The Dutch organisers of Eurovision 2021 have long hoped to allow an audience for this year’s shows in Rotterdam. And there might be a possibility after the Dutch caretaker government agreed to potentially make Eurovision 2021 another Fieldlab test event to find out whether large-scale events can be held safely in the age of COVID-19.

Speaking in the print version of De Telegraaf, Minister of Media Arie Slob said that the government would allow all nine shows with an audience of up to 3,500 spectators per show as long as case numbers are low enough. This final point is important. His comments are not a guarantee of an audience, but an indication they would like to allow for this if it is considered safe at the time.

How can Eurovision 2021 have an audience of 3,500 people?

Over the past few months, Fieldlab has been researching the spread of the coronavirus at large events like concerts, football matches and festivals.

Although no event was fully immune to COVID-19, the events have helped policy-makers and event-organisers assess how the virus spreads through an audience and which precautionary measures are helpful. At various events attendees have been given sensors so that officials could trace their interactions and movements within the audience. Similar experiments have been conducted in Germany and Spain in recent months.

Under the current Dutch COVID-19 restrictions, it’s unlikely that Eurovision 2021 would be allowed to have an audience. However, by potentially turning Eurovision 2021 into a Fieldlab event, an audience becomes a possibility once more.

Likely precautions include pre-event rapid testing and post-event monitoring. According to RTL Nieuws, only Dutch fans would be allowed in the audience under the current framework.

The caretaker government has stressed that the execution of the Fieldlab test event depends on the local coronavirus situation. Currently, the Netherlands is battling a third wave of the virus. The acting government will not take a decision until late April.

The EBU is positive about the developments

The EBU has responded to the announcement that, if circumstances allow, audiences will be permitted to attend the contest in May.

In a press release, Executive Supervisor Martin Österdahl states:

“We welcome this decision by the Dutch government and the possibility that we can invite fans to join us as we bring the Eurovision Song Contest back in May,”

“We will consider the options now available and announce more details in the coming weeks on how we can safely admit audiences to the Ahoy venue in Rotterdam should the situation allow. The health and safety of all those attending the event remains our top priority.”

The EBU in general added to that:

“As previously announced, all delegations, artists and production crew will be following a strict protocol and would not come in contact with potential members of the audience under any circumstances.”

Ticket sales to open on 8 May

The EBU has also confirmed that ticket sales for the Eurovision 2021 shows will go on sale on Saturday 8 May at 12:00 CET (noon).

Tickets sales will only be available to those who previously purchased tickets for Eurovision 2020. There will be NO general public sale. The EBU will send an email to all 2020 ticket holders with further information.

All audience members will need to take a rapid Covid-19 test on the day of their show and produce a negative result. Face masks will need to be worn when moving around the venue, but not when seated. See the EBU’s guidelines for more information.

What do you think about this plan? Do you think Eurovision 2021 will end up with having an audience after all? Let us know in the comments down below!

Read all our Eurovision 2021 news here.

 

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A post shared by William Lee Adams (@williamleeadams)

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johnlittlewood60@aol.com
1 month ago

At the end of the day, it’s just great to get a contest at all.
For the vast majority who are the ones watching from home, the audience is fairly irrelevant anyway. The whole show will still be great to watch and an audience track will be played anyway. I am genuinely sorry for the diehard fans who travel to the venues each year, but let’s celebrate the event being on !!!!

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
1 month ago

I imagine that, after further review, the invitation for 3,500 will be extended to those who were vaccinated, yes?

Azimuth
Azimuth
1 month ago

(if everyone performs well and has decent staging)
Jury voting:
1. Switzerland
2. Malta
3. Iceland
4. Sweden
5. France
Televote:
1. Lithuania
2. Iceland
3. San Marino
4. Switzerland
5. Serbia

GojoSatoru
GojoSatoru
1 month ago
Reply to  Azimuth

I personally disagree. France is my personal #2 this year, but France will definitely win. France is pretty much the definition of “Open Up” just like how Duncan Laurence was the definition of “Dare To Dream”, Salvador Sobral was the definition of “Celebrate Diversity”, etc. My jury voting top 5 prediction: France Switzerland Sweden Malta Iceland My televote top 5 prediction: France/Switzerland France/Switzerland Malta Bulgaria Finland My total top 5 prediction: France Switzerland Malta Bulgaria Sweden Iceland would do surprisingly bad with the televote, jury and televote would put Lithuania 6-10th. Eventhough Adrenalina is an amazing bop, San Marino is… Read more »

Robyn Gallagher
Admin
1 month ago
Reply to  GojoSatoru

Do you think televoters and juries deliberately vote with the show’s slogan in mind, or is it subconscious?

Bella
Bella
1 month ago
Reply to  GojoSatoru

x2
France must win this year. It has an amazing song!

wonder
wonder
1 month ago

semi final 1

lith – pass
slo – bye
rus – pass
swe – pass
aus – bye
mac – bye
ire – bye
cyp – pass
nor – pass
cro – pass
bel – bye
isra – pass
romania – bye
azr – pass
ukr – pass
malt – pass

Last edited 1 month ago by wonder
KarmaLeon
KarmaLeon
1 month ago

I will go there if i can… im already in the starting-blocks 😉 fingers crossed
I ve got my vaccine donne .. lets wait now !

dfafa
dfafa
1 month ago

Maybe they could allow better than negative tests vaccinated people like doctors, teachers, police officers…

Jackson
Jackson
1 month ago
Reply to  dfafa

No one’s immune to Covid, even vaccinated people can catch a virus. The show should be 100% without audience, and there shouldn’t be any talks about different scenarios, UNLES the covid situation completely change till May, but that is highly unlikly, plus they need to start preparing everything months ahead, so they can’t risk to lose so much money and all that in the pandemic times where money is a huge problem. Forget about audience, Netherlands!

Jackson
Jackson
1 month ago

Everyone’s life metter, so IF the situation with covid stays the same or is not under FULL control, not even one person should be allowed in the audience. Why should ANYONE risk their life only so that some esc crazy fans can watch the live show on TV, with a better experience of the show? Ban audience Netherlands, don’t be a fool!

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
1 month ago
Reply to  Jackson

You’re acting like everything relies on this one event where everybody will be heavily tested beforehand. Do you go to the supermarket? Chances are big there’s a larger chance to get infected overthere. Only 7% of dutch population has been vaccinated with their first shot up till now. We can’t stay in a full lockdown forever. After the summer of 2021 i’d like to continue living my only life..

Again: people will be heavily tested during the events and in earlier fieldlab test events there has been no spread of covid

Last edited 1 month ago by Frisian esc
Erik
Erik
1 month ago
Reply to  Frisian esc

I don’t go to the supermarket. I order everything online like any decent person

sTommie
sTommie
1 month ago
Reply to  Erik

And how do you think your groceries arrive at your home? Because there are people who have to work and don’t have the luxury to stay at home.

Killmouseki
Killmouseki
1 month ago
Reply to  Erik

And the award for most judgemental person of the day goes to…

Last edited 1 month ago by Killmouseki
wonder
wonder
1 month ago

Malta vs Israel… Who’s gonna win?!
(Both: dramatic/upbeat song + oustanding vocal + great stage presence)
It’s all about the staging and the voice..

Tina
Tina
1 month ago
Reply to  wonder

Non of them, of course

dfafa
dfafa
1 month ago
Reply to  wonder

Maybe Malta, but definitely not Israel (she might be a NQ)

Jackson
Jackson
1 month ago
Reply to  dfafa

I agree. Only Malta is a certain qualifier, Israel will have to fight to qualify. Also, Malta will not be in top5 with the televoters, so there’s no way in hell Malta gonna win 😀 Only fans of Malta with unrealistic views of what will happen can disagree

wonder
wonder
1 month ago
Reply to  Jackson

I kinda think that lith & switz will be flop… malta could be winner this year..
and Israel after that revamp.. can also win, the whistle will be a moment.. for sure! with a good staging both of them can be placed 1 or 2.. Israel I think going to do “cyprus 2018” and be in the top 3…. even norway could be a big surprise… not winner but in the top 10..

Last edited 1 month ago by wonder
Mara
Mara
1 month ago
Reply to  wonder

Israel won’t win 1000%. LOL

Last edited 1 month ago by Mara
Azimuth
Azimuth
1 month ago
Reply to  wonder

Iceland

Alex
Alex
1 month ago

The bad thing is that Netherlands is one of the worst performing countries in the covid battle with thousands of cases and deaths on a daily basis. Also, they have the lowest number of vaccinations in the bloc.

It’d have been better if Israel had hosted the show this year lol small capacity in the venue and a safe destination.

it’s such a shame that the big Ahoy arena will not have all the fans and seats filled.

I do think that by having negative tests and rapid tests available in the venue can work.

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
1 month ago

They want to make it a field lab test for future events (football matches, concerts etc.) in the Netherlands. That wouldn’t work with an arena filled with vaccinated doctors and people aged over 74 + since those aren’t the largest target audiences for future events.

Last edited 1 month ago by Frisian esc
Guust
Guust
1 month ago

Belgium used to be part of the Netherlands. Let us in!! 😉

Samo
Samo
1 month ago

Wouldn’t it be both better and safer to have larger audience made only from immune people (either vaccinated or after a previous infection) than a small audience with test? I mean, those tests are somewhat unreliable and you only need a few people to make this a superspreader event. Having immune people in the audience would be much better – the risk of getting reinfected is well below 1%, so at the very worst, few individuals would get infected (you first need someone to arrive infected, which is a very low chance on its own and then you’d also need… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Samo
Dave
Dave
1 month ago
Reply to  Samo

You have to remember that a lot of European countries have only just started their vaccine rollout… I can’t imagine maybe 80 year olds wanting to stand on their feet for 4 hours partying to esc songs

Samo
Samo
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave

There are tens of thousands of young people with natural imunity, who would also be eligible.

Dave
Dave
1 month ago
Reply to  Samo

natural immunity is not 100% effective. Some people have had COVID 2 times

Samo
Samo
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave

Nothing is 100% effective. If you expect 100% safety in your life, you will never ever leave the house. Immunity works very well at least for several months. Reinfection rates are below 1% and even that risk is spread throughout the time, so the chance of being infected and infectious during the event is negligible. The error rate of tests for ongoing infection (especially AG tests) is much higher. On the other hand, there are rapid antibody tests with 99% specificity – if you retest everyone shortly before the actual event, you are pretty much guaranteed they indeed do have… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Samo
Jofty
Jofty
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave

But they might want to throw their girdle at Uku Suviste?

Erik
Erik
1 month ago

It’s only the worlds largest music broadcast. So let’s just make it into an experiment and see what happens

Samo
Samo
1 month ago
Reply to  Erik

There will only be 3500 people in the audience. The 200 milions watching at home can’t get infected, it’s not like the virus can spread via the TV broadcast.

Erik
Erik
1 month ago
Reply to  Samo

I never said differently. What I criticise is broadcasting such an experiment for millions of people. You could come under the impression such event is safe

Denis
Denis
1 month ago
Reply to  Erik

Netherlands did similar tests and held concerts. They concluded the concerts didnt raise the infection rate. So yes, its safe…

Erik
Erik
1 month ago
Reply to  Denis

You cannot conclude much from a specific experiment. Conclusions can be made when you redo the same experiment repeatedly with the same results. During the pandemic more and more people start to use the “good enough” type of scientific approach. First you say there was an infection rate and then you call it safe. No spread of the virus. That’s safe. I want ESC as much as anyone. But I don’t want the competition to become an experiment. I mean safe as in scientifically evidenced safe and not as in the same kind of spread we see all across Europe… Read more »

Samo
Samo
1 month ago
Reply to  Erik

There will always be SOME spread of the virus. Some viruses have spread on every single ESC in the history. If you expect the spread to be zero, you will never ever leave your house again. The key is for the spread to be low enough.

Denis
Denis
1 month ago
Reply to  Erik

Nothing is 100% sure. Eveeything is a calculated risk. But we have to learn live with the virus, we cant just give up on everything and shutting everything down, otherwise we wont have anything to return to.There will be more pandemics after corona, should we give up then?

Last edited 1 month ago by Denis
Chessguy99
1 month ago

They’ve been running athletic events in the US with limited audience for some time now. The one universal rule seems to be nobody seated within about 5 meters of the playing area. I wonder if there will be restrictions as to how close the audience may be from the stage. It would still be very strange looking to have a huge gap between the audience and the stage.

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
1 month ago
Reply to  Chessguy99

I’ve heard them talking bout moving the green room to the standing crowd area. That way you could use the seating area as an audience which woulf make things easier.

Cammy Singh-Claire
Cammy Singh-Claire
1 month ago
Reply to  Chessguy99

I’m guessing they’ll move the green room to the front of the stage

Whoareyou?
Whoareyou?
1 month ago

Tests have a failure percentage, they should focus on vaccinated people.

Guust
Guust
1 month ago
Reply to  Whoareyou?

Vaccinations also have a failure percentage. Everything has. We need to learn to live with a certain degree of risk.

Whoareyou?
Whoareyou?
1 month ago
Reply to  Guust

Not the same, sorry to break it for ya.

Darren
Darren
1 month ago

Off topic slightly

But does anyone know when the OGAE voting is due to begin?

Darren
Darren
1 month ago
Reply to  Darren

Well I follow it anyway and find the results interesting, so maybe I care? Lol ?

Denis
Denis
1 month ago
Reply to  Darren

Isnt it usually in April?

Darren
Darren
1 month ago
Reply to  Denis

Yeah I was thinking it’s usually around now. That’s why I was asking but yeah I guess it’s coming soon.
Thanks @Denis

Denis
Denis
1 month ago
Reply to  Darren

I think maybe mid-April it usually starts. And OGAE Around The World I believe is the first one to reveal their voting

Darren
Darren
1 month ago
Reply to  Denis

Awesome! Thanks Denis! You’re a star so you are! Haha much appreciated.

I know a lot of people think it’s nonsense/cringey whatever but I look at the OGAE votes as a key part of the season, like song selection etc. So that’s why I asked.
Thanks for answering fella

Denis
Denis
1 month ago
Reply to  Darren

I like OGAE too, just for the fun and to see which songs might work. I also check out the Eurojury voting which for the last few years has been closest to predicting the actual result!

Kuhkatz
Kuhkatz
1 month ago

Guess this is true as they shouldn‘t make a joke this big.

Of course its sad for fans all over europe but I believe that events can go on with circumstances like this. For example Georgian football national team played with limited crowd against Spain last weekend.

notyourtoy
notyourtoy
1 month ago

Is this true or again an April fool’s Day joke?

sTommie
sTommie
1 month ago
Reply to  notyourtoy

There have been several of these Fieldlab events in the last few weeks.

Tunisiaboy1
Tunisiaboy1
1 month ago
Reply to  notyourtoy

It’s not a joke. The EBU already made a joke about a new Eurovision called wintervision where Keino represent Norway in 2022.

GojoSatoru
GojoSatoru
1 month ago
Reply to  Tunisiaboy1

Another reason why it isn’t a joke: the information was shown on the Dutch television news broadcaster. Here in The Netherlands, the only April Fools “news” we have are things like: “The Firetrucks have a new feature: a child seat.”, “In the zoo of Amsterdam, a monkey learned to make ice creams.”or “Geert Wilders starts a boy band.” Those are mainly things you shouldn’t take seriously. Even though Dutch people like making offensive jokes, we would never make jokes about serious topics such as The Eurovision Song Contest or diseases.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
1 month ago

This would be better than the usual business, in my opinion. Get some locals, get some fresh faces and while you’re at it, keep it that way.

sTommie
sTommie
1 month ago

Some of the OGAE members near the stage are familiar faces by now.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
1 month ago
Reply to  sTommie

I’m doing my best not to familiarize those faces lol

Denis
Denis
1 month ago

I take any good news I can find, so rare to find positive news these days so I am pleased!

Darren
Darren
1 month ago

It’s better than nothing (if true) considering we have come from having no Eurovision at all in 2020 to even suggesting the contest can take place at all. They could have a higher number in attendance really considering the size of the Ahoy..but if it’s true then fair enough really.

Lloyd
Lloyd
1 month ago

Honestly, I would not mind if it is only dutch audience members allowed. Its way better than not allowing any audience. At least you still get that vibe and reaction.

Cammy Singh-Claire
Cammy Singh-Claire
1 month ago
Reply to  Lloyd

I just hope they are fair to all artists & cheer them if they have a great song & performance, rather than be like nationalistic football fans & only support Jeangu & start booing if he doesn’t do well in voting (they *should* know that he is far from the bookies favourite to win- literally not even in the top 15) & thus spoil the atmosphere.

Ana
Ana
1 month ago

Or they can have it in Israel with full capacity. (yeah, that’s a joke)

Helena G.
Helena G.
1 month ago

I really hope this isn’t an April fool’s joke!
I have trust issues!

Last edited 1 month ago by Helena G.
Heyey
Heyey
1 month ago
Reply to  Helena G.

Same! I read a post on Youtube that EBU still allowed Belarus to take part in Eurovision. It said that they will host a national final with Kazna and Naviband. As soon as I saw Naviband, I remembered it was April Fools… 😀

Cammy Singh-Claire
Cammy Singh-Claire
1 month ago
Reply to  Helena G.

It isn’t! There are amny other sources including on Eurovision.tv confirming this news! https://metro.co.uk/2021/04/01/eurovision-2021-dutch-government-to-allow-audience-of-3500-14340473/

Robert
Robert
1 month ago

Amazing.. Much prefer to see a show with audience instead of without..

GojoSatoru
GojoSatoru
1 month ago

As a Dutch person, I am sad for non-Dutch people, because the “Only Dutch spectators” topic isn’t an April Fools joke.