Tickets for large trial festivals and events sold out within the hour

While life is still uncertain due to the world pandemic, some trial events and concerts are being held in the Netherlands. The aim is to gather data and discover whether it’s possible to safely conduct such gatherings in the future. The tickets for four trial events, happening in March, were sold out an hour after going on sale, despite the website crashing constantly due to the large amount of traffic.

Fans could buy tickets for two events in the Ziggo Dome and two festivals to be held at Walibi Holland in Biddinghuizen. The small-scale events take place as part of the Fieldlab Events study. According to AD, the first event is scheduled for 6 March. Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano and Sam Feld will perform during a dance party at the Ziggo Dome. The next day, André Hazes gives a concert in the same hall, together with a supporting act and a special guest. A total of 1300 visitors are allowed for each event. They will be divided into five bubbles of 250 people and one group of 50, reports. The other two events happen on 13 and 14 March. The first is a dance festival and the second is a pop festival with artists Chef’s Special, Maan and Bilal Wahib. Each day, 1500 visitors are admitted. They will be divided into three groups of 500. Earlier trials were already held in February: a try-out at a conference for people from the event industry, a theater show by comedian Guido Weijers and two football matches.

Het Parool newspaper describes how an alliance of different organizations, universities and scientists is looking at how this type of events can be safely organized. To ensure, the visitors are subjected to multiple corona tests before and after the event and must adhere to various measures. “It is a practical test. At the door we do a temperature test and a health test. A quick corona test is also done on a random basis for some of the visitors,” explains Lubberts. For each event, specific ‘bubbles’ are created, as described above. “Each bubble is a separate group of people. They have their own bar, their own entrance and their own toilet. They do not come into contact with the other groups. This way, we can create a set of test measures,” explains Pieter Lubberts from Fieldlab Events. Different rules apply to each group: some have to wear face masks, some don’t; some have to keep 1.5 metres distance, others don’t. Everyone will be tracked via a tag, so that the contact time and the distance from other people can be measured.

The hope is that, based on the tests, more events like this will be allowed in the future. “If you look at the current roadmap, we are only able to admit a hundred people in the first phase. That is not a number that will make you profitable in this industry, certainly not in the Ziggo Dome,” said, venue director Danny Damman. When the Ziggo Dome will be allowed to function at full capacity – 17,000 visitors – is still a mystery for Damman. The director hopes that this will still possible this year. The Dutch State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, Mona Keijzer, told Het Parool that “going back to normal, whether it is a conference with your colleagues, a sports match or a concert, is what everyone wants. These tests not only offer prospects for entrepreneurs, but also for visitors. We all crave it. With these practical tests, we offer this possibility in a safe and responsible way, taking into account the developments of the corona virus”.

Let’s hope for the best; may we soon be gathered together outside, safe and happy.

Written by Raphael Perachi Vieira