Following complaints from local residents concerned about environmental impact and noise pollution, the first edition of the Eilân dance festival in September looks unlikely to move forward as scheduled.
Translation by Traci White
The festival, which was put together by Daniël van Drunen and was set to be held in the town of Hee on Terschelling, was scheduled to be held between the 12th and 15th of September. More than 50 artists are listed on the programme, include Maribou State, Jungle by Night, Carista, Larry Gus, WWWater and ISLANDMAN.
An event permit had already been granted for the event, which had sold more than 5,500 tickets. But the Leeuwarder Courant reports that Groningen judge Fred Bruinenberg ruled that the mayor and alderpeople involved had not done their homework for the preparations for the festival, such as an exemption due to a nearby sanctuary where migratory birds fly to in September. The executive council had also failed to issue a noise exemption, nor were noise impact studies carried out according to proper protocol.
Concerned residents felt that the municipality had not taken their concerns seriously, so a number of private citizens and local interest groups took the case to court earlier this month. Another issue was the timing: a permit to use the grounds would be decided upon on the 7th of September, and the event set up would have to start the next day, leaving no time for residents to object.
Van Drunen insisted in court that the festival organisers had carried out through research and concluded that the festival would not harm any animals or their nesting grounds, and that the festival would enforce strict noise regulations. Another festival organiser, Gerrit Jan Moes, told Omrop Fryslanthat the municipality was responsible for any procedural issues, so it was up to them to fix it.
Vendors have begun contacting the organisers about whether or not the festival is definitively cancelled, but few ticket holders have reached out thus far. The organisers expect to have more clarity on the future of the festival on Monday.
While Terschelling is home to the annual Oerol festival, music events held in the municipality of Leeuwarden have been chaffing at the restrictions placed upon them: Welcome to the Village has had to cut off its electric programme earlier for the past two editions, and Psy-Fi is planning to relocate the trance festival elsewhere next year.
Photo source: eilan.nl