As Eurovision readies for its return this spring, officials in the Netherlands confirmed that they will allow for a limited number of fans to attend the international song competition at the Rotterdam Ahoy arena if conditions remain safe.
The Dutch government will use Eurovision 2021 as a trial run for large-scale events as it begins to reopen amid the coronavirus. Seating at the Rotterdam venue will be at half-capacity (allowing up to 3500 attendees), while all ticket holders will have to present a negative COVID-19 test before entering the arena.
To keep conditions as safe as possible, fans will be split into pods during each of the nine shows (including rehearsals, the semi-finals on May 18 and 20, and the May 22 finals) so that they can be closely monitored. All plans are subject to change and will be confirmed later this month.
“We welcome this decision by the Dutch government and the possibility that we can invite fans to join us as we bring the Eurovision Song Contest back in May,” said Martin Österdahl, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest in a statement.
“We will consider the options now available and announce more details in the coming weeks on how we can safely admit audiences to the Ahoy venue in Rotterdam should the situation allow. The health and safety of all those attending the event remains our top priority.”
The European Broadcasting Union, which produces the long-running song competition, added, “As previously announced, all delegations, artists, and production crew will be following a strict protocol and would not come in contact with potential members of the audience under any circumstances.”
The 65th annual competition will feature acts from 39 countries. While last year’s events were canceled, several artists who were selected for 2020 will still have the opportunity to represent their countries this May. Among the artists to watch are Belgium’s Hooverphonic, Croatia’s Albina, Norway’s TIX, France’s Barbara Pravi, and Moldova’s Natalia Gordienko.
For more information on Eurovision or this year’s participating artists, visit the official website.