Wouter de Vink
By Wouter de Vink

Yesterday, outgoing Deputy Prime Minister Hugo de Jonge asked festival organizer MOJO not to organize dance events for the time being – even though they could not legally enforce it. This is what director Ruben Brouwer told last night in the TV show Op1.

READ: ‘Events will be possible again under certain conditions’

“It was a very bizarre conversation,” says the MOJO director about his consultation with De Jonge. They are responsible for the organization of festivals such as Lowlands (on the same site as Defqon.1). Yesterday it leaked that events will be allowed again, but only at 75% capacity.

“The government was unable to explain in any way why we have to stick to a maximum of 75 percent of the visitors. In return, we have an entire research report, written by OMT scientists, which shows that it makes no difference at all whether you are 75 percent or 100 percent of the number of visitors. We already told them this a year and a half ago.” That does make the difference between winning and losing, according to Brouwer.

But this ‘biggest bummer of the year’ gets even more bizarre, according to the organizer. “In addition, it turned out during the conversation that they wanted to ask us not to organize dance events, even at three quarters of capacity and if they finish before midnight (all conform the latest restrictions). We were actually kindly requested to ban dancing. They couldn’t enforce this legally, to distinguish between a concert and something with a DJ, so they asked us: let’s make an agreement about that, and ban dancing for a while.”

MOJO boss: ‘Deputy Prime Minister De Jonge asked us to ban dancing’

Brouwer does not rule out going to court. This is yet another setback for the events sector and it appears that the cabinet does not take this business seriously, according to various artists and organizations. Tonight at 19:00 is the press conference of Rutte and De Jonge, in which all relaxations will be announced.

Omslagfoto via Roel Wijnants / Flickr (aangepast)

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