Nina van Zelst
By Nina van Zelst

Just imagine: you and your team are working around the clock for a full year, towards one big moment that is the festival. This Dutch summer, 1200 (!) big festivals and a couple of hundred concerts would generate 1 to 1.5 billion euros. By now the coronacrisis has completely overturned these plans, and both organisations & hardstyle lovers are holding their breath when it comes to the course our beloved festival season. 

Both Dutch platforms Het Parool and RTL Z explain how hard the coronacrisis is hitting the event industry, and how it’s possible not all festivals are already cancelled by now. 

ALSO READ: Update measures against coronavirus: hospitality industry closed until April 28th, events still forbidden until June 1st

A research conducted by RTL shows entrepreneurs in the Dutch event industry will see half of their revenue disappear, which means billions will be lost. Furthermore they’re afraid a total of 15,000 jobs will disappear due to the coronacrisis as well. “Event organizers want aid measures to be taken for a longer period of time. If that doesn’t happen, the industry will take an enormous hit. Postponing all festivals until later this year just isn’t an option”, so the researchers explained.

Ruben Brouwer, director of Mojo Concerts and board member of the VVEM, explains why the festival sector has no other choice than to assume their events will take place. The measures of cancelling all events in The Netherlands are enforced until a certain date (by now until the 1st of June). Festival organisations can only go to their insurance companies, if the measures will officially continue after this date. This means the organisations are in a very difficult situation right now: “The permits have to be revoked, or the government just has to forbid everything. We need clarity.”

Unfortunately, both visitors and the organisations don’t have any clarity yet. The coronacrisis will therefore continue to have a hold on the event industry for a long time. “The timing just couldn’t be worse. Events take a long time to organize, and a lot of other parties depend on them as well. That’s why we’ll be feeling this for a long time. These are challenging times, also for successful organisations with good insurances.”

“The timing just couldn’t be worse”

Earlier the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven called upon consumers to not ask refunds for tickets they purchased for an event that has been cancelled due to the coronavirus. “Or at least wait a little longer to ask your refund, you already spent your money on it anyway. Or take a voucher, so organisations know you’ll come back. If we all together start requesting refunds, you are just asking to much from such a sector.”

However, the question on everyone’s mind right now is of course: when can we visit the first festivals again? Unfortunately you simply cannot answer this question just yet. In the next couple of weeks we’ll be able to see the effect of the current measures being taken against the spreading of the coronavirus. Only when this starts to look good, measures could be enforced somewhat lighter – but also in this scenario festivals are anything but a number 1 priority.

So, what’s most important right now is to carefully follow the advice of the government: stay at home as much as possible, always keep 1.5 meters distance and wash your hands with soap regularly. Together we can slow down the coronavirus!

Footage via Facebook-pages Supersized Kingsday Festival & REBiRTH Festival

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