The Dutch government wants to organize the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest, scheduled for May in Rotterdam, with a limited audience. They thus intend to assess the risks of contamination linked to the coronavirus.
This practical test, described as a “field laboratory”, will aim to study how events of this type could take place with a public in a secure manner despite the Covid-19, the Ministry of Culture said in a statement on Thursday. .
A maximum of 3,500 spectators will be allowed for each of the nine planned concerts. They will be admitted under strict conditions, with for example the obligation to present a negative test. Dutch Media Minister Arie Slob welcomed the possibility of “safely and responsibly” organizing a larger event at this “special” time.
“With the lessons we can learn from this field lab, we can hopefully take further steps towards a society in which more can be done,” Slob said in the statement.
In camera always possible
However, the government reserves the right to modify this plan in the event of an increase in contamination as the competition approaches, scheduled for May 18 to 22. He will review the situation at the end of April. If the risks are too great, it could be decided to organize Eurovision without an audience.
“We welcome this decision by the Dutch government and the possibility that we can invite fans to join us,” said Martin Österdahl, executive supervisor of Eurovision, in a statement.
“We will review the options now available and announce more details in the coming weeks on how we can safely admit the public into the Ahoy Hall in Rotterdam if the situation permits,” he added.
The 2020 edition of the competition was canceled for the first time in the history of the competition due to the pandemic. Some 65,000 spectators were expected for all of the concerts.
The Netherlands has already experimented with pilot events developed by the Fieldlab organization, created by the event industry in collaboration with the government. A concert in Amsterdam in early March had notably gathered 1,300 people.
Get the latest news delivered to your inbox
Follow us on social media networks