Many festivals not happening this year as organizers struggle to stay afloat

Many mainly smaller events and festivals aren’t happening this year. Rising costs on top of heavy blows dealt by the coronavirus pandemic mean that festival organizers struggle to keep their heads above water, De Telegraaf reported.

Some of the many events not happening this year: Welcome To The Future in Amsterdam, Into the Summer Festival in Zwolle, Young Art Festival in Beverwijk, Welcome to the Village in Friesland, Parkpop in The Hague, Gebroeders van Lyborch Festival in Nijmegen, and Festival Op’t Eiland. Utrecht’s Liberation Day festival also almost didn’t happen but managed to pull through thanks to guarantees from two large sponsors.

The coronavirus lockdowns, which meant no festivals or large events for around two years, left festival organizations with few reserves. And now they’re facing rising production costs, a shortage of materials, a shortage of affordable staff, and high inflation caused by Russia invading Ukraine on top of that. The nitrogen crisis is also a problem – municipalities sometimes can’t give festivals a permit, according to the newspaper.

“Personnel costs have increased by about 15 percent,” Willem Westermann of the Association of Event Makers told the Telegraaf. “But many festivals have already put tickets on sale before the costs rose so much. And free festivals often don’t see subsidies increase along with costs.”

Larger events, like Lowlands, manage to compensate for higher costs with more expensive tickets. But many smaller events would have to make their tickets unaffordable for that to work.

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