Dutch live organisation lambasts VAT increase plans

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Dutch live events organisation, the Association of Event Makers (VVEM), has said it has “major concerns” after it was announced there is a planned VAT increase for the event industry.

The organisation said it also means festivals or concerts will be “less accessible”.

The new Dutch Government has said that from 2026, the VAT rate on concert and festival tickets, among other things such as books, will be increased from 9% to 21%.

The announcement was made after a provisional coalition agreement was reached between the PVV, VVD, NSC and BBB parties in the Netherlands to form a right-wing government.

In a statement, VVEM said: “Our country becomes less attractive for large-scale (international) productions and the business climate in this industry will be under great pressure.

“A decision like this also has far-reaching consequences for Dutch artists, who see the gap with their audience grow, but also for entrepreneurs in the event industry.

“If ticket sales become uncertain, less investment will be made and an industry in which more than a hundred thousand people are employed, which has already become disproportionately hard in recent years, will again become a child of the bill.”

VVEM added that it would mean the Netherlands would become less competitive with neighbouring countries, and that the Dutch event industry would be placed “at a large disadvantage”.

“The VVEM suspects that the new government has not realised that a measure like this hits the ordinary Dutchman, who likes to go to events, hard. The flywheel effect is that the entrepreneurial climate in the industry is also being hit hard. We are happy to talk to a new government to convince them not to take this measure,” the statement concluded.

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