Trial festivals and football matches with audience members to begin soon in the Netherlands

The Netherlands will begin organising trial events in which audience members will be allowed to attend conferences, festivals and matches in mid-February.

The experimental events were initially planned to begin in mid-january but they were postponed due to the arrival of the British coronavirus variant in the Netherlands. Now, the experimental events have once again received the green light.

Audience members to be tested

Before attending any of the planned events, audience members must first test negative for coronavirus. A negative test result must be no later than 48 hours old and the members will be required to get tested again five days after the event.

The tests will be free for audience members since they are taking part in a trial. Pieter Lubberts of Fieldlab, the organisation that represents the events sector, tells the NOS about why these trials are being conducted:

“We want to use these tests to investigate whether we can replace the current measures, such as the one and a half metres, and still organize safe and responsible events. The aim is to use the tests to gain insight into the contamination risks.”

Where will the trials take place?

The first of the trials will take place at the Beatrix Theatre in Utrecht. It is a business conference that will host 500 people — all of whom will be tested before and after attending the conference.

The second trial will take place in the same theatre but this time it will be a concert. The audience members will be broken up into three groups which will consist of 50, 200 and 250 people.

The largest number of audience members will be seen at the two football matches that will follow. Both matches will allow an audience of 1,500 people. The first match will take place on February 20 between NEC and De Graafschap in Nijmegen. In this trial, the audience will be broken up into six groups of 200 people.

The second football match to trial having an audience will take place on February 28, when Almere City will play at home against Cambuur. In this case, the audience will be broken up into separate “bubbles” of 200, 600 and 700 fans.

What do you think of these trials? Are they taking place too soon? Or is it time that the Netherlands carries out these experiments? 

Feature Image: Free-Photos/Pixabay

Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Sarah originally arrived in the Netherlands due to an inability to make her own decisions — she was simply told by her mother to choose the Netherlands for Erasmus. Life here has been challenging (have you heard the language) but brilliant for Sarah, and she loves to write about it. When Sarah is not acting as a safety threat to herself and others (cycling), you can find her sitting in a corner of Leiden with a coffee, trying to sound witty.


  1. This is absolutely ridiculous!!! We’re in a lockdown AND have a curfew! Most people haven’t even been vaccinated yet, but, yeah, let’s start having concerts, business conferences, and sports events. WTF is wrong with this country???????? 🤦🏻‍♂️


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