Dutch government allows reduced audience at Eurovision 2021

Audience entering the venue for the Grand Final of Eurovision 2019. Photo: Andres Putting

There will be fysical audience present at the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 in Rotterdam Ahoy in May. Dutch state broadcaster NOS confirms this news on Thursday. The Dutch government has allowed the contest to be organised as a so-called field lab, a practical test to investigate how larger events can take place in a safe and responsible manner with an audience.

At all nine shows – six rehearsals, two semifinals and the final – a maximum of 3,500 spectators can be present at a time. They must have a negative corona test result to get in. 3,500 people per show is about half the number expected at a time last year.

In recent months, the organization has been working on four scenarios to allow the Eurovision Song Contest to take place. The focus was on bringing all 39 participating countries to the Netherlands, with extensive corona measures and a test program. The organization is happy with the choice of a Eurovision Song Contest with spectators.

“The fact that we now have the opportunity to open the script for a Eurovision Song Contest with an audience again is something we could only dream of,” says executive producer Sietse Bakker. “We are grateful to the cabinet and Fieldlab Events for this perspective and the confidence they give us in it.”

More news on ticket sales will follow

In the coming weeks, the organization wants to provide more clarity about how ticket sales will take place. This will be in close consultation with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the municipality of Rotterdam and Ahoy. Due to travel restrictions, only Dutch fans are welcome for the time being.