Breda council says no to 10,000 ticket concert, citing public safety concerns


Breda city council has decided not to give a permit for the controversial ‘test’ Oranjedag concert for 10,000 people organised by radio station 538 following widespread criticism.

The event was scheduled to take place on April 24.

The council said its main reason for refusing the permit was the controversy surrounding the event and the risk to public order.

‘The police have received indications that the 538 Oranjedag would attract people who are both pro and anti the coronavirus policy and the Fieldlabs, with all the safety risks that entails,’ mayor Paul Depla said in a statement. The local health board had also recommended against giving a permit.

The event has drawn a storm of criticism and some 370,000 people signed a petition calling for it to be banned. The cabinet, which had sanctioned the plan, left the decision up to the local authority.

People who have paid for a ticket will get their money back. Around one million people applied for tickets when they went on sale.

The government has defended the €1.1 billion Fieldlab programme as practical experiments that will help organisers understand how to minimise the risk of spreading the virus when social distancing rules are relaxed this summer.

Covid-free events? What you need to know

But some independent experts have queried the set-up of the events, particularly the fast coronavirus tests used to check if people are infected and the lack of compulsory testing afterwards.

Later on Monday evening the organisers of a second 10,000 ticket event, the Startschotgala in Lichtenvoorde, said it would be postponed indefinitely.

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