Photo: Thomas Hanses (EBU)

Of the nearly 30,000 visitors who attended the Eurovision Song Contest 2021, only 48 appear to have been infected with coronavirus. That’s according to Fieldlab Events, the body that has been overseeing test events for the Dutch government.

As you’ll recall, producers were allowed to welcome 3,500 spectators per show after Eurovision became a so-called Fieldlab test event. Prior to attending any of the nine planned shows, attendees had to undergo a rapid test to detect potential COVID-19 infections. Those who tested positive were barred from entering and had to go into self-isolation at home.

As NU.nl reports, the 48 new cases represent an average of 1.6 per thousand — or over five per show. That’s a lower infection rate compared to the national average at the time. During Eurovision, there were an average of 4.9 people infected per every thousand in The Netherlands.

 

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The Fieldlab figures only relate to visitors — “and not the crew, volunteers, press and delegation members.” Those statistics are forthcoming.

My blogmate Cinan and I were lucky enough to attend the grand final. As you can see in the video above, attending a live event after such a long time had audience members ecstatic. You could feel the emotion as the Eurovision theme ushered in a grand final for the first time in two years.

 

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At the end of May Fieldlab — which is actually a collaboration between the nation’s events industry and three government ministries — asserted that events with large numbers of visitors can be held safely, even when infection rates are high.

It made the claim based on the results of 24 separate events — from an outdoor sporting event to a small-scale rave to Eurovision.

“The practicals have shown that visitors are prepared to cooperate by having a fast test ahead of the event,” a spokesman told Dutch broadcaster NOS. “If the infrastructure for testing is well down and the cabinet supports our conclusions, there is nothing in the way of a fine summer for the events industry.”

 

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Jar
Jar
4 months ago

Esc was done so well. More than this amount got covid in a single Dutch garden party.

Euro Fan
Euro Fan
4 months ago

Maybe they haven’t been vaccinated yet?

Ern
Ern
4 months ago

Yes, but none of this means these 48 people got infected at the Eurovision. They likely got infected elsewhere.

Regardless, I’m sure they will all be fine, and Eurovision was a huge success.

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
4 months ago
Reply to  Ern

You get downvoted but most tests were taken 5 days after the event. Probably almost nobody went in full lockdown after the show. There’s a much larger chance people got infected afterwards at places where people didn’t have a negative test than at the show they visited.

Last edited 4 months ago by Frisian esc
John
John
4 months ago

William, something doesn’t make sense to me. Why would you headline say <50 spectators contracted COVID “during the shows”. If the people were tested before the were let in, then wouldn’t they have been denied entry and therefore the contacted the virus outside of Ahoy? Can you please check the original testing source maybe the translation from the Dutch is badly done.

Gabriella
Gabriella
4 months ago
Reply to  John

A negative test before the show is only at that moment. Can still have contracted the virus but test negative one moment and test positive a day later. The virus takes several days to show up.

Gabriella
Gabriella
4 months ago

Please take into account that testing after the event was not mandatory, so how reliable are those figures?

James
James
4 months ago
Reply to  Gabriella

Contact tracing forms.

Sot
Sot
4 months ago

Finally, some positive news! AVROTROS did an absolutely great job on hosting. I hope RAI does something similar and leaves the 1991 disaster behind…

Damiano
Damiano
4 months ago
Reply to  Sot

I believe RAI will be more than keen to put 1991 behind them. They now have a bunch of contests to look back on and see what worked well and what they need to bring.

germaneurofan
germaneurofan
4 months ago
Reply to  Sot

what happened in 1991?? :0

Fast Food Music Lover
Fast Food Music Lover
4 months ago

I like those odds. I guess they can replicate the same SOPs as the new normal for the next editions as well.

Last edited 4 months ago by Fast Food Music Lover
Samo
Samo
4 months ago

I hope next editions will be normal. Pandemics of similar diseases usually had three waves, so the autumn 2021 will probably be tough, but it should be all ok by the spring 2022 (unless it turns out we’ve slowed it down way too much, thus making it longer, but I hope it’s not the case).

Erik
Erik
4 months ago
Reply to  Samo

Only rich part of the world is being vaccinated so this pandemic will probably continue for years actually

Darren
Darren
4 months ago

Relatively safe and enjoyable Eurovision all around I say.
Well done Netherlands, AVROTROS, Rotterdam and FieldLab for making Eurovision 2021 possible but still incredibly entertaining