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THE BOTTOM LINE

A techno and antigen fortress at the Sohail

Last Sunday, Marenostrum Fuengirola organised an experiment which was the first of its type in Andalucía: a festival where people could dance outside in the open air without social distancing, although masks were obligatory and everyone attending had to be tested for Covid-19 first.

Other experiments of this type have taken place in Spain, but this was the first time there was one in the form of an electronic music festival, hard and pure techno designed for a specific age group, those between 20 and 30, most of whom are not yet vaccinated and who are not normally keen on taking part in the Health authorities' voluntary mass screening programmes.

Their longing to party was evident from the first minute, and that spirit also served in the fight against the virus. For a start, everyone attending had to have an antigen test in marquees that were set up especially for this purpose by the river. Thirty medical staff carried out the tests, which cost 10 euros each. They did 200 tests an hour, from 10am to 9pm: more than 1,700 nasal cavities were probed, of which only 33 were positive for the virus. Those people were not allowed to enter the festival site and in their case the Covid protocol was activated.

Those of us who tested negative were given a green wristband, an FFP2 mask whose colour indicated which of the two entrances, or bubbles, we were to use (one had space for 1700 people and the other for 700) and we were advised to use the Radar Covid app in the days afterwards (I had already downloaded it onto my phone, some time ago).

Once inside, where it was extremely hot, there were about 50 security guards on duty. On the dance floor, even though it was outside, we had to wear a mask at all times, so nobody was allowed to drink, eat or smoke there, although we didn't have to keep our distance from other people and we could even hug others but not kiss them. As soon as anyone lowered their mask, a security guard came to warn them that they had to wear it, and if they weren't prepared to comply they were made to leave, in order to guarantee the safety and peace of mind of everyone else there.

It would probably be a good idea for the authorities to monitor those who attended the festival for a while, to see whether there really was any danger, but that isn't down to the Castlepark or Marenostrum organisers, whose work has been exemplary from the start to the finish.

Those who were attending knew how to behave at the type of event they had all been looking forward to for so long. They went home when it ended in the early hours of the morning, and on the Monday they could enjoy having a hangover for the first time in ages, after a successful initiative at which, together, we all managed to build a fortress against evil in Sohail Castle.