Our reporter Daniel van Dam will be in Amsterdam on Saturday evening to follow the corona protest. His tweets can be found at the bottom of this post.

At 9.30 pm the streets of Amsterdam are already full of partygoers: “No more stopping at Disco Dolly”, our reporter wrote on the spot in the Handboogstraat. There is also a push for a QR check.

Just before half past ten, the first enforcers come into the picture:

And there is also attention at the door. You don’t just walk in:

At 00.20 there is still a lot of partying in the Marktkantine:

Other cities

Poppodium 013 in Tilburg was fined 10,000 euros on Saturday evening because the club was open after 10 p.m. in violation of the corona rules. Boas who came to check, imposed the fine, says a spokesperson for 013. The party in the Tilburg hall will continue.

In Patronaat in Haarlem it was pleasantly full around 9 p.m., but the party was stopped around 10.45 p.m. because enforcement had come to the door: “We asked if we could continue for a while, but that was not an option.” said director Jolanda Beyer.

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'The night rises' at Poppodium 013.

‘The night rises’ at Poppodium 013.

In Utrecht, club Ekko kicked off at 9 p.m. Little by little, young people trickled in. People also tried in vain to get tickets at the door. Unfortunately sold out, according to the security guards. When everyone comes, Ekko is one-third full. “I’m looking forward to it,” a woman exclaimed happily at the beginning of the evening. “It has been way too long. I was even a little nervous tonight.” And another visitor: “I can’t believe we’re going to dance like this. It seems like 800 years ago. Even if it’s only an hour, we’ve got it covered.”

“It’s going to be a madhouse”

On Leidseplein in Amsterdam, the Chicago Social Club and Jimmy Woo, among others, also have long lines of people to get in. “It’s going to be crazy,” said an employee at one of the doors. Interested parties who try to enter on spec are disappointed, all clubs in the capital that participate in the promotion are sold out.

In Rotterdam, visitors have already entered the Rotown pop stage. There are no more tickets available, everything is sold out, says an employee. Cafés in the vicinity of the club have not yet closed their doors in the Maasstad, although they should have done so from 10 p.m. under the corona rules.

Hundreds of people were also queuing late at the Rotterdam clubs Annabel, Perron and Reverse late on Saturday night. Club De Huiskantine is closed by order of the municipality, according to RTV Rijnmond. In Utrecht, enforcers have issued warnings. If the clubs do not close, they risk a fine.

An event in the Music Dome in Kerkrade, with performances by DJ Tony Junior, among others, is still in progress. The club has sold 2,500 tickets. The council has said it will enforce it. Despite this, the club says it will remain open until 5 a.m.

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Saturday evening around 10.30 pm it is very busy with partygoers at the Groest in Hilversum.

Saturday evening around 10.30 pm it is very busy with partygoers at the Groest in Hilversum.

‘After 1 a.m. it is suddenly dangerous’

Many entrepreneurs no longer understand it, says club owner and foreman of the capital department of Koninklijke Horeca Nederland Pim Evers. “The prospect is that we will soon be able to dance until 11:59 pm or 1 am. Then the doors have to be closed, because then it is suddenly dangerous. Crazy,” said Evers.

He also believes that the sector is disqualified with these rules, because the clubs have to make the most of the nighttime hours.

Tickets are flying out the door

According to the catering man, the night sector tried in vain to sit down with Minister Kuipers (Public Health) and experiences that people are not listening. That is why the national action ‘The night is up’, in which clubs open in protest.

In Amsterdam, all 24 clubs are currently participating. The cards flew out the door, sometimes within minutes. The slowest were ‘only’ sold out after 1.5 hours, says Evers, who notices that people are literally eager to go out next night.

“‘The Night rises’ already successful”

The initiator of the De Nacht rises campaign, in which nightclubs open their doors against the corona measures on Saturday, calls the evening “already successful.” Pieter de Kroon, owner of the Chicago Social Club in Amsterdam.

Fine of 4500 euros

Action participants risk a fine of 4500 euros in Amsterdam. Normally, a warning is first issued in the capital, with a subsequent violation a fine follows, after which the company is closed. That happened to Café Del Mondo on Amsterdam’s Nieuwmarkt in December last year, after a protest drink with Member of Parliament Wybren van Haga. The pub already had a warning and a fine in her name, after which the door had to be locked.

Mayor Halsema has skipped a step on the ‘escalation ladder’ for tonight and has already sent warnings to action participants as a precaution. A total of 25 ‘order subject to penalty payments’ were sent to entertainment venues, her spokesperson reported. If clubs ignore the warning tonight, a print will follow.

Boas responsible for monitoring the nightclubs were concerned because there were no cops on hand to assist them. The police are on strike to enforce collective labor agreement requirements. But the BOA ACP union reported on Saturday evening that it remained quiet.

“We are not heard and carry on”

That is a loss for small clubs, says Evers. “They can’t do that overnight. But everyone feels: we are not being heard and continue. This sentiment prevails among everyone who is active at night. That is special.”

The resolute action contrasts with the mild approach to the action by the cultural sector a few weeks ago. There were no warnings sent in advance, but institutions were only tapped on the spot.

‘Significant violation’

“We can’t do anything else,” Halsema said on Friday on the local channel AT5 about her approach. “We know that a lot of tickets have been sold, that the nightlife crowd in Amsterdam is being prepared for the night out. The action also lasts much longer than the action by the cultural sector, where institutions also received a warning within those three hours. But the night sector wants to continue all night, with a violation that is more serious, so we have to enforce more vigorously. At the same time, we have chosen not to do it disproportionately.”

For example, fellow mayors with much higher fines, from 15,000 to 50,000 euros, knows Evers who feels hesitant to confront Halsema.

The Amsterdam D66 leader Reinier van Dantzig – himself a catering entrepreneur – understands the action. “The night is rising and that is very understandable. Night culture is extremely important for our city and it is having a hard time. The developments surrounding the omicron variant are cautiously positive, so we have to give the night perspective. View of safe and controlled reopening. Because Amsterdam is not Amsterdam without its night culture.”

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