Eric Vloeimans, picture by Merlijn Doomernik

From 19 to 24 April, cultural venues will finally – temporarily – open their doors to the public. The trial events, “pilots”, are taking place throughout the Netherlands this month. TivoliVredenburg, De Helling, EKKO, Stadsschouwburg Utrecht and Podium Hoge Woerd are also trying out how testing can help for coronaproof events.

In April, pilots will take place in the cultural sector to gain experience with the (rapid) test infrastructure. Rapid tests can become an important tool to restart social life, as long as the vaccination coverage is not yet sufficient. With these pilots, the government will investigate the willingness, manageability and feasibility of rapid testing, and the venues and art institutions are gaining experience. The pilots are the first step towards reopening of the cultural sector: after the test period, the roadmap will hopefully follow quickly.

Pilot visitors with a ticket must show a negative Covid test certificate to enter.  The corona protocols will (for the time being) be maintained, including the 1.5 meters distancing. The concert and performance-related catering industry may open for a drink. The rooms can also be used to full ‘corona capacity’. A pilot is therefore different from a Fieldlab: these are (large-scale) trial events in which scientific research is carried out. Here, corona measures are deliberately released; this does not happen in the pilots.

Hanno Tomassen, brand new director of Podium Hoge Woerd: “Even though it is cautious and subject to conditions, we are pleased with the first prospect of reopening. Artists, audience and ourselves have been looking forward to this for a long time; let us be part of the solution. “