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Dutch venue associations to merge

As live music restarts in the Netherlands, two associations representing the country’s music and entertainment venues have merged.

Effective 31 May, the Employers’ Association of Dutch Stages (WNP, Werkgeversvereniging Nederlandse Podia) becomes part of VSCD (the Vereniging van Schouwburg- en Concertgebouwdirecties, or Association of Theatre and Concert Hall Directors).

The WNP, an employers’ organisation, represents venues’ interests; along with the Kunstenbond (Arts Union), which represents individual employees, it agrees the collective agreement that regulates the relationship between venue owners and staff in the Netherlands. It was set up in 1999 by members of the VSCD.

“We hope that as of 1 September all restrictions will be lifted”

Following the merger, the VSCD is now responsible for maintaining this collective labour agreement, it says in a statement. The formal legal steps towards effecting the merger will be taken in the coming weeks, it adds.

VSCD, which represents dozens of theatres and other seated venues, welcomed the reopening of the Netherlands’ venues on 5 June but said ongoing social distancing and capacity restrictions restrict the type of shows its members can put on.

“Developments are going in the right direction, but it is only financially profitable for our stages if at least 60% of the hall is filled,” said VSCD director Gabbi Mesters. “We hope that as of 1 September all restrictions will be lifted and that there will be plenty of cultural events again,” she adds.


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