Several thousand people took part in the Unmute protest in Maastricht on Saturday afternoon, to draw attention to the event industry that is still heavily affected by the corona measures.
The procession of the Mecc moved through the city to the Geusselt with various sound cars. The music gave the demonstration the atmosphere of a festival. This was reinforced when the procession occasionally stalls, and people get the chance to dance for a while.
Unmute Us is organized by the Dutch festival and event industry, which thinks it is high time that they too should be given the space to organize events again. Limburg festivals such as Pinkpop and Essential also endorse the promotion.
The frustration in the sector is great, not least because, for example, the green light was given for the Grand Prix of the Netherlands at the Zandvoort circuit, which is visited daily by 70,000 people. They find it indigestible that there is room for this, but that a music festival can receive a maximum of 750 visitors.
Several demonstrators in Maastricht had protest signs with them, on which the link with the race in Zandvoort was also made. “It’s double standards, it’s not right,” says one of the participants. “It’s not fair, I feel cheated. I’ve followed all the rules, I’ve been vaccinated, it’s time to let go.” Another demonstrator is also clear why he is here. “I came here to celebrate for our freedom and to protest. We want to be able to go out and have a good time with friends and party.”
Also read: Limburg festivals stunned about crowds Zandvoort
It is the second time that an Unmute Us campaign has been held in the Netherlands. That happened earlier on August 21, when a total of about 70,000 people showed up. At that time Maastricht was not yet part of the party. Ten cities are now participating. In addition to Maastricht, there are also demonstrations in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Groningen, Nijmegen, Utrecht, Eindhoven, Enschede, Leiden, Tilburg and The Hague.
Also read: Demonstration in Maastricht against cabinet event policy
Just like in Maastricht, there is a lot of traffic at the protest marches. About 15,000 people were expected in Amsterdam, and people have now been urged not to come because of the crowds. In total, about 150,000 people took action, according to the organization.
The Unmute Us protest against the corona restrictions that burdens festivals looks very much like a festival in Maastricht https://t.co/I3onoewVfk pic.twitter.com/dfixyDocDM
— 1Limburg (@1Limburg) September 11, 2021