Yesterday morning on O’Connell St approximately 70-80 people gathered in an event I organised to shoot a video for the upcoming online Theme Night #27. The song involved in this particular video is Dancing in the Street and we wanted to shoot footage of people having fun while doing just that.
I would like to acknowledge from the off that much to my regret social distancing was not maintained at all times in certain areas of the shoot. And as the event organiser I apologise unreservedly for that.
It was at the centre of the planning of the event that the risk to people involved would be as low as possible. It was planned that social distancing would be maintained at all times. From the outset we requested this, and the same advice was repeated throughout the event.
In arranging it I was aware that the risk of transmitting the virus outdoors is significantly lower than indoors. And since gatherings of up to 200 people outdoors are currently permitted. I arranged the shoot for a place where that number of people could gather safely.
I was aware that singing and people facing each other are particularly high-risk activities and made sure that these would not be part of the event.
Each take lasted 4-5 minutes. There were 4 takes and a warm-up. Before takes we asked each person to make sure they were socially distanced by spreading their arms, turning around and making sure they didn’t touch anyone else. After takes we asked people to disperse and take a break, ensuring that people weren’t next to each other for long periods of time.
Many family units were involved in the shoot and therefore they were not required to social distance from other members of the same family unit.
We were confident that with these measures and precautions we could maintain social distancing at all times. Otherwise we would not have gone ahead with it.
Here are some images which show how the majority of the event went.
However I’m aware that in some takes among some people proper social distance wasn’t maintained at all times and the person in charge of the event I hold my hands up and apologise for this, and for any hurt and anxiety that this may have caused to some people.
As a musician and event organiser whose industry has been decimated, I have tried during lockdown to arrange free events in order to somehow keep finding the joy that music and singing can bring to people’s lives. I strongly believe that this is important and my actions back this up. As we exit lockdown, many small businesses (such as my own), organisations and people are all learning how to do things that previously were normal while now adhering to social distancing and minimising risk.
I take the threat posed by this virus very seriously. Ask anyone who has been to a piano lesson with me in the last few weeks. Or anyone involved in last week’s sessions in which we recorded the music for this theme night. Everything possible was and is being done to ensure the safety of everyone involved. However on this occasion I made mistakes and I will learn from them.
Finally may I ask that any criticism people may have comes my way and not the way of the people who took part in this event. These people came along in good faith in order to have some safe fun on a Sunday morning and did so in the spirit of music, family and community.