Anyone who passed along Simonsstraat on Friday could hardly miss two striking banners. On a black canvas is the Ampere logo with a large cross and caption ‘Rest in peace our beloved Ampere, 15-05-2015 – 13-03-2020’. The first lockdown took place on the latter date and almost a year later there seems to be no prospect of a reopening of the catering industry, let alone clubs and dance halls.
An open letter followed shortly after the banners had been placed. “If action is not taken quickly by means of extra government support and active help from the local city council, a healthy, sustainable, creative multicultural event space such as Ampere is in danger of perishing,” operator Joachim Marynen immediately gets straight to the point.
The operator of Ampere is against the chest that his sector is virtually silent, a sector on which many people are financially dependent, ranging from artists, technicians to stewards and communication agencies.
Marynen realizes that clubs and dance halls will only be the very last turn to be able to reopen and in his letter therefore especially advocates additional government support. “The cautious hope for a festival like Ampere Open Air remains, but for Ampere as a venue, we will not survive that period without help. Because let’s be realistic: our season will only start in September / early October ”, he writes. “The current 10% of our normal sales that we are getting now is not enough, at 15% most of us can survive the tragedy, but that is an extremely minimum.”
“The only support there is now is our cry for help. And otherwise, the only prospect is to rest in peace, ”Marynen concludes on a gloomy note.