The Dutch authorities will use the competition, where Norway is represented by TIX, as one of several test events to assess how to open up to larger events after the pandemic.
The Netherlands won Eurovision in 2019 and was supposed to host in 2020, but the competition was canceled due to the pandemic.
Must have negative test
It was long uncertain whether the artists would ever travel to the Netherlands to perform on the same stage. It now opens to 3,500 people in the arena, which is about half as many as was planned for last year.
The spectators who want to be present must be able to present a negative corona test, and the audience will almost exclusively consist of Dutch people due to the strict travel rules, according to the newspaper De Telegraaf.
The BBC points out, however, that there is still great uncertainty about whether the opportunity to hold the folk festival will actually present itself when the time comes.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced last week that the national curfew will be extended to late April, and if the infection situation becomes too bad, new restrictions can also affect the traditional song competition, they write.
– Has been excited
In an SMS to Dagbladet, Haukeland writes: «Think so fantastic if the event is carried out with the audience! Now it can at least look like the world is moving in the right direction. I know that it will be super strict with infection control measures in Rotterdam, so I have been very excited about how the experience will be, but this was really good news! ”
The Netherlands has experimented with several major events this spring as part of the government’s so-called “FieldLab” project, where they are investigating whether major events can be safely carried out during a pandemic.
Previous events included a concert near Amsterdam with 1,500 in the audience, while the football match between the Netherlands and Latvia last Saturday had as many as 5,000 spectators present. The audience is divided into bubbles so that they can be followed up closely.
– A dream
– The fact that we now have the opportunity to arrange Eurovision with an audience is something we could only dream of, says producer Sietse Ekker to the Dutch public broadcaster NOS.
Eurovision is scheduled to be held May 18-22, with a total of nine performances in Rotterdam including rehearsals, semifinals, and the final. TIX and his song “Fallen Angel” must thus hope that European viewers secure him a ticket to the big final night.
“We welcome the decision of the Dutch authorities and the opportunity to invite fans to join us when Eurovision returns in May,” said EBU President Martin Österdahl in a statement, adding that the health and safety of those present will have top priority.
Österdahl says that the organization will return with more details on how the event can be resolved in a safe way in the coming weeks.
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