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ID&T drops lawsuit against Dutch government

ID&T says it sees no legal grounds to advance with the preliminary injunction proceedings against the Dutch government for its restrictions on live music events.

Earlier this week, the government announced that only small, one-day festivals will be permitted to take place in the Netherlands this summer due to the number of Covid-19 infections and hospital admissions.

In response, the lawyer representing ID&T and more than 40 co-claimants from the live industry contacted the state lawyer to request the Outbreak Management Team’s (OMT) advice and the substantiation of the decision.

After deliberation between all parties, ID&T says it has become clear that the current summary proceedings cannot be continued.

Rosanne Janmaat, COO of the ID&T group says: “We are extremely disappointed in the outcome of the decision. In our opinion, Fieldlab Events has shown that it is possible to organise events in a safe and responsible way, but the cabinet has decided otherwise. Despite this, our lawyers have indicated that, in view of the OMT advice on which the cabinet’s decisions are substantiated this time, there is little chance of overturning the decision by means of summary proceedings.”

“We assume that the cabinet will soon take a structural decision and that we will be able to fully open again in September”

On 13 August, the current decision on live music events will be reconsidered by the cabinet.

“We assume that the cabinet will soon take a fundamental and structural decision and that we will be able to fully open again in September,” continues Janmaat.

“After all, it has always been communicated that when everyone who wants to has been able to vaccinate, that is the way out. If the government lets us dangle again and does not offer a sustainable future perspective, we will prepare possible legal steps and perhaps even call on our entire supporters of fans, suppliers, artists, etc. to mobilise and make themselves heard.”

The Dutch promoter – known for events such as Mysteryland, Sensation, Milkshake and Decibel Outdoor – announced the summary proceedings in early July after the government reimposed Covid restrictions weeks after they were lifted.

ID&T was then joined by more than 40 event organisations including Event Warehouse/Paaspop, DGTL and F1 Dutch Grand Prix Zandvoort.

 


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Rosanne Janmaat: “People can’t wait to go to a party again”

Rosanne Janmaat, chief operating officer of ID&T, has said the Dutch festival giant aims to give electronic music fans as much of a show as possible this summer when its flagship event, Mysteryland, returns in the final weekend of August.

Unlike the majority of rock and pop events, dance music festivals should be able to welcome international artists this summer, given how much smaller DJs’ touring footprints are compared to even a small band. “It’s different compared to events with pop or rock bands who come with their own production and their own roadies,” explains Janmaat (pictured). “For us it’s acts who comprise one or two people who play with records or with a USB stick.”

“Another big difference,” she continues, “is that with pop acts, they schedule do a tour in a certain territory, if one show falls away it doesn’t make sense to do the rest of the tour – they’re not going to fly out to do just one show in the Netherlands, for example. But with DJs, that’s quite common.”

However, as the Netherlands’ oldest and most famous electronic music festival, sky-high fan expectations mean it’s not possible for Mysteryland (which typically has a capacity of 60,000 people a day) to go ahead in a reduced, limited-capacity format complying with some form of restrictions on mass gatherings.

“If we reduce the capacity, that’s not the experience fans are buying the ticket for”

“We’ve had a lot of conversations about this, but with Mysteryland, for instance, if people have paid for admission they expect the full monty,” says Janmaat, “and if we reduce the capacity, we would also need to lower the number of stages or change the line-up, and that’s then not the experience that they’re buying the ticket for. So it wouldn’t be fair to the customers to change the format.”

At press time, that line-up had yet to be released, though the festival has announced the hosts for the 21 stages over 3 days which will be dotted throughout the Haarlemmermeerse Bos, the 115-hectare (285ac) park north of Amsterdam which has been the festival’s home since 2003.

“We tend to call ourselves creators instead of promoters,” continues Janmaat, who was promoted to COO at the beginning of this year. “Of course, the line-ups need to be top of the bill, but we create a whole themed world with lots of creations in it to mesmerise our audience. Even if someone comes for a certain DJ, they might end up in a really small, different stage because it’s so nice, creative and inspiring, and that’s always the adventure we’re aiming for.”

For ID&T, much of its end-of-summer planning will hinge on developments over the next few weeks. The next step in the Netherlands’ reopening plan, originally set for 11 May, has been postponed until tomorrow (20 May), and a controversial clause in the €300m cancellation fund for festivals that could require promoters/organisers to assume sole responsibility for the loan portion (20%) of the fund, despite it benefitting the entire industry, is proving a sticking point. “This is something we’ve flagged with the government,” explains Janmaat.

“We tend to call ourselves creators instead of promoters”

Despite the uncertainty, Janmaat is hopeful that her remaining summer events (at the time of writing, Mysteryland and Decibel Outdoor are still on, with the likes of Defqon.1 and Sensation having cancelled earlier this summer), all of which take place from the end of August onwards, can still happen in the kind of format fans expect from an ID&T format.

Whether that will be possible remains to be seen, though the promoter can take comfort either way in the fact that a year away has done little to dampen fan demand for its shows.

“Across the board for the company, 92% of fans have held onto their tickets,” Janmaat says. “We are very thankful that we have such a loyal fan base. Even now we are receiving emails on a daily basis from people saying, ‘Hey, listen, if you get a ticket back would you please sell it, because I missed out?’ And that’s for the ’22 edition of Defqon.1…

“For Mysteryland, we only have Sunday tickets left – Saturday and weekend passes are completely sold out. So our takeaway is that people can’t wait to go to a party again.”

Mysteryland 2021 takes place from Friday 27 to Sunday 29 August. Limited Sunday day tickets are still available, priced at €69.90 (GA) and €160 (premium).

 


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ID&T hires company veteran Rosanne Janmaat as COO

Dutch dance promoter ID&T has hired Rosanne Janmaat as its new COO, capitalising on her 14 years of experience in the organisation.

Janmaat started as an intern at ID&T before becoming an account manager in the sponsorship department, and later project manager. She also helped set up the local ID&T office in New York in 2013.

After her time in New York, she joined the management team and helped ID&T implement its new corporate structure after ID&T transferred to a new owner. After this, she led several acquisitions and oversaw the development of new concepts.

Under her new title, which she assumed on 1 January, Janmaat will oversee day-to-day operations, cultivate company culture and help implement strategies for ID&T Events, Awakenings, and Q-dance.

“The past year was challenging, but thanks to Rosanne’s enormous efforts, we are in good shape and organised”

“From my first day at ID&T I have been inspired by our talented team that is able to realise the best possible products with unprecedented passion, and I am grateful for our wonderful and loyal visitors,” she says.

“It is remarkable that this feeling remains unchanged almost 15 years later. Despite the fact that we are in a difficult situation, I fully trust that our brands are strong and I look forward to taking the experience for our visitors to the next level, with a focus on our unique creativity and innovation.”

Ritty van Straalen, CEO ID&T Group, added: “I am very happy with Rosanne in my team as COO. In addition to the fact that Rosanne has been with us for a long time, she made real progress with ID&T, knows the company, the people, and the culture exceptionally well, and has developed herself broadly and internationally. Her knowledge and skills are perfectly in line with ID&T’s ambitious plans. The past year was challenging, but thanks to Rosanne’s enormous efforts, we are in good shape and organised.”

Last year the company – which is known for festivals such as Mysteryland, Defqon.1 Weekend Festival, Amsterdam Open Air and Welcome to the Future – announced a management reshuffle which saw van Straalen take over from Q-Dance founder Wouter Tavecchio as CEO of ID&T.

 


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