The Netherlands, re-opening responsibly

Over the last months strong collaboration between the Dutch government, the events industry, and scientists generated ‘Field-lab Events’. The objective of Field-lab Events is to develop validated building blocks, which form proof of the safe and reliable approach needed for our industry. This approach is established in co-creation with companies, governments, interest groups and the general public. The main purpose is to create trust in order to have assessment frameworks, making it possible to adapt the so-called ‘Corona road map’. The Field-lab Events program focuses on the differentiation of different events (business and public) and situations (inside and outside, static or dynamic, etc.) and accelerating the return to full operation for live events.



“In order to take steps forward, it is important that scientific measures are validated in the shortest possible period. In order to do this, it is important to do this in real-life settings, in actual pilots during live events; in a controlled, safe and reliable manner’, says Lisa Peil from Ovation Holland DMC. The starting point is testing or researching and analysing actions, (technological) solutions and specific activities (called building blocks) that are representative of certain common situations. Together, these tests form the Field-lab Events of the joint event organizations.


The Field lab events started in February 2021 with some small events, but are now also executed for larger ones:


  • Congress for 500 visitors
  • Theatre show with 500 visitors
  • Concert with 1300 visitors
  • Festival with 1300 visitors


In May the Field lab Events will go to the second phase, which means scaling up:


  • Outdoor sports competition with 9000 visitors
  • Exhibition with 3000 visitors
  • Indoor concert with 1000 visitors
  • Evening at a nightclub with 1000 visitors

Visitors of these events don’t have to follow a number of basic rules This is part of the next phase. Researchers will be able to analyze whether events can also be kept safe with other measures.

They investigate how visitors respond to this. Researchers will focus on:

  • How people meet and communicate
  • The duration of their encounters
  • Response to different measures
  • The way in which visitors are checked (ways of testing)



With the outcomes, researchers expect to be able to gather key data within weeks of each event. This data will show how attendees behave in different situations. The ultimate result will capitalize on how organizers can organize safe and responsible events. Researchers think that the results also provide clues for other parts of society.


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