Eurovision to be event experiment; Half of audience welcome
The Eurovision Song Contest at Rotterdam Ahoy in May will be a Fieldlab event experiment that can allow about half of the planned number of spectators, the organization of the international song festival confirmed. The Dutch cabinet wants to use the event as another test on how the events and entertainment sectors can open safely in the coronavirus pandemic, NOS reports.
The six rehearsals, two semi-finals, and final will each be allowed a maximum of 3,500 spectators. All spectators and employees working on the event will have to present a negative coronavirus test before being allowed in. In the other event experiments, attendees also had to be tested a few days after the event. It is likely that this will also be the case here.
Eurovision has been working on various scenarios of having the song festival happen this year in various stages of lockdown. These plans were mainly focused on bringing all 39 participating countries to the Netherlands. "The fact that we now have the opportunity to open the script for a Eurovision Song Contest with an audience again is something we could only dream of," executive producer Sietse Bakker said. "We are grateful to the cabinet and Fieldlab Events for this perspective and the confidence they give us."
In the coming weeks, the organizers will work out exactly how the public will be received at the shows, scheduled for May 18 to 22. This will be done in close consultation with the European Broadcasting Union, the municipality of Rotterdam, and Ahoy. Ticket sales will also be announced in the coming period.
Minister Arie Slob for Media told the Telegraaf that the government will decide at the end of April whether the Eurovision Song Contest can proceed responsibly in this way.
Due to the current coronavirus travel restrictions, it seems unlikely that foreign fans will be able to attend the shows.