Festivals and pop venues call the recent relaxation of corona policy “a load of rubbish”. It remains to be seen whether there will be a concert or event in the short term.
Relaxation sounds like good news for events. But the snags throw a spanner in the works. Events without a fixed number of seats are not yet allowed. The maximum number of visitors is 1250, both indoors and outdoors, which means little perspective for pop venues and festivals. Events require planning and that is difficult at the moment.
John Dortmans of the Brabant festival collective Front of House says, “We are furious. We don’t feel taken seriously at all.”
Festival organiser ID&T previously announced that the opening of the event sector was an ’empty promise’. “We fully agree with ID&T and are totally stunned. Our industry is the last in line with every relaxation but the first to absorb the blow. The lack of good substantiation of the policy is another disappointment in our view. A drama”, says Dortmans.
Long term clarity
The erratic government policy is disturbing. “We have done every possible thing to cooperate. But the events sector is opened and closed at every turn. Long-term clarity is needed.”
That is why Dortmans advocates a long-term plan. “A step-by-step plan for the next three to four months is required. Organising a major event involves a lot of work. That long-term is essential for us. The yo-yoing breaks us down completely.” Front of House is currently working with the province to be able to open safely.
Lack of perspective
Poppodium 013 in Tilburg also feels hard done by. “The current relaxations do not give us any chance to do anything. There is a lot of frustration with us. We closed first and now open last. Putting 400 people on a seat in a room for 3000 people, that’s not helpful for us. We just have little to show for it,” says Frens Frijns, director of Poppodium 013.
The lack of perspective also adds up. “We hoped that this new policy would last three weeks, but the government is talking about a six-week period which is too long. Besides, after those six weeks, we probably still have to put everyone in a chair. It may already be April before we can really open. All the fun things remain closed.”
Source: Omroep Brabant
Translated by: Shanthi Ramani