Trial events, such as conferences, festivals and theater performances with hundreds of visitors, should be used to investigate whether major events in corona time can take place safely again.
‘Something possible again’
“It is really incredibly important for people to see that we are thinking about whether something is possible again,” said outgoing State Secretary for Economic Affairs Mona Keijzer about it last night, at the table at Jinek. Watch the conversation here:
There is enormous interest, noted Pieter Lubbers, who works for Fieldlab Events. This organization is a collaboration of the government and the events industry.
The dates for the upcoming festivals were announced yesterday and at 7:00 pm there were already 63,000 registrations. “We didn’t expect that,” said Lubbers.
‘We have to choose’
It concerns two festivals, on March 13 and 14. In Biddinghuizen, on the site where Lowlands is normally held, a dance festival and pop festival will take place.
1500 people can be present at these trial festivals, divided into groups of 500 people. Many festivalgoers who have signed up for it will thus be disappointed. “We have to choose,” said Lubberts.
Yesterday Fieldlab Events organized the first event, in the Beatrix Theater in Utrecht. Hundreds of visitors gathered there for a conference and did not have to keep their distance from one another. “There is an exception in the law for these experiments,” Lubberts explained.
Hundreds of attendees
“I had especially forgotten how much noise a few hundred people can make,” said reporter Hans Schutte, who was at the Beatrix Theater yesterday:
According to Keijzer, the Netherlands is the first country in Western Europe to conduct such large-scale research. “By allowing these tests to continue, we as a government show that we want to think about the future,” she said.
Whoever comes to one of the events will receive a corona test beforehand. Upon entry, guests must disinfect their hands and their temperature is measured. Everyone also receives a motion sensor.
In the theater yesterday, for the research, ‘bubbles’ were created from groups of people. Each group had, among other things, its own entrance and toilet. Different rules also applied to certain groups. Some had to wear a mouth mask, others were behind a splash guard. In five days, those present will take another corona test.
‘Beginning of the Roads of These Times’
King Willem-Alexander reacted delighted to the first event yesterday. He called it “the beginning of one of the many roads of these dark times.” He believes that everyone benefits from the research. “It would be great if something became possible again.”