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Podcast in times of Corona (3): 'We drank the last beer from the pipes and then turned out the lights.' (On the closure of TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht)

'It was very strange to leave here. Such a place that is always on, where it is always busy, where it is always light, that was now just black.' Lieke Timmermans, manager of Marketing and Communications at TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht still can't quite grasp it. On Thursday 12 March 2020, after the government press conference, the building's programme of at least eight venues had to be cancelled. Now it is quiet in TivoliVredenburg, until at least 6 April, although it is not at all clear yet whether after that it can get busy again as usual in the Utrecht festival palace. In our podcast, she talks about what happened, and especially about what is no longer happening in the building.

'It has now turned 6 April, but up to 31 March, 60000 people would have visited our building. Every day we start by discussing what needs to be done. We have a lot of permanent staff, but also an awful lot of freelancers. Up to 31 March, we have cancelled to 0-hour contractors and ZZp'ers, i.e. security, cleaning, company managers, technicians, 400 people. That's a total of 160 FTE of self-employed and flex workers, who are now without work and income.'

Whether the lights will go back on in TivoliVredenburg on 6 April? 'We expect it to be much longer.'

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Wijbrand Schaap

Cultural journalist since 1996. Worked as theatre critic, columnist and reporter for Algemeen Dagblad, Utrechts Nieuwsblad, Rotterdams Dagblad, Parool and regional newspapers through Associated Press Services. Interviews for TheaterMaker, Theatererkrant Magazine, Ons Erfdeel, Boekman. Podcast maker, likes to experiment with new media. Culture Press is called the brainchild I gave birth to in 2009. Life partner of Suzanne Brink roommate of Edje, Fonzie and Rufus. Search and find me on Mastodon.View Author posts

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