5,000 people attend a rave in the U.K. without masks and distancing

On Sunday, live music returned to Liverpool after a long period of silence caused by the coronavirus, as the English city held a one-off music festival to see whether such activities spread the virus.

In the name of science and music, about 5,000 people ditched face coverings and social distancing laws. They went to the outdoor event despite having tested negative for COVID-19, promising to get tested again five days later.

The government’s Events Research Programme will use their data to better understand the impact of crowds on the spread of the virus.

However, as revelers danced through the gates of Sefton Park, the scientific aspect of the event was far from their minds.

Festival Republic’s Managing Director, Melvin Benn, expressed hope that his pilot project would help get outdoor activities back on the calendar this year.

The festival, which lasted less than six hours and had a curfew of 10 p.m., was a far cry from the multi-day hedonism of larger festivals like Glastonbury, but attendees said there was no place they’d rather be.