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Dutch promoters ID&T and Mojo are organising a series of open air pilot festivals, without social distancing, on the site of the 100,000-capacity Defqon.1 and Lowlands (60,000) festivals in Biddinghuizen.

The promoters have partnered with Fieldlab Events, an organisation that is spearheading a ‘Back To Live’ series of test events in the Netherlands that include two stadium football matches and concerts at Amsterdam’s 17,000-capacity Ziggo Dome arena.

The first two Back To Live events will take place next week; a sold-out EventPlatform business conference at Beatrix Theater Utrecht on 15 February followed by a theatre show for an audience of 500 at the same venue on 20 February.

Initially, two pilot festivals will take place in March at Biddinghuizen, with an audience of 1,500 at each. Attendees will be required to submit a negative Covid-19 test prior to entry, they will also be tested following the event. There will be staggered access to the festival and face coverings will be mandatory, but audience members will not be required to maintain social distancing.

Fieldlab and Lowlands director Eric van Eerdenburg said it is not possible to have social distancing at festivals: “’It [is not possible] to keep people at a distance from each other when 60,000 people are walking around on the Lowlands site, and moreover, the festival is not profitable that way.”

The events will start at 3pm and run into the evening. Organisers have promised multiple stages, a full line-up with artists, and food and beverage outlets. Dates are expected to be announced next week.