Events in the Netherlands to potentially resume from July
Dutch government launches scheme to support events organisers
The announcement means venues and events companies can get ready to start organising events for this summer, and provides organisers with the security that if their event is cancelled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic they will be eligible to receive a so-called cancellation subsidy from the government.
This subsidy will apply to all events scheduled to take place between July 1 and December 31, and will amount to 80 percent of the costs incurred through organising the event, while the remaining 20 percent will be refunded as a loan. The government has put aside 385 millions euros for this scheme, which ministers hope will provide the events industry with the support, time, and security needed to get back on track in time for the summer months.
The cabinet hopes that more coronavirus restrictions will be relaxed in time for the summer, but is hesitant to provide any real certainty on the matter. It also hopes that the national coronavirus vaccination scheme will mean that everyone over the age of 18 will have received at least one jab by July 1.
The Alliance of Event Builders has spoken out in support of the government’s plans, with a spokesperson for Rotterdam Ahoy saying “It is a very important signal from the government to society that our sector can start organising events after July 1 with the original capacity.” MOJO has also emphasised the importance of financial support from the government in allowing freedom to safely plan events for the summer and autumn months.
Coronavirus-proof festivals take place in Biddinghuizen
For many months, people across the Netherlands have been looking forward to the chance to attend concerts, festivals, and events safely. A number of coronavirus-proof trial events have been held across the country over the last two months, as two weeks ago the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam hosted the Netherlands’ first live music event in almost a year.
Last weekend also saw thousands of keen festival-goers attend a dance festival and music festival in Biddinghuizen. All those in attendance were tested for coronavirus before arrival and were required to take a rapid test upon entry to the festival. The festivals also served as the testing grounds for the government’s new CoronaCheck app, which allowed visitors to show proof of their negative test result on their phones when they arrived.
Before this weekend, over 6.200 people had attended the corona-proof trial events which took place throughout February in March. Only five people are reported as having tested positive for the virus after attending an event, and experts and ministers alike are positive about the results of the research, with microbiologist Andreas Voss saying coronavirus tests “give us the opportunity to make more possible even before everyone in the Netherlands has been vaccinated."