The Netherlands’ first coronavirus-proof trial events to take place in February

The Netherlands’ first coronavirus-proof trial events to take place in February

In 2020, the Dutch government revealed plans to hold coronavirus-proof trial events across the Netherlands in the new year. Now, it has been announced that the first trials will take place on February 15. 

Eight trial events planned for spring 2021

Everyone longs to return to “normal”, and while the idea of being able to sit in a packed concert hall or theatre might feel surreal at the moment (and perhaps anxiety-inducing), many still dream of the day that they’ll be able to once again do the things they love. Well, it seems that this reality may be one step closer. 

The first trial event is one of eight pilots that have been planned, covering everything from football matches to festivals. The aim of these pilots is to determine if live events can be held safely with an audience and to gather data and information about the contamination risk at (big) events.

How will they work?

At each event, a controlled number of people will be allowed to attend, and all those in attendance will be placed in separate bubbles with their movement and contact with others measured electronically. Five days after the event has taken place, all those in attendance will be tested for COVID-19

The first event on February 15 - a business conference in Utrecht called Back to Live, which will discuss the future of the events industry - will have 500 people in attendance. On February 20, another 500 people will be in attendance at a cabaret show starring Guido Weijers, and on February 21, 1.500 NEC Nijmegen season ticket holders will attend the football match against De Graafschap. The following week, 1.500 Almere City FC fans will be allowed to attend the game against SC Cambuur. 

Hope for the Netherlands’ festival season?

The dates and locations of the final four events are yet to be announced, but they will include one live (indoor) concert and two live (outdoor) festivals. The success of the trial festivals will likely be followed by many, as a number of festival fans called on the cabinet to implement a 24/7 vaccination system in order to save the festival season. 

After almost a year without any public events, the industry is banking on a strong and effective national vaccination plan as well as the success of these eight pilot events. They have asked the government for a decisive plan for the summer months by February 8 in order to allow them sufficient time to plan for the months ahead.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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