Where Lowlands director Eric van Eerdenburg was still quite optimistic with regard to the corona measures six weeks ago, it has become too much for him now, he tells de Volkskrant . According to him, the culture sector is "victimized".
In March, the festival summer of 2020 collapsed in one go. Where other festival organizers immediately canceled their event, Van Eerdenburg held out hope. "There was a strange optimism: we are the last in line, second half of August," says the Lowlands director.
"Suppose Lowlands is the only major festival to continue, what a euphoria that will be. Corona Liberation Day! When Rutte said that there would be no events until 1 September, it was really a blow to my stomach."
"It is raining bankruptcies" and Van Eerdenburg fears the survival of the entire sector. "People are flying out everywhere. There is plenty of demand, but we are not allowed," he says. "The music world has come to a standstill, the film world, the theater world, commercial productions such as musicals - all these companies are deep in the shit. It's a hell of a journey."
'One and a half meter society is a sham'
He also notices the consequences of the one-and-a-half measure privately. Mojo, the company he works for, recently had to fire a third of the staff, and his son IJsbrand (24), who is a musician (he's half hip-hop duo Gotu Jim), is living with Van Eerdenburg and his wife again for renting can no longer pay for his home.
"I have had it completely. The number of infections is out of all proportion to the suffering caused by the strict measures in the culture sector. There is great arbitrariness and we are being victimized."
This is not to say that Lowlands could have continued. "I think we have a huge responsibility, so I'm not just saying that. But I think we should work much harder on measures that would make the one and a half meter society unnecessary. Because that is such a sham, go to Schiphol, go to the supermarket."