Limited audiences confirmed for Eurovision in Rotterdam; Ticket sales date announced
All events of the 65th Eurovision Song Contest set to be held at Ahoy Rotterdam this May can proceed with an audience, the Dutch caretaker government said on Thursday evening, Nu.nl reported. On April 1, it was announced the competition would be a Fieldlab pilot event that can allow about half of the planned number of spectators, which was now confirmed.
The six rehearsals, two semi-finals, and final will each be allowed a maximum of 3,500 spectators. All attendees will have to present a negative coronavirus test before being allowed in the venue. Due to international travel still being largely halted, only a small number of foreign fans is expected to attend the event.
Ticket sales will begin on May 8 at 12 p.m. but only people who purchased tickets last year are eligible to buy tickets for this year’s show. Semifinal events of the competition will be held on May 18 and 20. The final event is scheduled for May 22.
It was reported earlier that the Fieldlab tests could only proceed if there were fewer than nine hundred Covid-19 patients in intensive care units. The number stood at 813 on Thursday, still near the year-long high, but not high enough to force any event cancellations. There have been some projections from intensive care experts in the Netherlands that the ICU system could top 900 patients with the coronavirus disease by mid-May.
The decision to press forward with an audience at Eurovision, and other events, can be reversed in case the coronavirus pandemic situation in the country worsens.
"For that situation, we will of course keep the scenario without an audience as an option. In addition, we will remain in close contact with the municipality, the GGD and the hospitals in the area," said Sietse Bakker, executive producer of the Eurovision Song Contest.
A number of Fieldlab pilot events recently sparked controversy and prompted local authorities to reconsider whether they should take place. The festival event 538 Oranjedag, announced as the largest Fieldlab experiment to date, was canceled on April 19 after an online petition urging local government or the Cabinet to put a stop to the event was signed over 350 thousand times.