Dutch Grand Prix crowds draw ire from event & entertainment sectors
A great deal of confusion and anger has bubbled up on social media about the crowds around the Zandvoort race circuit, which is hosting the first Dutch Grand Prix since 1985. The first open practice laps were scheduled for Friday in the Formula 1 competition. Events connected to the FIA Formula 3, the W Series, and the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup were also organized throughout the day.
Videos and photos were shared on social media in which hundreds of people were seen crowding on top of each other or walking in large groups towards the circuit. There were various bewildered reactions from the entertainment sector, especially since the Formula 1 race was permitted by the government because the audience was supposed to be seated. Therefore it was not resemble a festival.
"This was of course to be expected, and both my middle fingers go directly to @MinPres and @hugodejonge," singer Tim Knol wrote on Twitter, referring to the usernames of Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge. "Since they have been giving [their middle fingers] to us as a sector for a while, I may as well return them. Jerks."
"Guess there was only 1 chair or something?", comedian and presenter Arjen Lubach wondered.
"Very different from a festival actually", presenter Tim Hofman responded sarcastically.
KINK DJ Michiel Veenstra, theater maker Maurice Wijnen and actor Diederik Ebbinge also shared the images. A seated event, Ebbinge wrote without further comment.
"People in their seats!" Veenstra added.
The entertainment sector has long been dissatisfied with the state of affairs around Formula 1. They have said they cannot understand that the racing event is allowed to continue while festivals remain banned.
The municipality of Zandvoort said earlier in the day that it was "very busy at peak times", but that it was "much, much quieter" later on. A spokesperson did not want to make the comparison with festival crowds. "It is the same as the inflow and outflow at a football stadium that can be very busy. It is absolutely not a festival."
Reporting by ANP.