Thousands of clubbers were able to return to the dance floor for the club’s first major event since before the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Around 3,000 revelers made it to The First Dance event at Circus in Liverpool on Friday evening, where they had to produce negative coronavirus tests and did not have to wear face coverings or social distancing for the premiere times since before the lockout started.
It is hoped that the pilot event, the first of two taking place on consecutive nights, will pave the way for clubs across the country to reopen their doors.
Inside the Bramley-Moore Dock warehouse, crowds gathered to dance neck and neck for the first time in over a year.
Club goers were seen kissing and kissing, some sitting on each other’s shoulders for a better view of the stage.
In the queue outside the venue, University of Liverpool student Elliott Cause, 20, said: “I feel like this is a great moment for the UK. United.
“I feel like the university students had a hard time without it, I feel like it will do a lot.
“You can already see people are so ready, the energy is great.”
Sam Murphy, 20, from Belfast, said after starting at Liverpool Hope University last September he had the “worst students ever” due to coronavirus restrictions.
He said even tearing the ligaments in his foot and having to wear a protective boot hadn’t deterred him from attending the first club night since March 2020.
He said: “No chance – the first thing I said was give me a boot and let me out.”
Mr Murphy, from Belfast, said he took a coronavirus test on Thursday and again on Friday morning and will do another in five days.
His friend Aodghan Fegan, 21, said: “I hope everything goes well and I hope the Covid levels stay low so there will be more events like this.”
Leah Lawless, 18, said she and her friends have been waiting to return to clubs for about a year.
She said: “We are very excited. It was hard, it was boring, a little sad, depressing and not the best.
Friday’s lineup included Circus founder and DJ Yousef, Lewis Boardman and The Blessed Madonna.
Fatboy Slim is one of the artists scheduled to perform on Saturday.
Sam Newson, the event’s producer, said the pilot was “vital” after the event industry has been “wiped out” in the past year.
He said: “Over the past 12 months it has been a disaster.
“People have moved on, I have colleagues who have lost homes, it has been incredibly difficult and so it is extremely important to try to get this back on track.
He added: “I went on stage at the beginning and I had a little tears in my eyes, I’m not going to lie, it’s very emotional.
“Any event is special, but with the amount of work that has gone into it and being the first in the country for over 12 months, it’s very special.”
Scientists will investigate whether crowds mixing and dancing indoors increase the risk of transmission of Covid-19.
Air quality and movement were also monitored as part of a study by Loughborough University to create clear guidelines on how to design and operate non-domestic buildings to minimize risk.
The evening is part of the event research program, which will also see crowds returning to events such as the FA Cup final and a music festival held at Sefton Park in Liverpool.