Uncertainty in the event industry: organizing something is almost impossible

“The events sector needs clarity,” says Jolanda Janssen, spokesperson for the Alliance of Event Builders and director of Ahoy Rotterdam. And Rosanne Janmaat of festival organization ID&T asks for ‘perspective’.

ID&T annually organizes about seventy events and is behind well-known festivals such as Mysteryland, Thunderdome and Defqon.1. “Preparations for these events start no later than six months in advance. If the corona policy changes every two to four weeks, we cannot prepare.”

coming season

Janssen says the same. “We’re already thinking about next fall.” But, says Janmaat of ID&T, it is very difficult to do anything now for the coming festival season. “We try to organize the events that are on the agenda with enthusiasm, but it is difficult.”

Due to the long-term measures, the cabinet is allocating millions extra for the cultural sector, but with an increased deductible. This means that organizers cannot recover all costs incurred as soon as an event cannot take place.

The measures are often only announced shortly in advance, in order to respond to the corona figures and the burden on healthcare at that time. Difficult, therefore, for the event industry.

Government plans often too late

The companies say they are happy with the support packages from the government, but the increased deductible makes the income uncertain. As a result, they do not get all costs incurred back if they cancel an event. “We have no influence on that at all, but we do have to pay.”

That is why they ask for a long-term vision, says Janmaat of ID&T. “The plans often come too late for us.” ID&T’s next event is scheduled for January 15. “You know it probably can’t go on, but we can’t say now: we’re stopping it.” The new measures will take effect on Sunday morning at 5 a.m. and will apply until 14 January.

These will be the new measures

The cabinet has announced a firm lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus. In short, it means that everything is closed. All schools, all catering, all non-essential shops and transfer locations must close. And thus also gyms, theatres, cinemas, museums and businesses where a non-medical contact profession is practiced. These measures are to come into effect at 5 a.m. tomorrow morning.

These are the new corona measures in a row.

That is why the event sector requires an action plan. “We need clarity. It cannot be the case that our ‘live’ industry, which so many people need and which has such a major social and economic impact, continues to suffer from the measures.”

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