DJ Mag reports that The Verknipt Festival, an outdoor electronic music festival that took place in the Netherlands in July, turned out to be a Covid festival, after 1,000 coronavirus infections were linked to the event, in spite of it it requiring a “test for entry”.

The Verknipt festival took place across two days in Utrecht and was attended by around 20,000 people. Everyone who attended the event had to show a QR code that demonstrated that they were vaccinated, had recently recovered from COVID-19, or had a negative COVID-19 test.

Unfortunately, 1,050 people who attended the event have now tested positive for the virus. That’s about 1 in 20 attendees infected with a potentially deadly virus.

Utrecht’s regional health board says that it’s impossible to say that all of those who were infected, got infected at the festival. But it highlights the potential risks of restarting mass music events, and also problems with the country’s “test for entry” process, which required attendees of events to do a test for COVID-19 up to 40 hours before the event. Critics and health officials say that testing up to 40 hours prior to an event is too long, and allows for too many opportunities for people to get infected before attending an event.

Because of a surge in Covid-19 cases in the Netherlands, clubs and festivals have been halted until mid-August.

There’s not enough data yet to know if this is an anomaly or if the demographics and activity at festivals make them likely to be superspreader events. But news like this – from an event where organizers were attempting to do things as safely as possible – belie the idea that ‘things are finally getting back to normal’.

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