Getting a Haircut Is the Only Way to See Live Music in the Netherlands

Over 70 theatres in the Netherlands are inviting people to get a haircut while performers put on a show in the background to bypass COVID restrictions.
Dipo Faloyin
London, GB
People get a haircut during a rehearsal at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, as Dutch museums, theatres and concert halls played host Wednesday to businesses that are allowed to open to customers as a protest against their own cont
People get a haircut during a rehearsal at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, as Dutch museums, theatres and concert halls played host Wednesday to businesses that are allowed to open to customers as a protest against their own continuing lockdown closures. Photo: AP Photo/Peter Dejong.

A major concert hall in Amsterdam has become a hairdresser for a day as part of a campaign against the continued closure of cultural venues across the Netherlands. 

Under current COVID restrictions, hair salons can open, but live music venues, museums, cinemas and theatres are still banned. 

To highlight what they consider to be the “unequal treatment of the cultural sector,” Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw opened its doors on Wednesday to 50 people in need of a haircut. As they waited, the customers were treated to a performance by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. 

“With this action, we support the sector-wide plea to work towards a long-term policy with a fair perspective for the cultural sector,” Simon Reinink, the general director of the Royal Concertgebouw, said in a statement. “We will of course continue to strive for a safe situation, as our sector has shown since the start of the pandemic.”

“Our colleagues from the Royal Concertgebouw and we have proven throughout the pandemic that we can always guarantee a safe concert visit, and that concert halls with fixed seats are not a source of infections,” Dominik Winterling, the CEO of the Concertgebouw Orchestra, added. “We therefore appeal to politicians to quickly offer us an opportunity for the resumption of our activities.”

The Royal Concertgebouw’s action is part of the Kapsalon Theater campaign — an initiative by Dutch singer Sanne Wallis de Vries and comedian Diederik Ebbinge that will see people get invited to have their haircut in over 70 theatres across the country while performers put on a show in the background.