In a conversation with various festival organisations on Monday May 18th 2020, King Willem-Alexander expressed his great appreciation for the festivals in the Netherlands. In an online conversation with directors of the Holland Festival, Festival de Parade, Wonderfeel, and the director of Mojo Concerts (the organiser of many festivals and concerts), he discussed the difficult situation the festival sector finds itself in as a consequence of the corona crisis. The conversation addressed the vital importance of festivals in the Netherlands’ cultural landscape.

The King expressed his great appreciation for the festivals in the Netherlands and stressed the vital role these festivals play in connecting people - both domestically but internationally as well. He shared the concerns expressed about the affected sector and spoke with the five directors mentioned about the future and coming summers, among other things. He was eager to learn about the various initiatives being taken now that the festivals are unable to go on.

Holland Festival director Emily Ansenk detailed the complex situation the festivals find themselves in and among other things talked about the 2020 Holland Festival’s online program, which is in the works and can be followed from the 11th until the 21st of June. The producers involved seek to capture something of the essence of their originally planned production in an online form. All this in keeping with the festival’s theme, now more relevant than ever: “In pursuit of the we-feeling”.

As part of the United Performing Arts Festivals (an informal collaboration between over 50 festivals in the Netherlands), the Holland Festival is happy to see the king take the initiative to back the severely affected sector. Together with all other partners, the Festival hopes this royal interest will contribute to the creation of an ambitious national rescue plan for the festival sector so long as this crisis persists. The importance of what these festivals built up throughout the country in recent decades is too great to let evaporate.