Dutch electronic music festival Verknipt is under fire after being linked to over 1,000 coronavirus infections.
The outdoor fest, which took place on July 3rd and 4th in Utrecht, attracted approximately 20,000 people over both days. According to CNBC, every attendee had to show a QR code that validated vaccination, a recent infection, or a negative test. However, Dutch officials were "shocked" to discover the number of new cases.
"We cannot say that all these people were infected at the festival itself; it could also be possible that they’ve been infected while traveling to the festival or in the evening before going to the festival or having an after-party," said Lennart van Trigt, a spokesman for the Utrecht health board. "So they’re (the cases) all linked to the festival but we can’t 100% say they were infected at the festival."
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The news does not bode well for the country's music festival proprietors, many of whom have condemned the Dutch government for what they deem to be unfair treatment. One of the nation's biggest festival production entities, ID&T, recently sued the administration and demanded clarity on their ability to plan their flagship events, such as Mysteryland.
Utrecht’s Mayor Sharon Dijksma, who attended Verknipt, has been the subject of widespread criticism in the event's aftermath. A particularly vexing image depicting Dijksma taking a selfie on one of the festival's stages has circulated on social media and angered many.
Verknipt organizers also shared a statement on the festival's Facebook page, writing that they worked closely with Utrecht officials.
"The CDC has come out today with the latest update on infections that may be traced back to Verknipt Festival. We are shocked by the number of possible contamination at the festival in Utrecht, with a total of 20,000 visitors on July 3th and 4th," the statement reads. "We discussed the permit until just before the event with the municipality of Utrecht to the detail about the permit and especially looked at all the corona measures."