Breda puts an end to 10,000-person Covid festival test
The Mayor of Breda decided not to issue a permit for 538 Oranjedag, an event that was expected to draw ten thousand festival attendees for the single-day event on April 24. The event, with musical guests including Armin van Buuren, was organized by Radio 538 as the largest Fieldlab experiment to date.
Mayor Paul Depla said that there was growing evidence that people against the coronavirus policy would show up in support of holding more festivals. Others who thought the event to be irresponsible at this stage in the coronavirus pandemic were also expected to arrive for a protest.
“As mayor, I stand for the safety of the police officers, local residents and the event’s visitors. I regret it, but on the basis of this information I cannot grant a permit for 538 Oranjedag on April 24 at the Chasséveld,” Depla said in a statement.
The experiment was to be one of many to determine if the spread of coronavirus could be limited by mandating that attendees present proof of a recent negative coronavirus test to gain access. However, the size and scope of the experiment, and its proximity to hospitals which have helped many Covid-19 patients over the past 14 months, drew the ire of healthcare experts, local police officers, and citizens alike
An online petition to convince either local government or the Cabinet to put a stop to the event was signed over 350 thousand times. At the same time, over 1.2 million tickets were requested for event.
The large amount of interest on either side of the issue prompted the city to seek guidance from the national government over the weekend. However the Cabinet was unwilling to step in, saying the final decision on the event was in the municipality’s hands.
A city council meeting was set to be held on Monday night to discuss the event.