Last week, video game music festival Super MAGFest was held at an in-person venue in National Harbour, Maryland. Yesterday, the organisers announced that several dozen attendees later tested positive for coronavirus. The official website lists 75 different exposed events and locations, including a party room that had a “Cum Over” sign on the windows.
MAGFest organisers stated that so far 59 out of 10,581 attendees have tested positive for coronavirus. Some of these cases likely occurred before the festival, and several new positive cases occurred on each day. 51 were symptomatic and eight were asymptomatic. 25 were vaccine boosted, and 34 weren’t. The vast majority didn’t use contact tracing.
According to the website, attendees were required to bring vaccination cards and wear a face mask at all times. While the guidelines recommended testing for covid before the event, attendees were not required to submit a negative test to enter. The rules also stated that musicians should use a bell cover for their wind instruments. Buddy, maybe just leave your spit projector at home.
The organisers have encouraged all attendees to submit a self-report form for positive test results. According to the form, MAGFest doesn’t intend to share any personal information that attendees decide to submit. Only data about the events they attended will be posted, so that other attendees can make informed health decisions.
MAGFest organisers have not responded to a request for comment at the time of writing.
A fair few other gaming festivals and conferences have decided to similarly proceed with live events this year. The non-exhaustive list includes the DICE Summit, the Game Developers Conference, the Games For Change Festival, Gamescom, and PAX East.
The current omicron variant of covid-19 is highly contagious. All of the cases at MAGFest were breakthrough cases that occurred in vaccinated adults. Even if someone doesn’t end up in the hospital, the effects of long covid can severely impair your quality of life. When in doubt, please don’t attend large gatherings, and certainly think twice before hanging out in any, err, cum rooms.