Dutch night-life clubs and venues to defy Covid-19 rules and reopen on February 12th

Clubs and venues

Photo by Antoine J. on Unsplash

Numerous clubs and venues across the Netherlands are planning to defy current Covid-19 regulations and reopen on Saturday, February 12th.
The De Nacht staat op campaign, which means “the night is on” in English, was launched earlier this week by nightlife groups Nachtbelang and the OAC (Council of Amsterdam Clubs). So far, dozens of clubs and venues have signed up, including Amsterdam’s Melkweg, Radio Radio and Shelter, plus Time Out Gemert, Ekko in Utrecht and Annabel in Rotterdam.
If participating venues open next weekend, they’ll be breaking the current Covid-19 guidelines, which, despite loosening last month for cafes, bars and restaurants, still state that late-night spots must remain closed until further notice. A similar situation played out last month when cafes in several cities chose to open and defy the regulations.
Speaking to Resident Advisor, Axel van der Lugt, programmer at Amsterdam venue Doka, called the reopening campaign a “protest” to “protect our culture.” He added: “We feel that Dutch politicians failed to recognise the significant value of nightlife over the past two years.”
This is a common thread among clubs and venues in the Netherlands. Melkweg’s Levi Smulders told RA that venues are “fed up” with the lack of concern and attention from prime minister Mark Rutte and his government. “Club culture is bleeding,” Smulders said. “Due to the lack of perspective, people look for employment in other sectors, not knowing when they can go back to the work they love.”
Vincent Reinders, the owner of Radio Radio, said the club was “facing bankruptcy and losing half our staff” after only being able to open three times after midnight in the past two years. “And our prime minister had the nerve to tell us ‘to become creative’ last week,” he said.
It’s unclear what the consequences will be if these venues open next Saturday. On Monday, February 7th, government officials are due to meet with nightlife representatives to discuss the situation, as reported by RA.

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Written by

Claire Gordon