Concert Festival, Rave, Crowd

Dutch clubbers returned to the dancefloor for a coronavirus pilot event

Dutch dance music lovers in Amsterdam were offered a short relief from the coronavirus lockdown and were treated with their first live show in over a year in the capital’s largest music venue, the Ziggo Dome.

The doors were open for 1300 people for four hours on Saturday from 3 PM to 7 PM so that the event would be compliant with the current nationwide curfew between 9 PM to 4.30 AM, which has been in place for the past six weeks. Clubbers could let loose on the dancefloor to sets by Dutch DJs Sam Feldt, Lady Bee and Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano.The guests were divided into five groups of 250 people, plus one of 50, with each “bubble” given a different set of rules. All the attendees had to present a negative test for coronavirus 48 hours before the event, and were also asked to take another one 5 days afterwards. Bubble 1 had to wear a mask all the time with no more than 3 people in a square metre of space. The second group also had to keep their masks on and were told to keep a 1.5 meter distance. People in Bubble 3 wore a mask only when they moved around, besides they had to stand on designated spots. The fourth group had to cover their noses and mouths with a mask but there were seats available for them. Those in Bubble 5 had masks on only when on the move, with standing and seating areas provided. The participants were put in their dancing spot by the organisers with two chairs spacing people apart. The last group of people had the chance to feel like the way things were before the pandemic with no masks on, allowing them to stand or sit where and when they pleased. One group was given a fluorescent drink and was encouraged to sing and scream to the music in order to examine how much saliva was released during times of celebration.

Tim Boersma, the spokesperson of Fieldlab which coordinated the study told The Guardian:

 “We hope this can lead to a tailor-made reopening of venues. Measures are now generic, allowing for instance a maximum of 100 guests at any event if coronavirus infections drop to a certain level. We hope for more specific measures, such as allowing the Ziggo Dome to open at half its capacity.”

The pilot event was part of a series of government-backed research events such as a business conference of 500 people, a performance in front of a similar number of people by cabaret artist Guido Weijers, and a football match involving 1200 cheering supporters. Dutch government advisers will use the data to help make decisions on possibly easing the coronavirus-related restrictions on night life in the upcoming months.

Photo by Simon Boxus on Unsplash