The announcement of Rotterdam as host city isn’t happy news for everyone. Prior to the announcement, the Ahoy had already confirmed some pretty big events — which had presumably invested in advertising, and had potentially signed contracts with performers, stylists and more, who would have cleared their schedules (and so on and so forth). Well now the organisers of those events have been asked to either relocate or change the date of their gatherings. It’s to make way for Eurovision, and the rehearsals that precede it. The chief casualties are the singer Frank Van Etten, who has a “20 years in the music business” event, and the “Night of Orange” Festival.
Frank Van Etten is a Dutch folk singer. Think old school Dutch folk — like Sieneke. In the Netherlands he is extremely well known for his song “Leef als een zigeuner” (Live as a traveller).
Frank is gearing up to celebrate his 20th anniversary in the music business. And the event to celebrate this was set to be on the 9th of May in…Ahoy. The singer already knew that there was a chance Rotterdam would win and that the schedule of Ahoy would need to be cleared. But he admits it’s a tough reality now that Rotterdam has been announced. In July he told Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad that he wouldn’t take legal action against Ahoy if they cancelled him:
“May 8 and 9 are contractual for me. I could stick Ahoy to its promise, but of course I won’t do that. I am a singer of the people, I would not be able to look myself in the mirror…. Ahoy will also help me with a different date if needed. Our contact is fine. The Eurovision Song Contest is a celebration for millions of people. My concert will just be relocated.”
But after Rotterdam officially sealed the deal, disappointment kicked in. After the announcement on Friday the 30th of August he said:
“It’s really a slap in the face. We had already organized everything. Stage, light, sound, guests. We can move most things to a different date. If we do incur costs, we will, of course, reclaim them on Ahoy. A few thousand tickets have already been sold. Fortunately we still have time to arrange things, I have not seen any angry faces. But of course I am disappointed. I am also a big fan of the Songfestival. But that it will be held exactly on my concert date, that is disappointing.”
But a new date will be scheduled: “When that will be, I really can’t say, probably later in the year. We have to put our agendas next to each other, and mine will be quite full by 2020. I remain positive we will soon come up with a new date.”
He later added in a interview with Radio Gelderland:
“It’s a clap in the face. Now we have to cancel for ESC. But I carry a warm heart for the Eurovision Song Contest, so I relocate with much love. You don’t want to argue with millions of viewers. There are worse things in the world than this”.
Nacht van Oranje Festival
The other big event that has kindly been asked to move is the music festival “Nacht Van Oranje” — Night of Orange. Their festival was planned to take place in Ahoy on April the 26th. The festival takes place before “King’s or Queens Day”, the birthday of the reigning King or Queen. Visitors dress up in orange (the color of the Dutch Royalty) and dance and sing to mostly Dutch music.
It will perhaps be a real dissapointment for the organisation, as it breaks a long tradition. The festival has been held the day before King’s day and has always been in Ahoy since 1993. They will either change the date or change the location. The organisation have released the following statement on their website:
“Due to the allocation of Eurovision 2020 to Rotterdam, there is a lack of clarity about the 28th edition of the Nacht Van Oranje on April 26, 2020. In the near future, different alternatives will be investigated, because on that date Ahoy will be occupied with the preparations for the Eurovision Song Contest. In September there will be more information about this.”
De toewijzing van het Eurovisie Songfestival aan Rotterdam heeft gevolgen voor de 28e Nacht van Oranje. Omdat Rotterdam Ahoy op 26 april volledig in het teken zal staan van de voorbereidingen op #ESF wordt gekeken naar alternatieven. In september daarover meer duidelijkheid. pic.twitter.com/5QH1S3Zm4e
— Nacht van Oranje (@NachtOranje) August 30, 2019
This isn’t the first time that Eurovision has forced big events to move in order for preparations for the song contest. In Vienna the Wiener Stadthalle also had to cancel various events for Eurovision 2015, including a James Last concert, an exposition for spiritual health and a large equestrian show.