Good news: Eurovision 2021 can proceed with a capacity of 3,500 spectators per show.
Back in March, Eurovision 2021 became a so-called FieldLab test event. This made it possible for organisers to allow a limited number of spectators to enjoy the show in Rotterdam’s Ahoy. However, due to increased hospitalisations as a result of the third wave of the pandemic in the Netherlands, several test events have had to be re-considered by local authorities in recent weeks. Thankfully for Eurovision fans, the Dutch caretaker government decided on Thursday evening that Eurovision 2021 can proceed with an audience.
That’s welcome news for worried fans. Following a spike in hospitalisations and rising case numbers, test events similar to Eurovision 2021 have received widespread criticism. A petition — started by employees of a local hospital against holding a test event with 10,000 visitors in the Southern Dutch city of Breda — gained almost 400,000 signatures. The test event was eventually cancelled.
Prior to attending any of the nine planned shows, attendees will have to undergo a rapid test to detect potential COVID-19 infections. Those who test positive will be barred from entering and will have to go into self-isolation at home.
Tickets purchases last year have, of course, been cancelled. All the ticket holders of the Eurovision 2020 event received refunds after the organisers initially froze the tickets after last year’s cancellation.
Dutch media are now reporting that ticket sales will begin on May 8 at 12:00 local time. Only people who purchases tickets last year are eligible to buy tickets for this year’s show.
The decision about allowing an audience was taken by the three relevant Ministers and one relevant Secretary of State. These included Ferd Grapperhaus (Minister of Justice), Arie Slob (Minister of Media), Hugo de Jonge (Minister of Health) and Mona Keijzer (Secretary of State of Economic Affairs). RTL Nieuws Political Correspondent Floor Bremer first tweeted the news after the meeting had ended in The Hague.