Wouter de Vink
By Wouter de Vink

The Dutch government has just announced the first relaxations, but is a ‘too small step’ for the cultural sector. Unmute Us and the Dutch Poppodia and Festivals Association (VNPF) say that it is still virtually impossible for organizers to take action: “This feels like a deep insult to our entire industry.”

READ: ‘OMT advises reopening the cultural sector: events will be possible again soon’

“Many will be happy with the easing that the cabinet has just presented,” the statement from Unmute Us (known for the collective of protests across the The Netherlands last year) begins. During tonight’s press conference, Dutch Prime Minister Rutte revealed that bars and restaurants can open again until 22:00, but for events that there is a maximum number of visitors of 1,250 visitors and strict conditions apply.

These visitors receive a mandatory seat, must show a corona pass and are obliged to keep a distance of one and a half meters. “Festivals and nightlife are completely left out for the umpteenth time,” says Unmute Us. “The time of once again waiting quietly until it’s our turn is over. Our industry has to open up.”

Unmute Us: “The cabinet must come up with a fully-fledged and realistic plan within 2 weeks”

It is admittedly a small step in the right direction, but not profitable enough to work with for many organizers. Protests such as last year in Amsterdam, Eindhoven and many other cities are therefore not excluded. “On behalf of the festivals and nightlife, we call on the government to come up with a fully-fledged and realistic plan within two weeks, as promised in December, in which it becomes clear that events and nightlife can open again at full capacity in the short term. If this does not happen, we will take action again.”

The government will have a new measurement moment in 3 weeks. The current measures in The Netherlands apply for 6 weeks.

Footage taken from Instagram page MNO Photo

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