The survival of the lowlands depends on developments in vaccination and “the feeling that the government is giving us if it is possible”. This is what Lowlands manager Eric van Eerdenburg said during a Q & A session live on Lowlands Instagram. Guest included Mark Ponten, a medical microbiologist at UMC Utrecht and a member of OMT.
This year’s festival is scheduled for August 20, 21 and 22 in Bedinghuysen. During the “Ask the World” Q&A, viewers can ask questions about the Coronavirus and the vaccination process. OMT member Bonten noted that a festival like the Lowlands can be a super-popular event. “You will stay together for three days, while you meet for two and a half hours in a football match. Then the risk of injury is much higher.” Fieldlab’s announced trials, scheduled for February, should provide more clarity about the risks.
During the conversation, options for taking express tests before you can enter the festival site are also discussed. According to Bonten, this helps reduce the risk of contamination. Van Eerdenburg: “Shall we make vaccinations mandatory? The government decides that. If it is not necessary, we will not do it. If necessary, it will be mentioned in the permit requirements and it must be done.”
The Lowlands manager doesn’t have a clear answer to the question whether the event can be moved to September, for example. “Moving to September takes a lot of work. Now there are a lot of festivals scheduled for May or June, and going to September. So it’s really very crowded.”
Van Erdenburg still hopes the Lowlands will continue this year. “The bottom line is that we can be optimistic. I relieve myself of the idea that we are still in January and that the vaccination process has not started yet. We are still dependent on vaccinations and unfortunately we have very little control over that.”