Geplaatst: 29 April 2021, 14:12 uur
In good spirits we have been working on various scenarios to ensure that the Vierdaagsefeesten could take place in whatever form. Three plans have been prepared: a full edition, a Vierdaagsefeesten festivities with social distancing rules, and a form of atmospheric experience. Unfortunately, only the last scenario remains: there are no Vierdaagsefeesten this year, but we will still be hosting a little party from 17 to 23 July 2021.
The chance of a regular Vierdaagsefeesten gradually decreased. The opening strategy of the national government as it is now in place offers too little certainty for events in the beginning of the summer, so we must conclude together with the municipality and emergency services. Waiting any longer with the concrete preparation of the largest event in the Netherlands is unfortunately no longer an option, and postponement to the autumn also appears to be impossible.
Alternatively, together with the organizers of our stages, we had also prepared a scenario where everyone can keep a distance from each other. Sitting on the terraces of our beautiful city and in a number of gated parks and squares, enjoying custom programming. Everything with reservation and ticket sales in advance, a "limited edition". Unfortunately, the curtain is now finally falling for that scenario: it has been discussed extensively with the emergency services and the municipality, but the plans appear not to be feasible due to the current corona situation.
The emergency services advise the municipality on safety and health issues at events. It is estimated that the appeal of the Vierdaagsefeesten, despite a limited edition, will lead to uncontrollable numbers of people in the city center this summer. So the problem is not the plans themselves, but a fear of the manageability of the whole: how many people will come to Nijmegen, even if they don't have a ticket? What if the then applicable corona rules are not sufficiently maintained?
The Vierdaagsefeesten is an unique festival: the entire city is our event area. People not only party there, but also live, work and shop. We are very proud of that open character and the appeal of the parties, but that also means that we cannot install a fence and entrance gate and thus cannot ensure that only a limited number of people will be present. The 'limited number' for which we have made plans, still some 40,000 people per day, would also be too large for the risks that lie ahead. Waiting any longer before taking a decision was also not possible for this limited variant, which also requires preparation time to be able to organize everything safely and responsibly.
Health of course comes first. That is why we agree with the risk assessment, no matter how disappointed we are of course. A huge downer, not only for us and our visitors, but also for all catering entrepreneurs and cultural parties who have made great plans with us.
What remains is to share the Vierdaagsefeesten feeling. That is why, just like last year, we are going to give a little color to the third week of July. We will keep you informed about what is possible from 17 to 23 July and create atmosphere in the city and online. The first announced relaxations give good hope for this. We are happy to hang the garlands with you and toast, live or not, to better times! We no longer consider the name Vierdaagsefeesten to be appropriate here. That is why also in 2021 the following applies: no Vierdaagsefeesten, but still a bit of a party!
Read the press release here (Dutch)
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