More than 4,000 people have signed a petition to save the festival scene in the city centre and De Groene Ster in Leeuwarden.
Translation by Traci White
The Leeuwarder Courant reports that the petition, which was posted by Aletta Groeneveld and John Moerland, is in response to rumours that popular festivals like Welcome to the Village, Into the Grave and Psy-Fi may move elsewhere in Friesland in years to come. Strict municipal policies about permits have made things increasingly difficult for festival organisers.
“The current rules are making is so challenging that some festivals are on the verge of leaving the city, which would be a real shame. We want to come up with a solution to ensure that Leeuwarden will continue to thrive.”
The organisers of Into the Grave, a metal festival, and Psy-Fi, which features trance performers from around the world, have openly discussed the possibility of holding the festivals elsewhere in the region, namely Heerenveen. Limited space at the Oldehoofsterkerkhof and an ongoing legal battle with residents who live near De Groene Ster were cited as reasons for the potential move.
In May, Into the Grave, Psy-Fi and Welcome to the Village were unpleasantly surprised to hear that they would be charged a new tourist tax for festival goers who were camping out. The municipality had failed to inform the festivals of the new plans, and charging the tax would have meant as much as 100,000 euros in additional costs. The tax was ultimately not applied to this year’s festivals. All of the festivals draw thousands of visitors to Leeuwarden every summer.
Photo source: Wikipedia