After months of silence, it now finally seems that the cabinet wants to do something for the events sector in The Netherlands. The intention is to be…
Festival industry in danger due to corona: “It’s a disaster”
The events industry has been hit hard by the corona virus and is calling for help. The sector is in dire need, according to Dutch festival collective Front of House. “It’s a battlefield. The entire events industry is in danger of going under.”
Since the beginning of COVID-19, it appears that the events are ‘the last to happen’. “It is important that the government offers support for the longer term, also after September”, says Remko Hermans (organizer of Intents Festival) to Omroep Brabant. “We’ve taken the necessary measures, in need to keep going for a while, by saying goodbye to people and selling stuff for example. I hear a cry from the industry that companies will go down, especially if there is no perspective and support.”
The companies in the sector hope for more help from the government (‘otherwise they won’t last long’). That is why buildings throughout the Netherlands will be lit red tonight (Tuesday) and the lights will go out at 23:55. ‘Five minutes before twelve’ is a Dutch figure of speech, meaning it’s almost ending at this very moment. “The Sound of Silence.”
‘Many companies have let all their staff go: they cannot keep this up’
The need is especially high among stage builders, technicians and other suppliers, says Johan Dortmans (organizer Harmony of Hardcore and 7th Sunday). “Some companies still exist, but have let all their personnel go. They hope to be able to continue when they can start producing again, but the companies cannot keep this up indefinitely.”
It’s a big battlefield at the moment. “Everyone who makes a living in this industry is affected. There is little perspective. But many companies do not show the back of their tongue yet. They do know that time is running out and do everything to keep their heads above water. But eventually the battle will come. It’s that simple.”
Although it is now possible that small events, with social distancing, will be held again, this does not solve the problem of the festivals. Major events are still prohibited, and the number of infections in The Netherlands is rising again. Organizations hardly apply for permits. Remko: “It is a big risk. Some apply for a permit, put a lot of effort into preparing and are then told two weeks in advance that it should not take place. Of course that does not give confidence.”
Clarity after September?
There is little hope for a festival this year, and even 2021 is in danger of partying. “Opportunities will arise, but whether these are full-fledged festivals, is still the question. I’ve been hearing that some are already working on 2021”, says Johan.
𝗚𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝘇𝗼𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗿 𝗕𝗿𝗮𝗯𝗮𝗻𝘁𝘀𝗲 𝗘𝘃𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗦𝘂𝗽𝗽𝗹𝗶𝗲𝗿𝘀
Hoe kunnen er in de toekomst events worden georganiseerd zonder het…
Cover images taken from Facebook page Intents Festival