In the name of science, the Dutch government hosted an event last Saturday, and thousands were invited!
The Dutch government has been working closely with Fieldlab Events, to find a solution that will allow large-scale events to flourish safely during the pandemic. The latest event was a music festival, that took place in the village of Biddinghuizen, an hour away from Amsterdam. The organisers set up a giant outdoor tent for their attendees, and invited popular techno artist, DJ Reinier Zonneveld, to get their crowds moving.
A crowd of around 3,000 people gathered in Biddinghuizen to attend this miraculous, government-sanctioned event. To create a controlled environment, all the attendees had to provide proofthat they had been tested negative for COVID-19, 48 hours prior to entering the event. They were also asked to keep their mask on for the duration of the festival. However, the masks began flying off, and soon enough, everyone forgot that they were partying in the midst of a pandemic.
BBC spoke with Andrew Voss, Professor of Infection Control, who was on the scene and he said:
All the participants know that there is a minor risk. They are well aware of it. We believe that from the first data, we can say that the risk is not much higher than staying at home.
Results of the experiment
This music festival was one among six experiments conducted by the Dutch government, in collaboration with Fieldlab Events. Both Pieter Lubberts, Program Manager at Fieldlab Events, and Voss indicated to DW that the results do look promising.
Out of more than 6,000 people who attended these events so far, we only found five who might have been infected during or around the time of the events.
The Dutch government has yet to examine the findings, but if these experiments are a success, it could be ground-breaking for the entertainment industry - especially given that summer is approaching.