This was a very special event because of…you can guess…corona times. A few smart people in the event industry – Lanxess arena, Bootshaus, and a handful of tech-suppliers and technicians – have started “Arena Now” – a new event space (and the only one of its size and type in Germany) that is ‘corona-compatible.’
As soon as we saw this event, we just had to buy tickets. We could not let this opportunity pass – SEFA in cologne + we are living in cologne = great combination! Welcome to Sefa at the Lanxess Arena. So… tickets ready, mask from merch-store ready and off we went!
Check-In – Easy and fast
The event space is easily accessible; traveling there by e-scooter and then tram took roughly 20 minutes. We thought there would be long wait times when we arrived, but not to be! All guests observed the 1.5m social distancing rules, but it took just 10 minutes to pass through check-in (with our masks on), having had our tickets and ID checked, and been through the security check.
Inside the venue, there were many signs and arrows marking where we should wait and walk. And, there were many guides on hand providing assistance to anyone who needed (showing people where the nearest toilets, bars were). Once inside, we made sure to get a drink and went on into the arena.
Once Inside, a guide showed us to our “cube” A cube is a place with eight chairs, enclosed by a piece of plastic glass in the back. There was a lot of space between the cubes, enough for people to walk around while still social distancing. All in all, the time from queuing to sitting took roughly 20 minutes.
Bars, toilets, moving around – well organized
As is written on every information sheet (that is given to every visitor at the entrance) party-goers should only leave their cube to go to the toilet or to go to the bar (and always keeping a 1.5m social distance between other people).
And – surprisingly – everyone followed this rule. At the bar, you can choose between several payment options, including Google and Apple Pay, which makes paying very fast, easy and corona-compatible. Also, all visitors have to wear their masks at all times except when they are inside their cube or at their seat.
Let the show begin
At first there were two moderators who explained the corona ‘health and safety’ rules again. But after 15 minutes of introduction and some bad jokes it was time to start with the lineup.
Because the stage was in the center of the room, and was constantly rotating, everyone could see and enjoy the show.
A large LED-Screen on each side of the stage broadcast live pictures from the stage so that everyone could see everything that was happening. Surprisingly, there was a DJ in the lineup no one had heard of before: Relianze. Relianze is a 16-year-old guy who played some great Frenchcore music. Maybe he is one of the next big talents in the scene? And then, the moment arrived: SEFA entered the stage. With heavy-fog surrounding the stage and a piano intro, SEFA showed us how to combine pre-produced Frenchcore music with live piano sounds. It was a great show which is hard to describe. The pictures tell their own story of the corona compatible arena concept and the performances.
All in all, this event was a great experience and it was very interesting to see how good and easy an event this size can take place in corona times. The ticket price of about 45€ per person (you have to buy 2 places in a cube) made the experience more than worth it!