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Dutch festivals reschedule for gov insurance cover

Spring festivals including Paaspop and Awakenings are rescheduling for the autumn in order to be covered by the government's insurance fund

By IQ on 02 Feb 2021

Paaspop is promoted by This Is Live

Paaspop festival will take place in September this year

image © Facebook/Paaspop

Paaspop, Awakenings and Zwarte Cross are among the major Dutch festivals to push back spring editions following the government’s pledge to provide cancellation insurance for events taking place in the second half of 2021.

The government announced the €300 million insurance scheme last month and is now considering a 1 June commencement date, which has prompted a number of spring festivals to postpone until the autumn.

Multi-genre festival Paaspop will not take place during Easter, for the first time in its 47-year history.

This year, the Mojo-promoted festival will take place between 3–5 September, instead of April, at its usual location of De Molenheide in Schijndel.

“It was an immense assignment to move our giant festival”

“Paaspop has traditionally taken place during Easter since the late 70s,” say organisers. “This year we will close the summer, instead of starting spring and doing so together with you. It was an immense assignment to move our giant festival but we did it. This unique edition will be one to never forget.”

The organisers say Paaspop’s 2021 lineup will include as many artists as possible from the 2020 bill, which included domestic acts André Gerardus Hazes, Anouk, Kensington. The final programme will be announced soon.

According to the organisers, more than 90% of 2020 ticket buyers opted to transfer their tickets to this year. The few remaining tickets will go on sale 27 February.

Last year’s edition of Paaspop, which was scheduled to take place between 2–4 April, was cancelled when the Dutch government extended its ban on public gatherings until 1 June.

The 2019 edition of Paaspop hosted around 90,000 people across the weekend.

“The Covid-19 pandemic is still not over, but things are starting to look a bit brighter”

Elsewhere, Awakenings has rescheduled its June festival to 11–12 September, though it’s looking likely the festival will have to relocate from its usual site of Spaarnwoude Houtrak, just outside of Amsterdam, for the new date.

Organisers say they have an option on two locations for the 20th edition of the festival which – at 80,000 capacity – is the largest outdoor techno festival in the world.

“The Covid-19 pandemic is still not over, but things are starting to look a bit brighter,” say organisers.

“Just like you, we can’t wait to party together again. We have boldly taken the first step and are preparing for our first post-pandemic event for you, the DJs, the scene, and everybody else involved. We are very grateful for your support; almost everyone chose to keep their ticket last year. We hope to come up with an update as soon as possible.”

The organisers say the re-released tickets will not go on sale until there are more “assurances about the possibilities regarding Covid”, adding, “we don’t think it’s fair to sell something new when there is too much uncertainty”.

Awakenings 2020 was also cancelled due to the government’s extension of the ban on public gatherings, though promoter ID&T received a substantial insurance payout to compensate for lost income due to the cancellation of its festivals.

The techno brand’s Easter event series in Amsterdam, Awakenings Easter, will not take place again until 2022.

“[Zwarte Cross] is now seriously investigating whether the move to September is possible”

Zwarte Cross – the largest paid-for festival in the Netherlands which combines music, motocross, comedy and theatre – may also take place in September instead of its usual summer date.

The festival, which typically welcomes 220,000 visitors across four days, was due to hold its 24th edition between 15–18 July in Lichtenvoorde but organisers say there is “great doubt” about that.

“We are now seriously investigating whether the move to September is possible. Hopefully, we will be rid of corona measures and most of the Netherlands will be vaccinated by then,” organiser Pieter Holkenborg told Tubantia.

The festival’s recent lineups have included Black Eyed Peas, White Lies, Scooter, Royal Republic and more.

Best Kept Secret, Pinkpop, Defqon. 1, DGTL Amsterdam, Motel Mozaique Festival, Dauwpop and Ribs & Blues are among the other Dutch festivals scheduled to take place in the spring.

Since the Dutch government announced its event cancellation insurance fund, a number of festivals have seen an unprecedented demand for tickets.

Yesterday, A State of Trance revealed it had sold all 55,000 tickets for this September’s festival, which takes place at the Jaarbeurs convention centre in Utrecht on 3–4 September.


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