Events industry calls for compensation and change to coronavirus restrictions
More than 30 events organisers have joined together to file a lawsuit against the cabinet for the last-minute coronavirus restrictions which came into effect on July 10, forcing them to cancel events that were due to take place over the summer.
Effect of new coronavirus restrictions on events in the Netherlands
While the Dutch government had opened things up for the summer, relaxing restrictions and giving events and festivals across the country the green light to go ahead this summer, rising coronavirus infections across the Netherlands led to a sharp u-turn in coronavirus policy last week.
As a result of the government’s new restrictions, any non-seated indoor or outdoor events or multi-day festivals that had been planned to take place before August 14 will have been cancelled at very short notice.
Now, more than 30 events and festival organisers are calling for the cabinet to adjust the restrictions, and have initiated summary proceedings against the government. Calling the cabinet’s coronavirus policy “carelessly prepared and incorrect,” they ask the judge to allow for any event that meets the conditions set by Fieldlab to go ahead.
Events associations call for compensation from Dutch government
Earlier this year the government gave Fieldlab permission and funding to organise a number of coronavirus-proof trial events. Those in attendance were required to present a recent negative coronavirus test upon entry, and everyone was tested for COVID-19 five days after the event.
At Friday’s press conference, Willem Westermann from the Association of Event Makers (VVEM) says “months of experience with Fieldlab experiments were thrown overboard.” Organisers and associations are calling for clarity from the Dutch government in order to determine where they - and their events - stand.
“It is impossible for us internationally to explain that we only have clarity about the conditions under which we can organise the event less than three weeks before the start of the event,” explains Imre van Leeuwen, general director at F1 Dutch Grand Prix Zandvoort. The race is scheduled to take place on September 5, approximately one month after the government’s next coronavirus press conference.
The VVEM and the Association of Dutch Poppodia and Festivals (VNPF) have also demanded 100 percent compensation instead of the 80 percent they're currently promised for the financial damage suffered as a result of the new restrictions. The House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) will debate the subject on Wednesday, but the cabinet has already set aside additional funds that will be used to compensate organisers.