The Dutch government has confirmed that an audience will be present in the Rotterdam Ahoy for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest which will be held in Rotterdam next month. The decision was made by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science earlier today.
Despite organisers already confirming that there would be an audience at the contest earlier this month, there had been some uncertainty in recent days as to whether an audience would be permitted into the arena due to rising Covid numbers in hospitals in The Netherlands.
A 3,500-strong audience will gather in Rotterdam
RTL Nieuws’ Political Reporter Floor Bremer first reported the news on Twitter, stating that the government had given permission for the Fieldlab event trial to go ahead at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
Other news outlets later reported on the story confirming that 3,500 spectators would be present at the contest – as previously confirmed at the start of the month.Audience members will be able to attend the jury shows, the family shows and the live shows across the three nights.
Following the announcement of the news, events alderman Said Kasmi said that he was happy to hear that an audience would be present at the contest but he said that safety would remain paramount.
After all, shows with an audience provide that great Eurovision atmosphere in Ahoy. We will of course continue to monitor developments closely. Safety for visitors, artists, delegations and press is paramount at all times and we work according to a strict coronavirus protocol.– Said Kasmi, D66 Events Alderman
Tickets to go on sale on 8th May
Fans will be able to purchase tickets for the contest from 8th May at 12:00 CEST. After the announcement, Sietse Bakker said that he expected only a small amount of international fans to attend the contest as he called on people to adhere to their country’s travel restrictions.
In any case, entry is only possible from EU/EEA countries and everyone is expected to go into home quarantine. In most cases, they also have to be tested again before departure and in many countries there is a quarantine obligation upon return. We call out for people to strictly adhere to the applicable travel advice from their own government.– Sietse Bakker, Executive Producer of Eurovision 2021
All audience members will have to follow strict health and safety guidelines when attending the contest including providing a negative Covid-19 test result before entering the arena. Testing in the Netherlands is free under the Testing For Access system. Though social distancing and masks will not be a requirement in the arena space, audience members are still expected to adhere to these rules when walking around the arena.
If the Covid-19 situation in the Netherlands continue to worsen then the government may decide at a later date that an audience is not permitted – however this was not the case at today’s meeting.
Are you happy that an audience will be present at this year’s contest? Do you think an audience is essential for Eurovision?
Let us know in the comments below and on social media @ESCXTRA.