European festivals have spoken about their hopes of returning this summer, with the Dutch government setting up trial events next month and stating that festivals should be possible from July.
Following the recent cancellation of Glastonbury in the UK due to complications from the coronavirus pandemic, anticipation now surrounds how the rest of the festival season with Download Festival as well as Reading & Leeds Festival as to how they will play out. In the UK, festival organisers are calling on the government to provide a restart date for preparation, as well as insurance to help them survive if they have to cancel again.
Now, it seems that this has been granted for the music industry in the Netherlands.
“Great news: the Dutch government has announced that they aim to allow festivals after July 1,” a new statement reads on the website for Netherlands’ dance event Liquicity. “In case festivals still get canceled due to changing COVID circumstances, organisers are likely to be compensated for the costs. Festivals in The Netherlands are currently selling out in record pace due to this new government announcement.”
Liquicity, set to take place from July 16-18, also promised that festival-goers can request a full refund until May 16, that they’ll get their full money back if it gets cancelled or if they’re unable to get there due to travel bans, and that a ticket swap service had been set up for fans who still didn’t feel comfortable attending closer to the event.
Meanwhile, it has also been announced that two trial festivals on Netherlands festival Lowlands to test if they can be run safely and free of coronavirus. As We Rave You reports, 3000 participants at the events will have to present the negative result of a COVID-19 test, with their temperatures measured on entry and some being randomly selected for a “thick” test.
Attendees will also be given a lanyard that records moments of contact with others. Lowlands director Eric van Eerdenburg told a press conference that the measures they had in place would allow them to be prepared “in the event of a subsequent outbreak” at events later this summer.
“As a sector, we have to think five or six months ahead to organise a major event,” he said. “The government often looks at a situation in a few months from now.”
Primavera Sound festival’s recent trial for the return of gigs with no social distancing but same-day antigen testing found no infection rate, while a study in Germany last year found a “low to very low risk” or coronavirus spreading at indoor gigs – concluding that “good ventilation and social distancing are key”. This month will see a similar experiment take place in Luxembourg.
Meanwhile, trials have been announced to test “health passports” at small indoor gigs in the UK as a route to “reopening live music safely”.