PA retreat/electronic fest happening this weekend with 2-part COVID-19 testing
The vast majority of major music festivals have cancelled or postponed their summer 2020 editions, but as the country emerges from coronavirus shutdown, some events are moving forward with new safety restrictions. That includes Northeastern PA's In My Elements, which kicks off today (7/10) and runs through Sunday (7/12). Billed as a boutique "open air retreat," it's set to feature some "musical guests" and DJs, including Maceo Plex, DJ Tennis, Doc Martin, DJ Holographic, The Golden Pony, Tony Y Not, and Papyon, along with yoga, meditation, beach activities, art classes and more. It also has a strict two-part coronavirus testing policy for all 250 attendees, including staff, vendors, musicians, and DJs. As their website explains, the first test is administered three days before the retreat, with results delivered back in 24-48 hours (even as labs around the country are experiencing delays in providing COVID-19 test results). A second test is given when attendees arrive on site, along with a temperature check. Anyone who tests positive, or has a fever, won't be allowed entrance.
Concerns have been raised about the accuracy of some rapid testing; speaking to Billboard, Brett Herman, co-founder of In My Elements parent company Elements, says, "There have been studies that show that even a very accurate test can miss a COVID-19 diagnosis if there’s not enough virus currently in the system to test, potentially at the very beginning of exposure. This is why we’re performing two tests, three days apart. Both of the tests we’re using have clinical studies provided by the labs that manufacture the tests that show no false negatives in their sample sizes."
Sales for tickets are currently over, but they started at $596 for the weekend, including the two COVID tests (which are subject to a possible $100 discount with insurance). The 250 attendees allowed represents 40% capacity of the location (an "undisclosed lakefront summer camp"), and once on site, social distancing will still be required, and mask-wearing encouraged.
Meanwhile, Elements are still hoping to hold their annual three-day music and arts festival in September, postponed from May. It's possible they'll implement safety protocol from this weekend that's effective; stay tuned for more info on that.