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ID&T, Mojo announce post-pandemic party (date TBA)

Dutch promoters Mojo and ID&T, along with Heineken, are organising the Netherlands’ first large-scale event without restrictions which will go ahead as soon as it is permitted.

The event, dubbed ‘Celebrate Life’, will take place in Amsterdam venues Ziggo Dome (cap. 17,000) and AFAS Live (6,000) on an unspecified date in the post-pandemic future.

“We haven’t danced together for over a year. Not partied for a whole year. As soon as the corona measures give us free rein, we will see you at the front of AFAS Live and Ziggo Dome! The moment the government gives the starting shot, we are shoulder to shoulder again. This can be during the weekend, but also take into account a weekday. We will of course inform you immediately,” reads a statement on the Celebrate Life website.

“The moment the government gives the starting shot, we are shoulder to shoulder again”

De Jeugd van Today, Maan, Ronnie Flex & the Fam and Vunzige Deuntjes Soundsystem have been announced for the four-and-a-half hour AFAS Live event, which is open to all ages.

Benny Rodrigues, Freddy Moreira, Kris Kross Amsterdam, Lucas & Steve and Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano have been announced for the 18+ Ziggo Dome event, which will run from 21:30 pm and 06:00 am.

Dutch residents are able to pre-register for tickets now which cost €50.40 and €61.60 respectively, or €89.60 for a combi ticket.

An event similar to Celebrate Life was announced at the beginning of the year by Live Nation Belgium, Studio Brussel and the Subs.

Billed as Belgium’s biggest “post-Covid party”, ‘I Want to Dance Again‘ will also take place in Antwerp as soon as restrictions on major events are lifted.

 


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Thousands take part in “historic” Dutch test events

Thousands of Dutch residents took part in the latest Back to Live test events, which took place in the Ziggo Dome (cap. 17,000) at the weekend.

Saturday’s dance event saw 1,300 people visit the Amsterdam venue to enjoy sets from domestic DJs including Sam Feldt, Lady Bee and Sunnery James and Ryan Marciano.

The next day André Hazes delivered a concert in the venue, with the same amount of participants.

The events, organised by Mojo and ID&T, ran from 3 pm till 7 pm in order to comply with the nationwide curfew from 9 pm to 4:30 am, which has been in place for the past six weeks.

Around 100,000 people applied for the Ziggo Dome events, which were priced at €15 (£13), and tickets for both sold out in 20 minutes.

“One group was given a fluorescent drink and encouraged to sing in order to examine how much saliva was released”

Those who successfully secured a ticket had to have received a negative Covid-19 test 48 hours prior to the event. Twelve applicants had received a positive test result and were turned away. Those who did attend were asked to take another test five days afterwards.

Those participating were traced in all their movements and contacts through a tag.

Participants were divided into five ‘bubbles’ of 250 people, plus one of 50, each of which had to comply with different rules.

In bubble 1, participants were told to wear a mask throughout the event. They could decide for themselves where to stand but had to ensure that there were no more than three people in a square metre of space.

In bubble 2, participants wore a mask at all times but were told to keep a distance of 1.5 metres. In bubble 3, participants wore a mouth mask only when in motion and had to stand on designated spots.

In bubble 4, people wore masks all the time and were permitted to sit down. In bubble 5, people wore masks only when on the move. There were standing and seating areas. The participants were put in their dancing spot by the organisers with two chairs spacing people apart.

In bubble 6, participants did not wear masks and were allowed to stand or sit where and when they pleased.

One group was given a fluorescent drink and encouraged to sing and scream to the music in order to examine how much saliva was released at moments of peak revelry, according to The Guardian.

Tim Boersma, of Fieldlab, the organisation carrying out the research for the government, told the newspaper: “We hope this can lead to a tailor-made reopening of venues. Measures are now generic, allowing for instance a maximum of 100 guests at any event if coronavirus infections drop to a certain level. We hope for more specific measures, such as allowing the Ziggo Dome to open at half its capacity.”

“We hope this can lead to a tailor-made reopening of venues”

Rosanne Janmaat, COO of ID&T, said the events were “a historical moment”, adding: “Hopefully this is the key to being able to reopen”.

The Back to Live series has so far included Back to Live Business, which simulated a conference environment, took place at Utrecht’s Beatrix Theatre on Monday (15 February) with 500 people, as well as two football matches with 1,200 supporters at each.

Two music festivals – a dance music event and a rock/pop festival – will take place on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 March, respectively, on the Lowlands site in Biddinghuizen, in the central Netherlands.

Government advisers will use the behavioural data collected to inform decisions on whether or not to ease restrictions on nightlife in the near future. It is more than a year since gatherings of more than 100 people were banned in the Netherlands. All bars and restaurants in the country have been closed since mid-October.

 


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Fieldlab reveals details on Back to Live pilot festivals

Fieldlab, the organisation spearheading the ‘Back to Live’ test series in the Netherlands, has revealed details on the previously announced open-air festival pilots.

The eight-event test series is being orchestrated with Event Platform, the Alliance of Event Builders and the government to investigate how events with an increased visitor capacity can take place safely and responsibly during the pandemic.

The festival tests are being organised along with Dutch promoters Mojo and ID&T and will take place at the event site in Biddinghuizen – home to festivals such as Defqon.1 and Lowlands.

Fieldlab and Lowlands director, Eric van Eerdenburg, has revealed that the festivals will likely be scheduled for March, kicking off mid-afternoon and running until the early evening in case a curfew is in place.

Eerdenburg also said that each festival will host 1,500 visitors, who will be tested before and after the events, and are required to wear masks for the duration.

Participants will be ‘tagged’ at the entrance and admitted in phases before they’re free to roam the mini-festival, which will include several stages and food trucks.

Fieldlab’s Tim Boersma told 3voor12: “It is not a medical experiment, we will look at contact. Everyone is tagged at the entrance. Not all of those 1,500 people meet, but how many do, and for how long? In which places do crowds arise? Can you solve that by installing more toilet blocks, for example?”

The organisation plans to announce the exact dates for the festival tests next week.

Each festival will host 1,500 visitors, who will be tested before and after the events, and are required to wear masks

The postponed ‘Back to Live’ pilot shows that are scheduled to take place this month include a cabaret performance by Guido Weijers to 500 guests at the Beatrix Theatre in Utrecht (20 February), a business conference at the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht (15th) and two football matches at the home grounds of NEC (21st) and Almere City FC (28th).

Details have also been revealed about how the football games will take place. Each match will kick off at 12:15 pm at the respective grounds and will host 1,500 season tickets holders.

For the match at NEC’s home ground, the Goffert Stadium in Nijmegen, the 1,500 attendees will be split into six ‘bubbles’ of 250 for the purpose of the investigation.

For the game at Almere City FC’s home ground, the Yanmar Stadion in Almere, the visitors will be divided into three ‘bubbles’ of 200, 600 and 700 people.

During each type of test event, Fieldlab will study several ‘building blocks’ that contribute to prevention and reduction of the risk of spreading the Covid-19 virus including behaviour; triage, tracking and tracing; rapid tests; visitor dynamics; air quality; personal protection; cleaning and disinfection of surfaces and materials; vulnerable groups.

The Back to Live test series will also include a concert and a dance event at Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam, also organised by Mojo and ID&T, which are yet to be announced.

 


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Dutch gov gives green light for January pilot events

The Dutch government has approved several pilot shows for January 2021 to determine how events with an increased visitor capacity can take place safely and responsibly during the pandemic.

The test events, 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 festival site, all of which will be organised by Mojo and ID&T.


‘Back to Live’ pilot shows that have already been announced include a cabaret performance by Guido Weijers to 500 guests at the Beatrix Theater in Utrecht, a business conference at the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht and football matches with 1,500 supporters at the home grounds of NEC and Almere City FC.

The events, which are organised by FieldLab Events, a joint initiative with Event Platform, the Alliance of Event Builders and the government, have been divided up into four categories in order to draw up effective measures for each type: inside passive, active indoors; active outdoors; and outside active festival.

“This is confirmation of the fact that we have presented a solid plan of action”

Participants of all events will have to meet a number of requirements in order to gain entry including submitting a negative Covid test, completing a health declaration within 24 hours before the event, participating in a temperature measurement or rapid test at the entrance of the event upon request and avoiding contact with vulnerable groups in the two weeks after the pilot event.

At each event, Fieldlab will study several ‘building blocks‘ that contribute to prevention and reduction of the risk of spreading the Covid-19 virus including behaviour; triage, tracking and tracing; rapid tests; visitor dynamics; air quality; personal protection; cleaning and disinfection of surfaces and materials; vulnerable groups.

Previously, the government said the pilot shows could only take place in regions that are in the ‘vigilant’ stage but that condition has now been abandoned.

Marcel Elbertse, chairman of the Fieldlab Events Steering Group: “This is confirmation of the fact that we have presented a solid plan of action. It shows the government’s guts that they are now giving us permission to organise the pilot events. We have always emphasised that these can take place safely and are essential for the entire industry. In principle, every visitor to a pilot event has been tested negative, thus avoiding risk.”

Similar studies have been organised in Spain and Germany.

 


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Covid-19 lay-offs hit Dutch live market

Promoter Friendly Fire has become the latest Dutch concert business to make redundancies following a challenging summer, according to local media.

Amsterdam-based Friendly Fire, part of CTS Eventim’s Eventim Live grouping, organises festivals such as Best Kept Secret (25,000-cap.), Indian Summer (30,000-cap.) and Tuckerville (30,000-cap.) and promotes both local and international artists, including the 1975, Fontaines DC, alt-J and Pip Blom. The National, the Strokes and Massive Attack will headline the company’s flagship event, Best Kept Secret, next year; the festival, like all major events, was axed in 2020 because of Covid-19.

Of its 35 employees, Friendly Fire has been forced to let go of ten, reports public broadcaster VPRO.

The lay-offs at Friendly Fire follow redundancies at other Dutch live entertainment stalwarts

The lay-offs at Friendly Fire follow redundancies at other Dutch live entertainment stalwarts, including the country’s leading promoter, Live Nation-owned Mojo Concerts, which has laid off around a third of its staff, according to VPRO.

Other Dutch industry professionals to have lost their jobs in recent months include staff at arenas Ziggo Dome (14 of 34) and AFAS Live (10 of 25) and pro-AV company Ampco Flashlight Group.

The Dutch live music industry, united under umbrella group the Alliance of Event Builders, recently warned of a wave of bankruptcies of events businesses without further government support for the sector.

 


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Ziggo puts on 2,400-cap. shows as Dutch regulations ease

From today (1 July), Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome will open up for concerts with up to 2,400 spectators, as the Netherlands further eases restrictions on live events.

The Dutch government has now removed maximum capacity limits from seated indoor and outdoor events, theoretically allowing shows of any size to take place. However, all guests must continue to adhere to the one-and-a-half metre distancing rule, reserve seats in advance and undertake a pre-show health check.

For events where organisers cannot implement reservation systems or health checks, a capacity of 100 applies for indoor shows and 250 for outdoor performances.

Nielson will be the first act to perform at the 17,000-capacity arena on 9 July, followed by artists including De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig, Maan, Frenna Deluxe, Rolf Sanchez and Typhoon over the coming weeks.

All shows will also be streamed live via Mojo’s Larger than Live platform, which the promoter launched last week together with telecommunications giant Vodafone. Streaming tickets cost €11, with tickets to attend the shows in person range from €22.40 to €39.20. An overview of all shows and tickets can be found here.

“The damage can only be made up in the coming years, with the old normal”

“There’s going to be life again,” Ziggo Dome commercial director Danny Damman told Dutch daily NRC. “It is nice that the audio and sound engineers, production crew, security and catering staff can return to work.”

However, according to Damman, concerts at the Dome are only profitable “at about two thirds of the capacity”, or with over 11,000 tickets sold.

“What would be our best year ever is already our worst year ever. The damage can only be made up in the coming years, with the old normal.”

Damman says the Ziggo Dome team are currently in talks with smaller venues, such as the 2,000-capacity Royal Theatre Carré in Amsterdam, to move concerts from smaller halls to the arena, as “all shows now have to play a size up”.

Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw is also preparing to reopen its 1,974-cap. Main Hall for up to 350 people, with upcoming concerts from soul and jazz musicians Alain Clark and Cor Bakker, Dutch piano duo Arthur and Lucas Jussen, electric violin band Fuse and singer Sjors van der Panne.

Also reopening its door are Tilburg’s 3,000-capacity Poppodium 013, which will host acts including Guus Meeuwis, Charly Lownoise & Mental Theo and Jeangu Macrooy and Wies for at least 100 fans; Rotterdam’s 2,100-capacity De Doelen, which will open for up to 500 visitors; and Amsterdam’s 1,500-capacity Melkweg, which will open for with intimate shows by Raw Poets, Gaidaa and Dave Budha.

 


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Mojo partners with Vodafone for virtual concert platform

Dutch promoter Mojo has teamed up with telecommunications giant Vodafone to launch Larger Than Live, a virtual concert platform allowing for direct artist-to-fan interaction.

Larger Than Live makes its debut on 9 July, with a concert from Nielson at Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome, which recently reopened for audiences of just 30 at a time.

Other acts to perform via the platform include De Staat, De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig, Maan, Frenna Deluxe and Rolf Sanchez. Acts will perform on a custom-built stage in the 20,000-capacity arena, which is equipped with state-of-the-art technology to ensure high-quality images, sound and lighting.

Larger Than Live allows fans to switch between camera angles while watching a show, as well as providing the opportunity for interaction with the artists.

Larger Than Live allows fans to switch between camera angles while watching a show, as well as providing the opportunity for interaction with the artists

Tickets are available now, priced at €11, along with a full listing of upcoming shows. Anyone with a ticket can access the relevant show via their smartphone, tablet or laptop. The stream can also be cast onto televisions or beamers.

Additionally, fans can sign up to join a virtual Golden Circle via a live video connection, enabling artists to see audience reactions in real time and feature fans in their live show.

Vodafone customers receive access to a virtual backstage tour prior to the show and are entered into a competition to win an online meet and greet and the chance to attend the show in real life at the Ziggo Dome as a VIP.

The initial concert series will be followed by others at a range of different venues and festivals. Mojo plans to make streaming tickets available for shows even after live events are able to start up again, to give fans more choice and to avoid capacity limitations.

It is believed that the Dutch government will announce the scrapping of current capacity limits tonight (24 June), provided that venues can undertake health checks and maintain a 1.5 metre distance between guests instead.

Photo: Shirley de Jong/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0) (cropped)

 


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Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome reopens for 30 fans

Only 30 fans at a time will be allowed to enter the 17,000-capacity Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam when it reopens next weekend, as the arena takes its “first step towards the old normal”.

The arena is taking the opportunity to open its doors after three months of silence as the Netherlands enters the second phase of its reopening plan on Monday (1 June), permitting the reopening of concert venues and theatres, with a maximum capacity of 30 people. This capacity limit is set to increase to 100 from 1 July.

Ziggo, which has hosted acts such as Lady Gaga, Pearl Jam, Beyoncé and Armin van Buuren, will host the 30 Fans Only Concerts series on Saturday 6 June.

The series, organised by radio station Radio Veronica, will see six 45-minute concerts throughout the day, with Dutch acts Kensington, Alain Clark, Duncan Laurence, Danny Vera, Ilse DeLange and Son Mieux performing to groups of 30 fans each.

“It may be a small step for a fan and the Ziggo Dome, but no matter how small: every step brings you life”

A distance of 1.5 metres must be kept between each visitor, in accordance with social distancing rules.

Tickets to the shows can be won on Radio Veronica and via the Ziggo Dome social media channels.

The live performances will be broadcast on Radio Veronica throughout the following week.

“When the coronavirus hit our country hard, concerts were banned by the government until 1 September,” comments Ziggo Dome commercial director Danny Damman.

“We are glad that we are now given the opportunity to take a first step towards the old normal. It may be a small step for a fan and the Ziggo Dome, but no matter how small: every step brings you life.”

For the chance to win tickets, visit the Ziggo Dome Facebook or Instagram pages.

Read more about Covid-safe shows here.

Covid-safe shows take off in major live markets


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Lana Del Rey cancels upcoming European tour

Lana Del Rey has called off upcoming arena dates in the UK, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy, in the latest in a series of high-profile acts to see tours hampered by illness.

The Primary Talent-repped singer was set to perform a run of dates starting tomorrow (21 February) at Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome, and visiting the Accorhotels Arena in Paris, London’s O2 Arena, Manchester Arena, the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Birmingham Resorts World Arena, Berlin’s Mercedes-Benz Arena, before finishing at the Lanxess Arena in Cologne on 3 March. A ninth arena date is set for Italy’s Arena Di Verona in June, which is still going ahead.

The star is also due to make appearances at We Love Green Festival in Paris, Primavera Sound Barcelona and its Portuguese sister event, Nos Primavera Sound Porto in June. Last week, Glastonbury Festival director Emily Eavis announced that Lana Del Rey would also perform on the festival’s Pyramid stage this summer.

“It’s with regret that Lana Del Rey has announced that she has been forced to cancel her entire upcoming EU/UK tour due to illness”

The O2 Arena broke the news earlier this morning (20 February), stating: “It’s with regret that Lana Del Rey has announced that she has been forced to cancel her entire upcoming EU/UK tour due to illness.”

The singer released her own statement, apologising for the cancellation, saying, “Sorry to let everyone down so last minute but this illness has taken me by surprise and have totally lost my singing voice. Dr has advised 4 weeks off for the moment. I hate to let everyone down but I need to get well.”

Fans are advised to contact their original point of purchase for refund enquiries.

Photo: Beatriz Alvani/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0) (cropped)

 


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Dutch concert revenue up 25% in 2019

New figures have shown that over 2.9 million people attended large concerts (over 3,000-cap.) in the Netherlands in 2019, a 16 % rise from the year before, with Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome recording the highest footfall of any venue in the country.

The findings, presented by research agency Response and the Association of Events Makers (VVEM) at Eurosonic Noorderslag last week, show revenue generated by live music events equalled €165 million in 2019, a 25% rise from the year before.

According to the VVEM, the revenue increase is due in part to a 7% growth in the number of large concerts in the Netherlands last year, “regular price increases” and a rise in the tax levied on live event tickets from 6% to 9%. Ticket prices rose on average by 7% in 2019, to €56.60.

The 17,000-capacity Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam was the most-visited concert venue, welcoming over one million fans in 2019

The 17,000-capacity Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam – the city that took 75% of the national large concert market share – was the most-visited concert venue, welcoming over one million fans in 2019. Afas Live (6,000-cap.) offered 80 live events over the year, the highest number of any venue, and reported the second highest number of visitors at 412,000.

Mojo Concerts, which celebrated its 50th year in 2018, remained the “most important” concert promoter according to the report, with Amsterdam-based Friendly Fire recording the most growth.

Dutch singer Marco Borsato sold the most tickets of any artist, attracting 240,000 fans, with André Rieu’s concerts at the Vrijthof in Maastricht and Guus Meeuwis’ shows in Eindhoven also proving popular with 150,000 and 135,000 tickets apiece.

Photo: Shirley de Jong/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

 


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