The current Dutch government is going to increase the VAT-tax rate (in Dutch: BTW) for performing arts in the Netherlands from 6 to 19%, starting 2011. As a result of this, there have been many protests. One of the more prominent protesters, concert organiser Mojo Concerts has been very vocal about opposing this. And for good reason cause this would mean their ticket prices (already very high) might sky-rocket some more. They have taken matters into their own hands and announced they will start pre-sales for their bigger festivals (Pinkpop, Lowlands, the Zwarte Cross) in 2010 already to evade the increase, knowing full-well the tickets will sell out before 2011.

This means the crazy situation arises that tickets for a festival like Lowlands held at the end of August 2011, might likely be sold out already before half December , since the tickets go on sale this Friday the 26th. The tickets for the 2010 edition sold out in 8 days in the pre-sales. Mind you,when those sold out, only a handful of artists had been confirmed. This Friday, not a single name has been confirmed yet.

What prompted me to post this entry might be an even more astounding record. Singer-song writer Ane Brun announced on her Facebook page that tickets for her concert in Amsterdam will go on sale on the 27th of November … for a concert on the 18th of October 2011. That’s a little under 11 months in advance. There is no mention on whether this is related to the tax rise, but my gut instinct says it is. Will any venue break the record by starting pre-sales for a concert in December 2011?

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