In news that will undoubtedly bring a sinking feeling to both promoters and music fans everywhere, over 1000 new Covid cases in the Netherlands have been linked to a music festival that was held in the city of Utrecht recently.
20,000 people attended the Verknipt dance music festival in Utrecht in early July, which was billed as a 'Covid-safe' event as attendees had to provide proof of full vaccination or a negative test from within the last 40 hours. The event was fully outdoors and there was no social distancing or mask-wearing required.
However, it has now transpired that 1,050 attendees have since tested positive. Lennart van Trigt, a spokesman for the Utrecht Health Board, admitted that they got it wrong in terms of the parameters that were drawn up - primarily that the 40-hour testing period was too long. "We’ve found out now that this period is too long,” he said. “We should have had a 24 hour [period], that would be a lot better because in 40 hours people can do a lot of things like visiting friends and going to bars and clubs. So in a period of 24 hours people can do less things and it’s safer.”
He also admitted that the city authorities had been too 'trigger happy' in issuing vaccination certs immediately after people received their second vaccination - rather than two weeks later, when their immunity had fully built up.
“We cannot say that all these people were infected at the festival itself; it could also be possible that they’ve been infected while travelling to the festival or in the evening before going to the festival or having an after-party,” he added. “So they are all linked to the festival but we can’t 100% say they were infected at the festival.”
It is worth pointing out that events in other cities and countries around the world have run smoothly and had positive results with little evidence of transmission - but stories like these are undoubtedly worrying for the live industry.
Watch footage from the Verknipt festival below: