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Ticket prices rise in the Netherlands following VAT increase

The increase in VAT levied on tickets to live events in Holland contradicts trends to cut concert tax in other European countries

By Anna Grace on 16 Jan 2019

Ticket prices rise in the Netherlands following VAT increase

Mojo Concerts CEO Ruben Brouwer says increases are "unavoidable"


image © Mojo Concerts

Dutch concertgoers will spend more on their event tickets this year, as the country’s reduced VAT rate has risen from six to nine percent. The increase applies to many goods and services, including “admission to cultural events”.

In effect from January 1 2019, the new scheme will see average ticket prices rise by 3%, from €54 to €55.52, reports Entertainment Business.

Following the announcement last year, several Dutch venues advertised early-bird tickets for the last weeks of December, as those who bought tickets in 2018 for events occurring the following year could benefit from the previously lower VAT rates.

The tax increase goes against the grain, as several other European countries have celebrated a cut in concert VAT in recent years.

“We always try to keep ticket prices as healthy as possible, but a certain increase in costs for the customer is unfortunately unavoidable”

In 2017, cultural-sector VAT in Spain saw a reduction of over 50%, in a decision lauded by live music industry officials. The Portuguese live music industry welcomed a similar move some months later and, most recently, concert professionals in Italy benefitted from a reduced VAT rate.

However, major Dutch live music industry figures seem unconcerned by the increase and expect no detriment to sales or to the wider industry.

“Except for a single event, we have not had to raise our prices,” says Mojo Concerts CEO Ruben Brouwer (pictured).

“We always try to keep ticket prices as healthy as possible, but a certain increase in costs for the customer, whether due to increased artist fees, staff costs or drinks prices, is unfortunately unavoidable.”

Following an excellent start to the year in terms of January ticket sales, Eventim Nederland’s managing director Henk Schuit is similarly positive: “The 3% increase will have little or no impact on ticket sales. The favourable economic climate has much more influence on sales at the moment.”

 


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