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€500k bad weather fund for rained-off Dutch fests

Dutch culture minister Jet Bussemaker has announced the creation of a ‘bad weather fund’ (Slecht Weer Fonds) to assist promoters of festivals hit by inclement weather.

The fund, which contains half a million euros, is designed to reimburse the cost of extra expenses incurred by severe weather conditions, and is available to all Dutch music and cultural festivals currently receiving a public subsidy. “Bad weather can spoil festivals, with storm, rain, hail, empty chairs and collapsed tents,” said a statement from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science on Monday. “[This means] visitors [frequently] stay away, so additional measures should be taken to create the appearance of safety.”

Any grant taken from the Slecht Weer Fonds, however, will have to be paid back in full when the festival is in a better financial position. The fund will be administered by the Performing Arts Fund.

The announcement was welcomed by Berend Schans, director of the Dutch Promoters and Festivals Association (Vereniging Nederlandse Poppodia en -Festivals, VNPF), although he expressed his disappointment that not all festivals are eligible. “There is a value judgment,” he told Dutch public broadcaster NOS. “What is funded by the government has cultural value and everything else does not.”

He also questioned whether €500,000 is enough: “If a festival like Oerol is cancelled by storms, half a million is not very much.”

 


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