The Netherlands will host pilot events in January 2021

With government approval, the Netherlands will organize a concert, a dance event and two open-air festivals in January 2021, to determine the possibility to return to live events during the pandemic, and next year. Over the past months Fieldlab Events, a government-backed initiative representing the events sector during the pandemic, has been working to avoid billions in losses due to inactivity. The Dutch government had agreed in looking into Fieldlab’s plans for pilot events. The analysis was made carefully with the advice of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment. The plan aims to lead to the return of full-capacity events soon. The first step is to host some pilot shows and for that, they now have the green light.

Under the umbrella ‘Back to Life’, are already defined a series of test events: a concert and a dance event at Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam, two open-air festivals at the Lowlands, organized by Mojo and ID&T. Also confirmed to happen is a cabaret performance by Guido Weijers to 500 guests at the Beatrix Theater in Utrecht, a business conference at the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht and football matches with 1,500 supporters at NEC and Almere City FC.

This information brings hope and some encouragement after so many months without seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. But all this is only possible thanks to a solid, well-structured plan with inviolable intricacies. About the Dutch government green light, Marcel Elbertse, chairman of the Fieldlab Events said the following:

‘This is confirmation of the fact that we have presented a solid plan of action. It shows the government’s guts that they are now giving us permission to organise the pilot events. We have always emphasised that these can take place safely and are essential for the entire industry. In principle, every visitor to a pilot event has been tested negative, thus avoiding risk.’


How will these pilot events be conducted? All participants will have to religiously meet a few requirements: negative Covid test and completing a health declaration 24 hours before the event. Participants will have to have their temperature checked at the entrance or do a rapid Covid test. On top of that, to guarantee the safety of everyone, they will have to avoid contact with vulnerable groups for the two weeks after the shows. Easy to accomplish.

The joint initiative between the industry and the government, to be effective on the plan, have divided the events into four categories: inside passive, active indoors, active outdoors and outside active festival. For each of them, a specific group of measures is being drawn. To measure and study the results of each experimental events and to reduce the risk of spreading the virus, Fieldlab developed a risk management model based on ‘building block’, that include behaviour, triage, tracking and tracing, rapid tests, visitor dynamics, air quality, personal protection, cleaning and disinfection of surfaces and materials, vulnerable groups. The complete iconography can be consulted on their website.

The best way to end the year is with good news and this certainly makes us a bit more excited. We will keep an eye on the next developments.


Image Credit: Andrew Hawkes (Pexels)

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