Dutch bring down shutters at 5pm

Dutch bring down shutters at 5pm


norman lebrecht

November 28, 2021

The Netherlands new Covid measures involve all hospitality and cultural venues closing their doors at 5pm.

That blacks out concerts, opera and ballet.

The restrictions will be in force for three weeks.




  • Rumpelstilzchen says:

    Oh right! The virus doesn’t spread after 5 pm, got it.

  • John Borstlap says:

    It is a disaster for the cultural sector – and also for lots of other sectors. There will be government support, however.

    Decennia of cuts in the medical sector have, with the coronie, shown that the intention was to have the sector run on minimum expenses. Hence the impossibility to cope with a pandemic: no extra margin available. Since the beginning of the pandemic there have not been efforts to expand the sector, which now shows how incredibly stupid this was.

    Add to this the stupidity of ignoring the importance of air safety in closed spaces, and the appearance of new mutations of the virus, and the absence of reliable and well-organised data, and we see a government in panic.

    The irony is that the government has pumped millions into the national economy to keep it upright, and this will have to repeat itself – how many times? Instead, a large part of the money could have been invested into the medical sector to be better prepared for the future. But no – cuts in state spending are the sport of rightwing parties which support the big corporations.

    • celloman says:

      Meanwhile…more than 300 million Americans are living life as normal. Not sure why you can not see what is happening yet. Read the book The Great Reset by Klaus Scwab, he wants you in masks in your home forever. not a conspiracry theory

  • V.Lind says:

    It would also appear to include all restaurants and bars and kiosks and anywhere else that dispenses hospitality.

    Not only artists suffer from these decisions.

  • kuma says:

    actually they are still performing under limited capacity and starting program at 1 pm to comply with a 5 pm lock down.

    • Jonathon says:

      Yes, and plans are afoot to move evening performances to the afternoon where possible.

      • Una says:

        Who can go at that time of day? Only the retired?

        • Jonathon says:

          Not just the retired. A very large number of Dutch people work part time, and then there are the weekends. It’s not a perfect solution, but I know (my partner plays in one of the principal orchestras in Amsterdam) that they want to try and offer some possibility to the public to attend performances rather than nothing at all.

      • Amos says:

        Great, let’s endanger as many people as possible in light of the fact that we now know that the new variant is likely in every country and we are still evaluating whether existing vaccines cross-react with the new variant. When will we learn that the virus will continue replicating until everyone, ~ 80-90%, is vaccinated?

        • Jonathon says:

          As of last week 84.9% of the adult population in Holland were fully vaccinated, and for any concert or theatre performance you need to show your vaccine passport to enter.

          • Knowing Clam says:

            But you haven’t had to mask. I attended a performance at Dutch National Opera a week ago. Masks were not required. I wore one.

          • Jonathon says:

            Yes, I went to the Concertgebouw and the Stadsschouwburg last week, and was astonished that the majority of people were unmasked. I think that might have changed now, and it’s become obligatory, but I can’t confirm that.

          • kuma says:

            According to the email they sent out now the mask is mandatory and they are seating audience with social distancing. For those who purchased tickets in advance will be notified wether they are qualified to attend. No seating assignment. Upon arrival patrons will be guided to whatever the seating available. I am a ticket holder for La Traviata on 23/12. I am hoping things will under control soon. :/

          • Amos says:

            Unfortunately we won’t know for 2-3 weeks if the current vaccine is efficacious against the new multi-mutated variant. If there is sufficient concern to warrant a temporary shutdown it is idiotic to move up indoor gatherings to beat the lockdown. This is especially true because the variant has been detected everywhere they have looked.

          • anon says:

            No, Amos. It is idiotic to persist with restrictions on our liberties, especially when they do not actually work. Lockdowns killed far more people than they saved. Despite over a year of mask mandates, the preponderance of peer-reviewed scientific evidence suggests that masks are futile at best, and exacerbate seriously bacterial infections at worst. There is still no compelling evidence that COVID-19 vaccinations prevent the SPREAD (and some evidence suggesting the opposite) of that disease to any meaningful degree, which begs the question why so many governments are imposing vaccine apartheids. I was under the impression that the right to refuse medical treatment was a fundamental human right.

            The new variant is almost certainly more infectious, which means that it WILL spread to the majority of the population REGARDLESS of what we try to do about it. Our best bet is to encourage the extremely vulnerable to shield, and allow the variant to take its course in the non-vulnerable population. The sooner we can get through the wave, the sooner the extremely vulnerable can stop shielding.

            There is some evidence suggesting that the new variant MIGHT be less dangerous than other variants. If that turns out to be true, then there is absolutely no justification for any kind of restrictions. Even if it turns out not to be true, it is difficult to see what imposing any more restrictions would achieve, beyond causing a lot of harm and misery.

            As John Bortslap said earlier, the focus should be on increasing the capacity of the medical system to cope with surges in infection. Surely, this would be a far better use of government money than increasing national debt to repair the immense damage caused by lockdowns.

          • Amos says:

            Too long and too much non-scientific crap to reply with anything other than please learn some immunology before your next treatise.

        • celloman says:

          Wow, you really believe your t.v.

    • Maria says:

      Okay if you’re unemployed and can afford to go at 1pm.

  • Michael says:

    Not exactly blackouts – they will perform in the afternoons!

  • Concertgebouw79 says:

    Normally Rouvali (what a fantastic conductor!) will make a concert the 12th of December same thing for the Christmas afternoon concert. Normally they will do it even if there’s no public like they did last year with online concerts I guess.

  • Quite Contrary says:

    Matinees exist for a reason.

  • celloman says:

    You know the world economic forum is trying to turn Europe into Turkmenistan, carbon neutral. You will have no lives to live. Black Rock CEO is on video in an interview saying authoritarian governments provide economic security. The rich of this world are trying to protect their wealth. I wish this was a conspiracry theory.