Nightclub demonstration ends peacefully; venue in Tilburg fined
Nightclubs opened in violation of Covid measures Saturday night in a protest that was largely peaceful. However, a venue in Tilburg faces a heavy fine and people at a club in Haarlem were dispersed by authorities.
Nightclubs and discotheques across Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht were busy, with many locations sold out in advance. "We know that we are sold out…and we can receive a lot of happy people,” said Pieter de Kroon, owner of the Chicago Social Club in Amsterdam. The municipality of Amsterdam warned in advance that nightclubs that stayed open after 10 p.m. would be fined 4,500 euros.
Ten locations in Utrecht received verbal warnings. De Helling was also warned in writing and obeyed instructions to close by 2:30 a.m. at the latest, according to RTV Utrecht.
013 in Tilburg was fined 10,000 euros for a party that extended past 10 p.m. The party was allowed to continue despite the fine. The Dutch unions for street enforcement teams (BOAs) ended a party in Het Patronaat in Haarlem, ordering the club to stop performing at 10:45 p.m., after which the public left the venue.
In Rotterdam, all eight nightclubs that participated in the demonstration were warned and asked to close their doors. So far, none of them have been fined, but administrative reports have been written in four cases, on the basis of which the municipality can impose fines or penalties. The municipality of Rotterdam also did not issue threats in advance to nightclubs, as was the case in other cities.
In Maastricht, Groningen and other cities, the nightlife sector decided against participating in the protest because of the risk of high fines. A large, illegal party took place in both cities, but both stopped just after midnight.
Participants in the demonstration said they were excited to visit nightclubs again. "It is the first time that we can step into a club again in two years,” said Kelly Tijhuis, as she lined up outside a nightclub in Utrecht. “I hope we can make it as late as possible."
The demonstration, called “The Night Stands Up,” was a way for the nightlife sector to protest the fact that the government’s plans to reopen society so far exclude nightclubs.
Reporting by ANP