The organisers of the yearly Lampegatse (Eindhoven) Carnaval are contemplating whether the event will take place next year. “We are trying to think of a safe alternative, however the current limitations make it challenging.”
A celebration where all tables are positioned to maintain adequate distancing? Should it move online? Alternatively, Carnaval is postponed to summer in the hopes of a vaccine by that time. Tim de Zeeuw thinks aloud about the possibilities for the event to take place within the next six months. He is chairman of the Carnaval association d’Hoane and an organiser of Elluf Elluf, an event signalling the kick-off of the Carnaval season in Eindhoven.
“We haven’t made a decision yet, but the eleventh of the eleventh is fast approaching. We have to guarantee safety. We’re considering alternatives, tables spaced to maintain distancing. That presents it’s own challenges, especially when alcohol is involved,” explains De Zeeuw. The event in February also poses a problem. Before the main event, a smaller event at the Stadspaviljoen takes place. Usually with an estimated 800 people in attendance and 18 bands performing. It entails a lot of singing, dancing and drinking. Not exactly corona-proof. I don’t know how we’re going to organise it. Everything that makes a celebration fun is becoming more difficult to organise.”
Ivo Soetens, the chairman of the Eindhoven Carnaval Federation, is also concerned. If Carnaval can take place, how would it happen? His organisation is amongst others responsible for events in the main tent on Market Square, the parade and the Federation Ball, where the new city prince is announced. “Preferably, one would wait as long as possible to know what you’re in for. The anti-corona virus measures are still changing and the Regional Safety organisation (Veiligheidsregio Zuid-Oost Brabant) hasn’t made a decision regarding Carnaval yet. Unfortunately, we can’t wait too long as everyone involved must start with preparations.”
The Eindhoven municipality reports that Carnaval is on the agenda at Regional Safety. It’s unclear when a decision will be made. Soetens: “It depends on the event, how many considerations are involved in the organisation. For the large-scale events, we certainly need to know by the middle of September.”
If necessary, postpone to summer
It still is very uncertain. Behind the scenes many meetings are scheduled, also amongst the federations and the municipality. Soetens and De Zeeuw are convinced that Carnaval will be celebrated next year. Even if it’s on a smaller scale that usual. “History shows that Carnaval often happens spontaneously. During the war, Carnaval was also celebrated,” says Soetens. De Zeeuw: “If necessary, we could postpone it to summer in the hope that a vaccine becomes available in the winter or spring.
Translator: Ame Harris