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Eurovision confirms plans for live audiences in Rotterdam

Eurovision confirms plans for live audiences in Rotterdam
The Dutch government gives approval to live audiences attending Eurovision in Rotterdam as a "fieldlab" event.

The Dutch government has given approval to live audiences being present for this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam.

The European Broadcasting Union previously announced its intent to stage the event live from the Ahoy Arena in May - although the presence of an audience had remained in doubt until now.

The government is piloting a number of "fieldlab" events in the coming months to help determine how live events can be staged safely, and Eurovision has been lined up to be part of the trial.

The measures would see live audiences at both the Eurovision semi-finals, the grand finals, the three jury shows and the three 'friends and family' shows - all due to be held in the week beginning May 17.

Venue capacity will be limited to 50% - around 3,500 people per show - and only Dutch residents will be allowed to attend as part of the audience.

According to NOS, all audience members will be required to provide proof of a negative coronavirus test before they are allowed to enter the arena, although once they are inside there will be no requirements to maintain social distancing.

"The fact that we have been given the opportunity to look at a scenario of a Eurovision Song Contest with an audience is something we could only have dreamt of," said exec producer Sietse Bakker.

"We are grateful to the government and Fieldlab Events for the perspective and trust they have given us in this."

A limited number of tickets are expected to go on sale for Netherlands residents in the coming weeks.

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Duncan Laurence celebrates winning the Eurovision Song Contest on May 19, 2019
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