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Netherlands concerts postponed amid new lockdown

A capacity limit of 1,250 has been imposed on venues for at least the next three weeks, while sports events will be played behind closed doors

By James Hanley on 15 Nov 2021

Mojo partners with Vodafone for virtual concert platform

Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam

Scores of concerts in the Netherlands have been postponed after the Dutch government imposed a new partial lockdown in the wake of rising Covid-19 infections.

A capacity limit of 1,250 has been imposed on venues, while sports events will be played behind closed doors.

Restrictions will last at least three weeks until 4 December, with the situation to be reassessed by the government on 3 December. Covid entry passes are already required to attend concerts in the country.

“If we succeed in reversing the current trend in the weeks ahead and the number of positive cases falls, the government believes it will be possible to reopen society as fully and as safely as possible,” it says in a statement. “We will then be able to roll out the coronavirus entry pass system more widely.”

High-profile postponements include shows by Burna Boy, Simply Red and Nightwish at Amsterdam’s 17,000-cap Ziggo Dome, while Burna Boy’s performance at the 16,426-cap Rotterdam Ahoy on 20 November and Nicky Jam on 21 November will also be moved.

Amsterdam’s 1,500-cap Paradiso, meanwhile, has postponed events by acts including Mykki Blanco, Oh Wonder and Spector.

The government says financial support will be available for businesses “directly affected” by the new restrictions. However, the Netherlands’ Alliance of Event Builders and the EventPlatform have declared themselves “deeply disappointed” at the measures, which they claim are not backed up by the scientific data.

Once again, many event builders… suddenly find themselves in a new reality, with mountains of uncertainty

“Professional events with corona ticket control have not or hardly turned out to be a source of contamination, according to the Source and Contact Survey,” says a statement. “They have hardly appeared in the figures of the RIVM since the restart in August, and no significant contamination clusters have arisen at events, while they have been visited by millions of people.”

The statement continues: “Once again, many event builders who were busy with their work today and tomorrow, events that the public longs for, suddenly find themselves in a new reality, with mountains of uncertainty.

“The cabinet still seems to have no answers to the essential questions and continues to make ad hoc and arbitrary adjustments. They mainly react in the short term instead of anticipating.

“The Alliance of Event Builders and the EventPlatform are not only concerned about the short term, but also very concerned about the period after the announced lockdown. There is again no road map, no plan, no end goal. The Alliance and the EventPlatform therefore call on politicians to opt for an approach that is based on facts, figures and clear insights and that provides a dot on the horizon.”

Prior to the announcement, the Association of Dutch Music Venues and Festivals (VNPF) also said that cancelling concerts was “not a solution to the problem of increased infections”.

“The cancellation of these programmes again is symbolic politics,” it said. “Lockdowns and other restrictive measures are creating new programming uncertainty and the already very shaky finances in the pop sector.”


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