September 21, 2021

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300 organizers will appear in the event sector: “If this is not possible now, then when?”  |  Corona Virus

300 organizers will appear in the event sector: “If this is not possible now, then when?” | Corona Virus

UpdateA spokesman for the organizations said that more than three hundred organizers of festivals and events will take to the streets on August 21 to demonstrate. Organizers Lowlands, DGTL, North Sea Jazz, Best Kept Secret, A State of Trance, and Soenda, among others, are in attendance.




It is a peaceful demonstration in Amsterdam, Utrecht and Rotterdam. Other cities may follow. With the protest, festival organizers want to send a signal to the government. The sector asks for a clear plan for the future, with measurable agreements, but also to acknowledge the emotional state of the many visitors and makers who feel unheard. We want to be able to meet again, laugh and dance again. Above all, we want to be able to look forward again.”

Outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced during a press conference tonight that discos and nightclubs will remain closed until November 1. The festivals won’t take place until September 20 anyway.


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We’ve been constantly promised that when the vaccination rate is high enough, we can all dance together again.

Jasper Gossen, Apenkooi Events

The organizations behind the march express their lack of understanding of the fact that, for example, football stadiums are allowed to open, but the event sector is not. We’ve been constantly promised that when the vaccination rate is high enough, we can all dance together again. For this reason, many young people have been vaccinated,” said Jasper Jossen of event organizer Apenkooi, one of the initiators. The organization is responsible for Amsterdam Open Air, DGTL, Pleinvrees and Valhalla, among others. “If not now then when? I expect that the desire to vaccinate among young people will decrease as a result only.”

Other festivals that have joined are Vunzige Deuntjes, Thuishaven, Smeerboel, Appelsap, Verknipt, LatinVillage Festival and De Amsterdamse Zomer.

‘The problem of unvaccinated people becomes our problem’

The festival and music venue industry has the idea that “the problem of unvaccinated people is now our problem”. More efforts need to be done to encourage vaccination, says Bernd Schans, director of the Dutch Popodia and Festivals Association (VNPF).

“Organizers, the public, the self-employed, and especially artists, are victims of these measures,” says Schans. “We just need to vaccinate as many people as possible. For people who don’t want to in principle, that’s their right. But I think some people also suffer from inaction.”

Davina Michele will perform at Paaspop, among others. © PRONOPRESS

So the VNPF asks for more clarity. , as a government, let it hear a little louder: “Soon it will cost you a lot of money to test yourself and now it’s still free.” So get vaccinated if you want to. We really need to communicate more clearly about that.” At first there were also clear road maps and plans, but according to Chance, those maps are now missing. The interpretation of outgoing Prime Minister Rutte is very strange. It could be in a scene from Monty Python suits.”

In fact, the VNPF had intended to reopen festivals and pop venues from September 1, but that’s not the case. “We will talk about support for the fourth quarter again. That is all we can do now.”

Yes Formula 1

One of the canceled festivals, Paaspop, was announced tonight. The event was also canceled last year. The organization is “in a simple mood”. Especially the fact that Formula 1 in Zandvoort can be held with the public and that the football stadiums have been filled with fans for a while, it is difficult for the team to understand.


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We receive 35,000 visitors per day, which is less than what I saw in Eindhoven

Peter Sanders, Paaspop

“It seems the event sector is being used as a symbol to keep the infection rate down,” festival president Peter Sanders says, referring to the fact that no festivals have been allowed since last year. “We were really stunned that the weather is not going forward. We get 35,000 visitors per day, which is less than what I saw in Eindhoven. In Formula 1, they say now that only part of the full capacity of visitors is allowed, but it wouldn’t surprise me that everyone will be welcome again.”

Sanders does not yet know the financial impact of the cancellation and what costs can be recovered from the guarantee fund. “We just have to wait and see. We have to let all of this sink in first.”

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