Event venues, suppliers and the organizers of concerts, sports matches and other events are teaming up to figure out how to organize events that people can attend without risking a coronavirus infection. They're working on ideas on how attendees can enter, sit, use catering and toilet facilities, and leave again, all while maintaining social distancing, NOS reports.
Amsterdam organization No Art teamed up with the A'dam Toren and Sir Adam Hotel to present the Netherlands' first social distancing festival. The 24-hour festival will be held on June 20 and a maximum of 120 people can attend.
Beaches and other recreation areas in the Netherlands started streaming full early on a warm and sunny Ascension Day on Thursday. Various security regions had to take measures to try and disperse the crowds, including closing roads towards beaches.
Various access roads to the beaches of Bloemendaal, Heemskerk, Wijk aan Zee, IJmuiden, and Zandvoort were closed down to car traffic, Veiligheidsregio Kennemerland announced. The road to Castricum beach was also closed, according to NOS. Veiligheidsregio Zeeland closed down the boulevards in Vlissingen.
American television show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver pushed two Nijmegen brothers' marble racing league into the spotlight. After British-American comedian John Oliver announced Monday night in the U.S. that his show will be sponsoring Jelle's Marble Runs, the YouTube channel's subscriber figures quickly shot up.
Coalition parties ChristenUnie and D66 want more flexibility in the coronavirus-related ban on events until September 1, so that events that can adhere to social distancing measures can still be allowed. They want mayors to have the option to make an exception for things like drive-in movies, for example, ANP reports.
Pathé Nederland is set to reopen its doors to moviegoers from June 1, the cinema chain announced on Wednesday. According to a statement, visitors will be required to follow a set of new restrictions in order to minimize the risk of transmitting Covid-19.
Groningen became the latest big city to move away from the blackface appearance of Sinterklaas helper Zwarte Piet, with an announcement on Wednesday that the city's Sinterklaas arrival party this year will only feature actors with soot-smears on their faces, or no makeup at all. Amsterdam was the first to make that decision back in 2016, and Rotterdam took the same position the next year. Haarlem and Hilversum followed suit in the years after.
"Massive events" can only be held again in the Netherlands once there is a vaccine against the coronavirus, Minister Hugo de Jonge of Public Health said in a letter to parliament regarding the government's step-by-step plan to relax the Covid-19 lockdown.
"For the last step, the massive events with a national quality, we can not yet give a date," the Minister wrote. "Actually, that is only possible once there is a vaccine, and no one knows how long that will take. Of course we hope for soon, but a year or more is very likely."
The industry association for public transit OV-NL is pleased with the step-by-step plan the government announced to ease the Netherlands out of its coronavirus lockdown. Hospitality association KHN is "glad there is perspective", but worried about the survival of many businesses. The fitness branch NL Actief is outraged that gyms and fitness clubs have to stay closed until September, NOS reports.
A third of Dutch theaters and concert halls, which have been closed since March 12 due to the coronavirus, are in danger of collapsing before the summer, according to a survey by the association of theaters and concert halls VSCD among its members. "This involves many smaller theaters, which have an important social neighborhood functions in small municipalities. But also large stages such as De Doelen in Rotterdam. After the summer it will no longer exist without intervention," VSCD director Gabbi Mesters said to ANP.
Performance art installation Franchise Freedom closed Liberation Day in the Netherlands with a drone light show over the Maas river, which Rotterdam residents could enjoy through their windows, from their balconies and from the gardens. A swarm of 300 drones lit up the Rotterdam sky as "an ode to freedom and as a tribute to everyone working day and night to ensure the freedom and health of others," the Rotterdam Partners said.
Maintaining social distancing is an impossible task in clubs, according to a group of 26 Amsterdam clubs. They want to reopen without this condition, and propose taking different measures to protect against the spread of the coronavirus. These include only allowing young people in their twenties and thirties into the club, and taking guests' temperature before admittance, Het Parool reports.
After a disastrous 2020 for the Netherlands' festival industry, with all large events canceled until at least September, event organizers are now also worried about 2021. Insurers no longer want to insure against pandemics, which means that organizers can't insure themselves for next year and therefore may be unable to organize events, NOS reports.
Holiday home rental companies are seeing a massive increase in Dutch booking vacations somewhere in the Netherlands. "You see that people are looking again at how they are going to fill in their summer," a spokesperson for rental company Landal said to NU.nl. "Holidaying in your own country seems to be an attractive option, as it is still uncertain when going abroad will be an option again."
The following is the full text of King Willem-Alexander's speech to the nation, given in Dutch, on his 53rd birthday. While King's Day would normally be the country's most festive annual event marked by music, parties, and flea markets, in 2020 people were largely told to enjoy the day at home to continue the fight against the global pandemic. NL Times produced this translation, and also a news story about the speech.
Like everyone else whose had a birthday since the start of the coronavirus crisis, King Willem-Alexander will be celebrating his birthday at home today, instead of the planned festivities in Maastricht. There will also be no festivals, no flea markets and no parties. But just because everyone's stuck at home, does not mean King's Day can not be celebrated, according to the Oranjebond.
Cheerful smiles and loud applause won the day on Friday as residents and staff at a care home in Amsterdam Oost clamored onto their balconies to watch musician Marcel Fokker perform a mini-concert ending with the Neil Diamond classic, 'Sweet Caroline'. But this was no ordinary performance for Fokker.
This year's King's Day is expected to hit its highest ever temperature, according to forecasts from local weather service Weeronline. The temperature on Monday is likely to exceed 17.7 degrees Celsius, making it the warmest King's Day since 2014, when temperatures topped 17.6 degrees Celsius.
King’s Day, or Koningsdag, is one of the most eagerly anticipated public holidays in the Netherlands. However, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the advice of the government to remain home, this year the holiday has been dubbed Woningsdag, or "Home's Day".
City council members in Rotterdam voted on Thursday to approve a plan to organize the Eurovision Song Contest in the city next year. The proposal included 6.7 million euros to help cover the cost to rent out the Ahoy conference center, additional security, and signage around the city.
The government extending the ban on permitted events until September 1 is a massive blow for the sector. In the summer period alone, that means that over 1,100 festivals are now canceled, and that is excluding sports events like football and Sail Amsterdam, Willem Westermann of trade association for the event sector VVEM said to RTL Z.
As a replacement for the annual Liberation Day concert on the Amstel on May 5, broadcaster NOS has collaborated with the National Committee for 4 and 5 May to produce a show from the renowned Carré theater in Amsterdam. The show will have many performances backed up by the recordings of the Metropole Orchestra.
But to produce the recordings, the Metropole Orchestra still has to maintain the social distancing requirements in place in the Netherlands because of the ongoing health crisis. No easy task, considering the orchestra has over 50 performers.
The Red Cross is working together with radio station 3FM to offer boxes stuffed with food to people who are struggling due to the coronavirus. The money is being raised by the special edition of annual radio fundraiser A Serious Request, giving people the opportunity to pay cash to request a song.
The fundraiser, called "Never Walk Alone", began on Monday and continues up through the end of Saturday. All money will be handed over to the Red Cross, which is using the amount raised for the food boxes, and also to provide care for some patients in special hotel rooms.
Virtual reality developer Vrroom is hosting the Netherlands' first ever King's Day VR Festival, given that the usual King's Day celebrations can't happen due to restrictions in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The VR party will have room for some 30 thousand attendees and proceeds of ticket sales will be donated to the Food Bank, AD reports.
Netflix and the Netherlands Film Fund set up a support fund to help employees in the Netherlands' television and film industry through the coronavirus, which brought all productions to a halt. Netflix pushed a million euros into the fund, NOS reports.
With the money from Netflix, the Film Fund can support the affected productions. The Film Fund is still working out the exact details of the scheme and will publish information on its website in the coming week.