Thermal cameras used at city gig to take fans' temperatures

Russell Kane will be on stage at Laugh in the Park on July 30. Picture: Submitted

Russell Kane will be on stage at Laugh in the Park on July 30. Picture: Submitted - Credit: supplied

A Norwich venue used thermal imaging cameras to take fans' temperatures as they lined up for Russell Kane - its first gig for 16 months.

On Saturday evening, comedian Kane became the first person to take to the stage at Epic Studios in Norwich since before the pandemic, performing to a sold-out crowd of 280 people.

The venue, on Magdalen Street in Norwich, had not hosted an event since March 2020.

Epic Studios on Magdalen Street in Norwich. Picture: Epic Studios

Epic Studios on Magdalen Street in Norwich. Picture: Epic Studios - Credit: Epic Studios

And while other venues have been able to find ways of making things work sooner, the team at Epic have bided their time.

But now, the former ITV studio is looking ahead to a jam-packed bill, with bookings already spanning into 2023 as it looks to bounce back into its role in the city's entertainment scene.

General manager Laura Rycroft revealed that technology played a pivotal role in making the event a success.

One measure saw thermal imaging cameras trained on audience members as they arrived, saving the need for individual temperature checks on the doors.

And the venue's cutting edge air-handling technology also proved a useful tool - allowing the air to be circulated and replaced six times throughout the evening, removing pathogens from the atmosphere.

Laura Rycroft, chief executive of OPEN Norwich Photo: OPEN Norwich

Laura Rycroft, chief executive of OPEN Norwich Photo: OPEN Norwich - Credit: Archant

Ms Rycroft said: "The air-handling system is something the venue was already fitted with from its ITV Studios days so definitely proved a useful asset to us.

Most Read

"We also had chaperones and security staff to help make sure social distancing was adhered to and QR codes for people to order drinks to their seat. Overall we probably had around five or six more staff members than we usually had.

"But it was just so great to see people out again and enjoying themselves - and Russell was on great form."

Going forward, Ms Rycroft said the venue would continue to ask staff members to wear masks, to provide them with "an extra layer of protection" and carry on with making use of technology to provide a Covid-safe environment.

She said: "Covid isn't going anywhere, so we want to make our staff and customers feel as safe as they possibly can."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter