The Dutch government has unveiled plans to allow festivals to take place from July 1 and will provide insurance for events that are cancelled after that date due to COVID-19.
A number of festivals and trial events have announced they are planning to go ahead in 2021, with the Dutch government setting up a series of pilots next month.
In addition, a cancellation fund of around €300m was confirmed last month to allow event organisers to plan for the second half of 2021 with the security that they will be covered if the pandemic halts everything for a second year.
The insurance scheme covers events that attract a minimum of 3,000 visitors from July 1 through to the end of the year.
Dutch Culture Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven said: “[This fund] is a dot on the horizon for festival organisers. They can fall back on the guarantee fund in which at least €300m has been reserved. The event industry has long come to a standstill due to coronavirus. Guarantee is needed to get it back on track.”
In a statement on its website, Dutch drum ‘n’ bass festival Liquicity said: “Great news: the Dutch government has announced that they aim to allow festivals after July 1st! In case festivals still get canceled due to changing Covid circumstances, organisers are likely to be compensated for the costs. Festivals in The Netherlands are currently selling out in record pace due to this new government announcement.”
Liquicity, which is due to take place from July 16-18, has also revealed it is offering full refunds if the event should end up being cancelled.
In addition, Lowlands festival in the Netherlands has announced that two trial events will take place later this year, with 3,000 participants expected to present negative COVID-19 tests on entry.
Lowlands attendees will also be given a lanyard that records moments of contact with others.
“As a sector, we have to think five or six months ahead to organise a major event,” Lowlands director Eric van Eerdenburg told a press conference, according to NME. “The government often looks at a situation in a few months from now.”
Meanwhile, Switzerland’s Ghost Festival, an event that will not actually take place, has shifted more than 12,000 passes to generate cash for the struggling artists and crews in the country.
The festival, which is scheduled to not take place across February 27-28, is half way through its presale, with two-day passes costing CHF 50 ($56/£40/€46) and VIP passes costing CHF 100.
A tongue-in-cheek statement from organisers reads: “Thanks to a sophisticated safety plan, up to eight million people are able to not visit Ghost Festival and thereby support Swiss music creators.”