Amsterdam having second thoughts about various festivals in the city 

epaselect epa05458392 Participants aboard boats during the Canal Parade in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 06 August 2016. The parade is the main event of the Amsterdam Gay Pride, a festival of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights and culture. EPA/REMKO DE WAAL

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Amsterdam city council is taking a critical look at the effect of festivals on the city and plans to set up a special commission to vet which events can go ahead.

Complaints by residents have been piling up about noise nuisance, too many demands on scarce public space, and festivals that do not interest them.

In a letter sent to the council, mayor Femke Halsema said  a new policy is being drafted to ensure that the added value of festivals must weigh against the negatives, such as temporarily taking up public space, nuisance and noise,’ she said in the letter. ‘Unreasonable nuisance is not acceptable.’

She said  the independent commission will judge which events score best against certain criteria and ‘earn their place in the calendar.’

Events should be a mirror of the city, she adds, well-organised, safe and creative; they should also serve as meeting points, times of remembrance and, of course, fun.


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