Dutch events industry professionals have announced a demonstration in defiance of the Netherlands’ unclear COVID-19 reopening timeline. Unmute Us! will take place from 2:00-5:00 PM on Saturday, August 21st at locations in Amsterdam, Groningen, Nijmegen, Utrecht and Rotterdam.
The protest has has been organized in response to government regulations announced August 18th forbidding nightclubs and discos from operating until November 1st. The Dutch government has reported new COVID-19 cases averaged between 2,400 and 2,500 per day over the past week, an 8% decrease compared to the week before.
“We have been silenced for too long,” reads the Unmute Us! website. “With over 1,000 organizers, suppliers, artists, event locations and visitors we will take to the streets on Saturday to demand a reopening of the festivals from early September.”
The Unmute Us! organizers argue that the Netherlands is on target to meet its vaccination goal of 85% (61% of the population is fully vaccinated at the time of writing), and that they’ll be available to anyone who wants one as of September 1st. They cite EXIT Festival in Serbia and Lollapalooza in the U.S. as examples of festivals that took place without measurable increases in COVID-19 case counts.
Among the signing institutions, which currently exceed 1,500, are Awakenings, DJ Bone Presents FURTHER, Ziggo Dome, and Liquicity. Their demand: “Stop the arbitrariness! We require that events can take place again at full capacity as of September 1st, 2021.”
The Dutch events industry found itself at a similar impasse with authorities a year ago. Under the banner De Nacht Wacht, 500 gathered on Amsterdam’s Museumplein to protest event bans extended to curb COVID-19’s second wave.
More information will be made available on the Unmute Us! Facebook event page.