Home > News > Netherlands: Festival Promoters Still In Limbo
Bart HeemskerkLowlands Festival 2018A large crowd gathers at the Alpha stage.
The Dutch government renewed coronavirus restrictions on live events until Aug. 13, which has placed the country’s remaining summer events in limbo.
Two of the country’s most beloved festivals, Lowlands (Aug. 20-22) and Down The Rabbit Hole (Aug. 27-29), can now no longer be certain of going ahead. The latter had been moved from its usual early-July dates to take place on the site of Lowlands in Biddinghuizen at the end of August.
However, it backtracked earlier this month after rising numbers of positive cases in the country.
One such rise was recorded after the Dutch city of Utrecht hosted Verknipt Festival, a two-day dance event (no camping), July 3-4, attended by some 20,000 people in total. As CNBC first reported, 1,050 people, who attended the festival, have since tested positive for Covid, according to Utrecht’s regional heath board.
“We cannot say that all these people were infected at the festival itself; it could also be possible that they’ve been infected while travelling to the festival or in the evening before going to the festival or having an after-party. So they’re (the cases) all linked to the festival but we can’t 100% say they were infected at the festival,” Lennart van Trigt, a spokesman for the Utrecht health board, is quoted in the report.
Trigt still concluded that events with a test for entry strategy should make sure tests aren’t older than 24 hours. In the case of Verknipt Festival, tests taken as much as 40 hours prior to the event were accepted.
To avoid these kinds of uncertainties about where people get infected, a properly conducted test event usually looks at a control group of people that don’t attend the event in question, in addition to the ones attending.
The prolonging of restrictions to Aug. 13, after which the Dutch government intends to review the situation for events, puts Lowlands and Down The Rabbit Hole in an “impossible situation,” as promoter Mojo stated on social media.
“We can’t keep everyone on a leash for weeks. Artists keep their agendas free to come to Lowlands, suppliers keep personnel and materials available and visitors also want to know where they stand. That is why clarity from the government is needed now and not in mid-August,” the Dutch statement translates.