Eurovision 2021: Dutch government gives the green light for an audience

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 1,404 views

The Dutch government has given the green light for the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest to go ahead with an audience.

A total of 3,500 spectators will be allowed to attend the nine Eurovision 2021 shows at a time ( 6 rehearsals, Semi.-final 1, Semi-final 2 and the Grand Final. The event will be held as a Field Lab event in the Netherlands.

The cabinet of ministers gives the ‘Green Light’

The Dutch cabinet of ministers held a meeting earlier today to decide if an audience would be allowed to attend the forthcoming 2021 Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam. The cabinet have given the ‘Green Light’ to the Eurovision organizers to go ahead with the event allowing a limited audience to attend the event.

After an earlier agreement at the beginning of April, the cabinet reconfirmed that the Eurovision Song Contest may receive a limited audience at the television shows. After a substantial reduction, 3,500 visitors can be admitted per show; approximately 20% of Ahoy’s “normal” capacity.

Martin Osterdahl (Eurovision Song Contest Executive Supervisor/EBU) says:

We are happy that the Dutch authorities have enabled us to welcome audiences at the 3 live shows and 6 dress rehearsals in Rotterdam in the safest possible way given the current circumstances.

The world will be watching when we bring back the Eurovision Song Contest next month and, as millions enjoy the competition on TV and online, we are pleased that the hard work of the artists, delegations and crew will also be shared with a live audience in the Ahoy arena.

Welcoming audiences safely as part of the Fieldlab events programme will also help to create a great atmosphere for those taking part and watching at home. We don’t take lightly the responsibility of hosting the Eurovision Song Contest at this challenging time and safeguarding the health and safety of all those participating in, and attending the event remains our top priority.’

Sietse Bakker (Eurovsion 2021 Executive Producer) says:

With 180 million viewers from over 45 countries, we will soon be in the international spotlight as a host country. We want to do this carefully and responsibly, so we take pretty strict measures, with health and safety first.

The numbers have been scaled down considerably. Delegations are considerably smaller and most journalists will follow the Eurovision Song Contest from home this year in an online press center. By testing everyone in Ahoy every 48 hours and getting artists to move within our so-called Safe Harbor, we want to keep the corona virus out as much as possible.

A year of preparation

The organizing team has been preparing for more than a year to allow the Eurovision Song Contest, after last year’s cancellation, to continue under these challenging circumstances. In Ahoy, for example, an extensive COVID 19 protocol will be implemented, which will be also implemented on artists arriving, their entourage and foreign press. The protocol has been tested by the international agency SGS, the world leader in inspection, control, analysis and certification.

Field Lab Events

The Eurovision Song Contest is part of the Fieldlab Events research program. Under the leadership of its pricipal investigator Prof. Dr. Andreas Voss  who has conducted research by, among others, TU Delft and BUAS. The central question of the studies is whether the measures, as introduced in the previous pilots and proved to be good, also work with increased capacity.

Strict rules and measures for the audience

All visitors must be able to present a valid negative test certificate that is no older than 24 hours upon entry. In addition, they will be asked to undergo a post-test five days after the event. Testing is free via Testing For Access.

Before leaving home, visitors will receive triage questions via a special app. Those who have symptoms associated with Corona will be asked to stay at home. There will only be a seated audience, which limits the number of contact moments.

There will not be any standing audience on the floor this year. The public will be asked to arrive and depart according to time slots. Visitors must wear a mouth mask while ‘in the loop’ (on their way to their place, when visiting the toilet, etc.).

Mostly Dutch public in the audience.

The Eurovision Song Contest orginizers are not expecting many foreign expectators to attend the event in Rotterdam.

Sietse Bakker adds:

In any case, entry is only possible from EU / ERR countries and everyone is expected to go into home quarantine. In most cases they also have to have themselves tested again before departure and in many countries there is a quarantine obligation upon return. We also call on people to explicitly adhere to the applicable travel advice of their own government.

If the Covid 19 situation worsens in the Netherlands

If the situation in the healthcare sector deteriorates further in the coming weeks, the cabinet may once again review the permission to allow an audience to attend the event.

Sietse Bakker says:

We understand that extra reservation, of course. For that situation, we will of course keep the scenario without an audience at hand. In addition, we remain in close contact with the municipality, the GGD and the hospitals in the area.

Eurovision ticket sales

The available tickets will be offered, as promised, to all ticket holders of the 2020 edition. This will happen on Saturday 8 May at 12:00 noon. They will receive a message about this on Wednesday 5 May. There will be no public sale this year.

The 2021 Eurovision Song Contest is scheduled to be held on 18, 20 and 22 May at the Rotterdam Ahoy in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Source: AVROTROS/NOS/NPO/ Eurovision.tv /ESCToday
Cover Photo: Nathan Reinds/ NOS/NPO/ AVROTROS

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