. They were not allowed to enter the festival.