Can you safely plan a music festival during Covid?

A music festival is taking place in the Netherlands, despite the rest of the country being under a lockdown. The two-day experiment aims to see if there's a safe way to allow large-scale social gatherings to restart, without increasing the spread of the virus. The BBC's Anna Holligan went to the festival in Biddinghuizen near Amsterdam.

Video Transcript


- I'm just really happy that we can go party again.

ANNA HOLLIGAN: What does it feel like?

- Euphoric.

ANNA HOLLIGAN: 1,500 people managed to get the ticket for this and everyone here had to show a negative test before they were allowed in. Everyone is meant to be wearing a mask, though. And as you can see, they aren't. They either don't realize or they don't care. And of course, the risk with an event like this is when people stop following the rules, that could potentially affect everyone outside this controlled environment.


ANDREAS VOSS: As all these people are tested and known negatives, of course, this is not a normal situation. You have to see them as test bunnies during an experiment.

ANNA HOLLIGAN: There will be people who think it's unethical to use these young people like guinea pigs.

ANDREAS VOSS: All these people, all the participants know that there's a minor risk. They are well aware of it. If you plan it right, you can do safe things. So this is not an unsafe event.


ANNA HOLLIGAN: This event will inevitably raise eyebrows and questions about how ethical this is. Especially with neighboring nations are looking down. Here the Netherlands the infection rate has gone up by 25% since last week.


- I miss this very much, because I really love dancing.

- We've missed each other and now we can go to a party again.

- We are really happy to be able to meet like this again.

- Yeah.

- It's just so surreal.

- Meet different people and, like, handshake and hugging and--

ANNA HOLLIGAN: Have you been doing a lot of hugging then?

- Yeah, really.

- Oh, everyone, everyone.

- Everyone.

- Like, oh.