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Netherlands announces €482m aid for culture sector

Following weeks of protests by beleaguered live entertainment businesses, the Netherlands’ government has announced a further €482 million in emergency funding for the Dutch cultural sector.

The new funding, announced today (28 August), follows an initial package of €300m made available to cultural businesses in April.

Speaking to de Volkskrant, Dutch culture minister Ingrid Van Engelshoven – who has been criticised for her perceived slowness to act on behalf of creative businesses, especially in comparison to neighbouring Germany –  says she believes that “the Dutch cultural sector cannot [now] say that their needs are not being met.”

The announcement of the support package follows the Night of Live and #SoundofSilence campaigns, both of which aimed to secure further government support for the Dutch live industry. While live music has to an extent restarted in the Netherlands, stringent social-distancing regulations mean the vast majority of business have been unable to return to any kind of normality.

€150m will be allocated to local authorities to support their local music venues and theatres

Businesses including Friendly Fire, Mojo Concerts and arenas Ziggo Dome and AFAS Live have made redundancies to cut costs in recent months.

Of the new money, €200m will be allocated to “large cultural institutions” and the ecosystem of artists and self-employed workers around them, according to de Volkskrant. The AFAS Live arena in Amsterdam illuminated for the recent Night of Live “as they see fit”, with the rest divided between, among other things, filmmakers, museums and the Brown Fleet of historic ships.

€14m is also reserved for events and companies who lost their subsidies in the latest round of Performing Arts Fund decisions.

“Just like other sectors, the cultural and creative sector will have to adapt,” says Van Engelshoven, “[but] the cabinet wants there to be a strong cultural and creative sector even after the corona crisis. It also makes a significant contribution to a healthy business climate in the Netherlands.”


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ID&T to receive coronavirus insurance payout

Netherlands-based electronic dance promoter ID&T will receive an advance insurance payout of €1.3 million to compensate for lost income due to the corona crisis.

The promoter claims that as a result of the cancellation of a number of events of its subsidiaries, it has suffered damage consisting of costs already incurred or owed and loss of profit.

ID&T was forced to cancel this year’s editions of festivals including Awakenings, and the promoter’s longest-running electronic dance music festival Mysteryland, due to the pandemic.

The promoter’s insurers, Nationale Nederlanden, Reaal and Amlin and Chubb, originally argued that the cover taken out by ID&T had a corona exclusion clause.

However, on 29 June, a judge ruled against the defendants, ordering a preliminary payout of €1.3m while valuation company Troostwijk and a loss adjuster arrives at a definitive compensation.

Troostwijk originally estimated that the promoter would have lost more than €11.5m by September due to the coronavirus measures. However, though the judge did not dispute that ID&T has a significant decline in income, the total amount was questioned.

It was decided that ID&T could claim an advance based on an estimated damage amount of €2m in total, on the condition that it provides a bank guarantee for that amount for the benefit of the insurers. The insurers are appealing.

Troostwijk originally estimated the promoter lost more than €11.5m until September due to the corona measures

The ID&T Group includes the companies b2s, ID&T Events, Q-dance, Monumental (Awakenings), Air Events, Art of Dance and VD Events. ID&T organises approximately 80 events a year, including festivals such as Mysteryland, Amsterdam Open Air, Vunzige Deuntjes, Thunderdome, Defqon.1 Weekend Festival, Awakenings, Decibel Outdoor and Masters of Hardcore.

Earlier this year, ID&T announced a management reshuffle which saw the company’s former COO Ritty van Straalen succeeds Wouter Tavecchio as CEO.

A number of campaigns have launched in the Netherlands in an attempt to draw government support for the country’s struggling live sector.

The Dutch live business announced it will participate in Belgium’s Sound of Silence campaign, which calls for supporters to change their profile pictures to an orange “Sound of Silence” cross and tweet with the hashtag #SoundOfSilence.

The country is also taking note from Germany’s initiative, Night of Live, which will see music-related buildings illuminated in red on 25 August.

The Netherlands relaxed 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 capacity limit for events that do not undertake health checks increased to 100 for indoor venues and 250 for outdoor shows from 1 July, while festivals in the Netherlands have to obtain licences from local authorities before being able to resume.

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.


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Netherlands to adopt Germany’s Night of Live

Buildings in the Netherlands belonging to professionals in the event industry will be illuminated red to encourage governmental support for the country’s struggling live sector.

Night of Live will take place during the night of 25-26 August in a bid to draw attention to the problems in the events sector caused by the coronavirus crisis.

The initiative was originally launched in Germany on the night of 22-23 June and saw thousands of music-related buildings from 1,500 cities across the country turn red to protest the continuation of the industry’s shutdown.

“If we don’t take action, we will face a wave of bankruptcies. The colour red represents the love for and fraternization of the event industry, the red list of endangered industries and red alarm,” says Stijn Oude Vrielink, owner of Venue Marketing, who initiated the campaign.

“The red represents the love for and fraternization of the event industry, the red list of endangered industries and red alarm”

“This campaign was so successful that I wanted to organize something similar for the Netherlands,” says Oude Vrielink. “We started preparations a month ago and we went live this week. Everyone is very enthusiastic.”

The UK also took inspiration from Night of Live and on 6 July, #LightItInRed initiated a lighting action that saw nearly 700 buildings, monuments, landmarks, and spaces all over the UK lit in “emergency red” to raise awareness about the challenges facing the live events industry.

The initiative’s organisers, the Professional Lighting & Sound Association (Plasa), will launch the next phase of the campaign on 11 August. The Red Alert initiative will once again light music-related buildings in red to prompt the government to take action with the £1.57 billion culture rescue fund.


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