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Fieldlab reveals details on Back to Live pilot festivals

Fieldlab, the organisation spearheading the ‘Back to Live’ test series in the Netherlands, has revealed details on the previously announced open-air festival pilots.

The eight-event test series is being orchestrated with Event Platform, the Alliance of Event Builders and the government to investigate how events with an increased visitor capacity can take place safely and responsibly during the pandemic.

The festival tests are being organised along with Dutch promoters Mojo and ID&T and will take place at the event site in Biddinghuizen – home to festivals such as Defqon.1 and Lowlands.

Fieldlab and Lowlands director, Eric van Eerdenburg, has revealed that the festivals will likely be scheduled for March, kicking off mid-afternoon and running until the early evening in case a curfew is in place.

Eerdenburg also said that each festival will host 1,500 visitors, who will be tested before and after the events, and are required to wear masks for the duration.

Participants will be ‘tagged’ at the entrance and admitted in phases before they’re free to roam the mini-festival, which will include several stages and food trucks.

Fieldlab’s Tim Boersma told 3voor12: “It is not a medical experiment, we will look at contact. Everyone is tagged at the entrance. Not all of those 1,500 people meet, but how many do, and for how long? In which places do crowds arise? Can you solve that by installing more toilet blocks, for example?”

The organisation plans to announce the exact dates for the festival tests next week.

Each festival will host 1,500 visitors, who will be tested before and after the events, and are required to wear masks

The postponed ‘Back to Live’ pilot shows that are scheduled to take place this month include a cabaret performance by Guido Weijers to 500 guests at the Beatrix Theatre in Utrecht (20 February), a business conference at the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht (15th) and two football matches at the home grounds of NEC (21st) and Almere City FC (28th).

Details have also been revealed about how the football games will take place. Each match will kick off at 12:15 pm at the respective grounds and will host 1,500 season tickets holders.

For the match at NEC’s home ground, the Goffert Stadium in Nijmegen, the 1,500 attendees will be split into six ‘bubbles’ of 250 for the purpose of the investigation.

For the game at Almere City FC’s home ground, the Yanmar Stadion in Almere, the visitors will be divided into three ‘bubbles’ of 200, 600 and 700 people.

During each type of test event, Fieldlab will study several ‘building blocks’ that contribute to prevention and reduction of the risk of spreading the Covid-19 virus including behaviour; triage, tracking and tracing; rapid tests; visitor dynamics; air quality; personal protection; cleaning and disinfection of surfaces and materials; vulnerable groups.

The Back to Live test series will also include a concert and a dance event at Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam, also organised by Mojo and ID&T, which are yet to be announced.

 


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ASOT1000 sells 55,000 tickets in four hours

The Netherlands’ A State of Trance (ASOT) has sold all 55,000 tickets for this September’s festival, which takes place at the Jaarbeurs convention centre in Utrecht on 3–4 September.

The ASOT1000 Celebration Weekend, which marks 1,000 episodes and 20 years of Armin van Buuren’s A State of Trance radio show, is the most-anticipated A State of Trance to date, selling out in under four hours, according to promoter Alda.

Headlined by van Buuren, the first night of ASOT1000 will be a “nostalgic journey through two decades of trance”, with the Saturday show a more standard ASOT experience, welcoming a “star-studded line-up packed with new young talent, as well as iconic trance artists”. The nine-hour event will take place across five areas of the 100,000m² Jaarbeurs.

The festival follows ASOT 950, which took place last February, also at the Jaarbeurs, with 40,000 fans in attendance and millions more watching online.

Further ASOT1000 events will take place in Poland and Russia the following month, before heading to more countries on A State of Trance world tour.

“This incredible achievement signifies that music has always been a unifying force”

Allan Hardenberg, CEO of leading dance music promoter Alda, says: “This milestone celebration is a very special one for Alda, as we have been a part of this extraordinary journey for 14 years in organising ASOT events worldwide. We are glad to celebrate this landmark occasion with Armin and fans from all over the world.

“This incredible achievement signifies that music has always been a unifying force. See you on the dancefloor this September.”

Tickets for ASOT1000 Celebration Weekend started at €110 for a weekend ticket, or €65 for a single-day pass.

Regarding coronavirus, Alda says it will take “measures that are necessary at that moment” to protect fans and comply with all Dutch government regulations. Another dance music festival, new event Frontier, says it will also go ahead in a ‘corona-proof’ format, regardless of restrictions, this summer.

 


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Netherlands builds socially-distanced venue

A temporary purpose-built, socially-distanced theatre is opening at Jaarbeurs exhibition and convention centre in Utrecht this autumn.

The Scala Theater is currently being built in two halls of Jaarbeurs and will remain in place from 25 September until 31 December.

The temporary construction consists of three floors with 129 boxes, separate staircases and walking paths. The venue can cater to up to 1,050 guests, who will be seated above, below and next to each other around the stage.

The design and layout, which includes spacious entrances, exits and reception foyers, comply with all National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) guidelines, according to organisers.

The temporary construction consists of three floors with 129 boxes, separate staircases and walking paths

The concept for The Scala Theater originated from a collaboration between Jaarbeurs, Coreworks, Mertens AVR, IINII and Fraai Projecten, as well as AT NEXT and Senf Theaterpartners which will be responsible for programming.

André Hazes will perform on The Scala Theater’s opening night and artists including Crook, Nick & Simon, OG3NE, Rolf Sanchez, Tino Martin and Waylon will also deliver concerts in the new construction. The venue will also host comedy, family shows and special performances.

The temporary venue model follows that of the UK’s Virgin Money Unity Arena (cap. 2,500), which will host 29 events in 26 days.

The Netherlands relaxed its coronavirus regulations from 1 July, removing the capacity limit for seated indoor and outdoor events, provided fans have undergone health checks before entry and a 1.5 metre distancing rule is observed.

Last week, the Netherlands announced a second rescue package for cultural businesses which includes €150m to be allocated towards music venues and theatres.

 


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