Still Waiting for a Path Out of Darkness: Pre-Concert Testing Forbidden, Concerts Canceled

Poster that says: "Completely Safe Concerts at the Lucerna Music Bar"

A new Czech upstart called Cesta ze tmy (Path out of Darkness) offered event organizers a way to host events with an on-site PCR appointment covered by the price of a tickets. It was to be used for the first time at the Prague’s famous Lucerna music bar on April 23rd. Unfortunately, the government abruptly canceled the concert on April 16th, despite the negative PCR test requirements.   

“We aren’t far along enough to allow concerts next week,” said Petr Arenberger, the fourth Czech Minister of Health since the beginning of the pandemic.

The minister projects a test run of events in May modeled after pre-event testing systems used abroad, though he finds the outcomes of these safety measures “inconsistent.”  

The first concert in a series of events organized by Path Out of Darkness was to take place on April 23. A week before the concert, the latest minister of health told the event organizers they could not go through with the concert.

“It’s the greatest betrayal I’ve ever experienced,” said Karel Luxík, the event organizer. “I met with the minister at the ministry yesterday [a day before he canceled the event] and he said nothing about any cancellations. I didn’t begin organizing the event until I had all the possible permits, assurances, and concrete dates and I invested hundreds of thousands of Crowns into the preparations. Thanks to the minister, I threw all of that out the window.”

For now, he has lost faith in the project: “I don’t want to do anything, anymore. Our Path out of Darkness is over due to a loss of faith in the ministry. It’s a betrayal, the height of political callousness.”

The Minister of Culture Zaorálek has said that his pilot project for reopening concerts could be used at some of the Prague Spring festival concerts this year, also modeled on the principles of pre-event audience testing. The Prague Spring festival traditionally begins on May 12th.

The country is currently under the highest PES regulations, a pandemic safety labeling system we wrote about here.

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