Boozers drive Queens Day parties to suburbs

4th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

Amsterdam’s mayor Eberhard van der Laan wants to put an end to large scale party events in the capital during the Netherlands’ Queen’s Day public holiday on 30 April. They pose a threat to public safety because of increased alcohol intake, the city council said.

Parties like the ones hosted by Radio 538 on Amsterdam’s Museum Square or SLAM!FM on Rembrandt Square will have to move out to the suburbs or to financial districts outside the city, Mr Van der Laan said. The organised parties have a “national character” and attract throngs of people.

Specifically, the increasing emphasis on alcohol among the some 800,000 party goers is changing the nature of Queen’s Day and causing considerable disruption in Amsterdam. This year, there was a record number of calls to emergency services.

Almost all of the 522 ambulance runs were alcohol-related. Police made 287 arrests for public intoxication, drunk and disorderly behaviour and violent conduct.

Turn alcohol tide “I want to turn the tide of the negative spiral – which is to be more packed, more drunkenly and more aggressive. The chances of Queen’s Day going well have to be greater than the chances of it going wrong.”

Radio 538 director Jan-Willem Bruggenwirth said he’s extremely disappointed by the city council’s announcement on Thursday. “A dagger in our backs! For years, we’ve put on the best party from and for the Netherlands. We’re not letting it slip away like that.”

Orange-crazy Traditionally very much a family day, Queen's Dayl has become renowned for its orange craze, or "oranjegekte" in Dutch, when millions of revelers wearing head-to-toe orange hit the streets across the nation.

The national holiday on 30 April is a chance for revelers to take part in flea markets and play traditional Dutch games with their families.

The tradition goes back to 1891, when the holiday was created to celebrate the August birthday of Queen Wilhelmina. Queen's Day was moved to 30 April with the coronation of Queen Juliana in 1948, and has remained on that day during the current reign of Queen Beatrix, whose own birthday falls in January.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide  

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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