Updated: Feb 11, 2021
Last Saturday hundreds of clubbers, DJ’s, club-owners, bartenders and other nightlife lovers gathered at Museumplein in Amsterdam to let their voice be heard in support of the Dutch nightlife. They called upon for the government to reconsider their position on keeping clubs closed for the foreseeable future, or at least to give it more financial support.
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, all major events have been banned and clubs have been closed since early 2020. Initially clubs were supposed to open up on the 1st of September, but last week the government extended the lockdown measure. Most other industries have opened up again in the Netherlands, like bars, barbers, schools and clothing stores, all with different restrictions like mandatory seating, lower amounts of visitors, face masks and health screenings.
The club sector recently wrote a protocol on how to safely open clubs again, with proper ventilation, lower amounts of visitors, a maximum age, temperature screenings and other safety precautions. So far the government hasn’t taken any steps to implement this protocol.
Last Saturday roughly 500 people gathered at the Museumplein in Amsterdam to protest the government decision of not reopening the clubs. According to the police, everyone was nice and most kept proper distance and many wore face masks. Some hold up signs with chants like “We want our night back”, “Let us dance” or “The only good system is a sound system”.
There was a small stage with speakers, consisting of music- and nightlife industry insiders. They talked about how without major help, the clubbing industry, which is an important part of Dutch culture for many and a reason for numerous young people to visit the Netherlands, will collapse and take a long time to recover.
The last speaker was DJ Joost van Bellen, a well known name in the Amsterdam clubbing scene for the past few decades, he gave a passionate speech about why we shouldn't lose this beautiful part of our culture:
“The politicians don't give a damn about the night and don't give a shit about all the people that work in it. The night waits, but without respect and support we will not survive. Without support a gigantic industry and a culture we are proud of in the Netherlands will fall.”
He ended his speech with Beastie Boys, Fight For Your Rights. Even though music was not allowed during the protest, the cops didn’t feel the need to stop the music.