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Dutch live sector report reveals corona impact

A new report on the Dutch live music sector has laid bare the dramatic impact of the Covid crisis on concerts and festivals.

The Netherlands’ touring scene enjoyed a record year in 2019, attracting 2.7 million visitors to events, but that figure plummeted to 328,000 in 2020 – with 94% of that year’s shows pre-dating the spring lockdown – according to the new Monitor Festivals & Concerts study published by Respons and the Association of Event Makers (VVEM).

In addition, the number of festivals fell from more than 1,100 in 2019 to a record low of 155 in 2020, before rebounding slightly to 343 in 2021.

“Festivals and concerts are the big corona losers”

“Festivals and concerts are the big corona losers,” says VVEM spokesperson Willem Westermann. “The figures for 2020 and 2021 are dramatic after the records of previous years.

“We hope that 2022 will be the year of recovery. We have seen that the sector has a lot of creativity, but you just have to experience concerts and festivals live.”

The best-attended concert series of 2020 was Holland sings Hazes, with 49,000 visitors. In 2019, the series reached fifth place in the ranking with 68,000 visitors.

In 2021, Dutch party act the Snollebollekes led the list, playing to 100,000 fans over four nights at the Gelredome in Arnhem. The report also notes that the 2021 Amsterdam Dance Event attracted 350,000 visitors across five days.

The Dutch government finally lifted all remaining Covid restrictions on live events in March this year after tireless lobbying from the sector.


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