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Netherlands scraps capacity limit for seated shows

The Netherlands is relaxing its coronavirus regulations from 1 July, removing the capacity limit for seated indoor and outdoor events, provided fans have undergone health checks before entry.

The Dutch government announced the new measures yesterday (24 June), which include the retention of the one-and-a-half metre distancing rule at all events.

Reservations must also be made for events to enable contact tracing in the case of a new outbreak of the virus.

Festivals in the Netherlands will have to obtain licences  from local authorities before being able to resume, which is unlikely to happen before mid-August.

The capacity limit for events that do not undertake health checks will increase to 100 for indoor venues and 250 for outdoor shows from 1 July.

“For us, the 1.5 metre society is not the new normal; the wider regulations are still hardly or not at all viable and not cost-effective for our industry”

Nightclubs and discos remain closed until 1 September – which was the original deadline for the ban on large-scale events. The rules for clubs and similar venues will be reassessed at the end of August.

The Dutch association of event makers (Vereniging van evenementenmakers – VVEM) welcomes the relaxations, but states it is “not yet satisfied”, stressing the need for a roadmap detailing when business as usual can resume.

“This is a good start, but we are not there yet,” says Rotterdam Ahoy’s Jolanda Jansen on behalf of the VVEM. “For us, the 1.5 metre society is not the new normal; the wider regulations are still hardly or not at all viable and not cost-effective for our industry. This is still going to cost companies, jobs and events.”

In particular, the organisation is lobbying for a removal of the distancing rule, which it says should be replaced with more testing and tracing.

Photo: Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken/Flickr (CC-BY SA 2.0) (cropped)

 


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Dutch govt bans all events until 1 June

The Dutch government has tightened up restrictions on live events, extending its existing ban on public gatherings until 1 June, applying the ban to events of all sizes and issuing fines to those not in compliance.

The new measures were announced by the cabinet on Monday evening (23 March). Under the new rules, groups of three or more not keeping one-and-a-half meters apart will be fined. Previously, events were banned until 6 April, and gatherings of up to 100 people were still permitted.

Companies not complying with the new rules will face fines or up to €4,000, whereas individuals will be charged €400.

The extension brings the event ban into festival season. Following the announcement, the organisers of DGTL Amsterdam cancelled the 2020 edition, due to take place on 11 and 12 April. Acts billed to play DGTL included Nina Kraviz, Sven Väth, Bonobo, Marcel Dettman and Honey Dijon.

“In light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, we at DGTL believe in putting the health and safety of our visitors, crew, volunteers and society above all. After closely following the advice and precautionary measures from the Dutch government and health officials, it is with deep sadness that we have to officially inform you that DGTL Amsterdam will not be taking place as scheduled,” reads a statement on the festival’s website.

“Despite all the hard work that everyone has put into the organisation of the festival, this obviously feels like the only right decision. Our current priority is to play our part responsibly in the fight against this global health crisis.”

“In light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, we at DGTL believe in putting the health and safety of our visitors, crew, volunteers and society above all”

Organisers will reach our to ticketholders in the coming weeks, offering a ticket exchange for the 2021 event or a full refund. In accordance with recent government advice, fans are urged to give organisers “time and space” and to resist getting into contact regarding refunds.

Organisers of Kingsland Festival, set to take place on 27 April in celebration of Kingsday (the Dutch King’s birthday), are currently working “to find a suitable solution with all authorities and parties involved” and ask for the understanding and patience of ticketholders.

The one-day festival takes place simultaneously in the cities of Amsterdam, Groningen, Rotterdam and Tilburg. Acts scheduled to perform include Afrojack, Wizkid and Fisher.

Awakenings Easter, a four-day series of events across Amsterdam over the Easter bank holiday, will no longer take place. Awakenings Festival is still set to go ahead on June 27 and 28, with acts including Amelia Lens, Avalon Emerson, Charlotte de Witte, Helena Hauff, Ricardo Villalobos and Maceo Plex.

Mojo festivals including Paaspop (2 to 4 April), Momo Festival (16 to 18 April), Dauwpop (21 May), Ribs and Blues (30 May to 1 June) are no longer taking place, although all will return in 2021.

Major Mojo festivals such as A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise, Woo Hah!, North Sea Jazz Festival, Down the Rabbit Hole and Pinkpop are all currently going on as planned once the ban is lifted.

Other Dutch festivals going ahead this summer include Mysteryland, FKP Scorpio’s Best Kept Secret and Defqon.1 Weekend Festival.

 


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