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Dutch events sector suffers €2bn loss of revenue

The Dutch events sector has suffered an estimated 90% loss of revenue equating to €2 billion in 2020, according to Respons’ Festival Monitor, the annual survey of the Dutch festival market.

Based on festival figures from 2019 and the forecasted growth of the sector, it was expected that 1,200 art and culture festivals would take place in 2020, generating 27.4 million visits.

However, this year’s survey found that in 2020, just 190 festivals (17% of the forecast for 2020) took place – half of which, before the pandemic in mid-March – generating only 1.4 million visits (5% of the forecast for 2020).

Respons says the number of festivals that took place in 2020 is the same as in 1985.

The figures for 2020 are in stark contrast to the record figures for 2019 which showed that spending by visitors (including tickets, food & drinks) amounted to €961 m in 2019, while the gross revenue rose to a record high of €300 m in 2019 and almost 10 million tickets sold.

Respons says the number of festivals that took place in 2020 is the same as in 1985

The Netherlands’ summer festival season was wiped out when, in April, the Dutch government announced a ban on all large-scale events, causing the cancellations of Mojo’s Lowlands, Down the Rabbit Hole, Pinkpop, North Sea Jazz and Woo Hah!, as well as Friendly Fire’s Kept Secret and ID&T’s Defqon.1, Awakenings, Mysteryland and Amsterdam Open Air.

It was revealed in August, that ID&T was to receive an advance insurance payout of €1.3 million to compensate for lost income due to the corona crisis and the cancellation of its festivals.

The Dutch government recently extended its support for the event industry, adding another €3.7 bn euros to its financial aid for businesses that have been affected by the country’s prolonged partial lockdown. This follows the previous €33.7 bn in support the government pledged to protect businesses and jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic.

While the events industry will remain relatively quiet over the festive period, the Dutch government recently gave the green light for a number of test shows in January.

The pilot shows, organised under the umbrella of ‘Back to Live’, will include a concert and a dance event at Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam and two open-air festivals at the Lowlands and Defqon Biddinghuizen sites, (to be organised by Mojo and ID&T) among other events.


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