The reason for the protest is a recent decision by the municipality. The people behind BAR, which is closing this summer, were planning to open a new club. The Maatschappij voor Volksgeluk (translation: Society for Popular Happiness) would be a large club in the Merwe-Vierhavens area. But the municipality pulled the plug from the project last week.
Ilias (24), MSc Cultural Economics and Entrepreneurship: “We’re here right now because of the cultural policies in Rotterdam. They don’t support the nightlife culture of the city – as you can see from the sign ‘night culture is also part of the city culture’. We’re not only here to protest about BAR. Overall, the municipality is withdrawing its support for the nightlife in Rotterdam. If you want to be a global city, you don’t just need a 9-to-5 economy.”
Habibe (21), Economics & Business Economics and Philosophy: “I’m here because Rotterdam’s nightlife, and especially BAR, are an integral part of the city – especially for students. I think that what the municipality did was very unfair and unjust. With something that’s such a big part of the city’s culture, they should show more leniency and support. If enough people show up, they might reconsider their decision and realise how important nightlife is for the city.”
Louis (20), IBCoM: “As I also run my own events in the city as House of Bars, I think Rotterdam is taking a step in the wrong direction for the nightlife in the city. We’re standing here for Rotterdam nightlife because I think we need to support this culture, and it should continue for the future. Support Bar!”
Peter (21, Economics & Business Economics) & Paula (21, Management of international social challenges): “Stand up for the night! We’re here to support the nightlife that the municipality of Rotterdam is trying to bring down. The municipality’s reasoning was that Rotterdam used to be the black swan compared to other cities in the Netherlands and that a new club or generally the existence of clubs would bring back this image. We don’t believe that’s the case. So there’s only one question to ask: is this the end?”