I generally don’t love writing about COVID restrictions these days because things can change so rapidly that one article one day can be obsolete in a week. It is dizzying trying to keep up mentally, let along trying to write about it. However, this one seems pretty big for the global dance music business. The Netherlands government has been at odds with the events business, especially nightlife, for some time now, and now is really drawing their ire with their latest move. They are shuttering nightclubs until the beginning of November, at the earliest, which would not only be another challenge for nightlife to stay open until then, but now puts Amsterdam Dance Event in serious jeopardy. ADE is held in the middle of October.
ADE is ostensibly supposed to take place from October 13-17 with in-person events.
The Netherlands government held a press conference where they outlined the rules. Cafes, restaurants, and similar venues will continue to operate with distancing, limited capacity and no live bands. There is a curfew from 12am to 6am. Nightclubs will be closed until at least November 1.
Nightclubs and events did open earlier in the summer, but this was followed by a significant spike in infections, though one can't tie everything clubs. However, one festival, Verknipt Festival, alone is thought to have been responsible for 1,000 new cases. Restrictions soon followed the spike in cases.
In light of the new move to close nightclubs, the events industry will protest with its Unmute Us campaign this Saturday, August 21.
ADE spoke out against the measure yesterday, and supported the protest. There were likely many more events beyond ADE, but the annual conference is a major landmark on the annual dance music calendar that draws people from around the world to Amsterdam. The next week or two will be decisive to see if it can actually go ahead.