News logging - Licenses for foreigners.
(Last postings are on top)
March 31, 2010
Okay, good news! We have the new gedoogbrief. All performers without a license who are using voice amplification are
advised to carry a copy of this gedoogbrief, which can be downloaded from the perform page.
Note that the previous gedoogbrief covers only the season of 2009 - so get the new one!
March 8, 2010
Apparently, there is a new gedoogbrief allowing voice amplification, not only for this season, but for "undefined time".
This letter has already been signed by the Mayor and is ready for redistribution. We will get it as soon as possible.
February 24, 2010
After two years of try-outs and evaluations, we are trying to get this year's gedoogbrief> not only for this season, but for an unlimited amount of time.
Apparently, 'everybody' of the Amsterdam-Center partial city council seems to be *against* prolonging last year's allowance of voice amplification, but nobody knows why and what are the reasons.
Hm, this smells like a problem.
March 26, 2009
We just received the new gedoogbrief. All performers without a license explicitely allowing amplification are
advised to carry a copy of this gedoogbrief, which can be downloaded from the perform page.
March 24, 2009
Good news! The voice amplification allowance will be extended. The gedoogbrief seems to be ready and we try
to have it available asap.
March 3, 2009
We were told that currently there is enough information gathered to make an evalulation about last season's
use of non-licensed voice amplification. However, the meeting in which an official decision will be made,
has been postponed a few times.
We are trying to get the City Council to make a decision soon - and preferably in our favour ;-)
January 14, 2009
The official evaluation by the City Council has not been done yet. They are currently gathering information
and still waiting for reactions from the police etc..
We will do our best to let this not turn into an utter 'silence', where the evaluation will never happen
and thus the 'gedoogbrief' will not be renewed.
November 26, 2008
The season has come to an end and the Mayor's 'gedoogbrief' (letter of allowance) has done it's job.
A few times the police came to check and appeared to be not completely informed about the situation concerning
voice amplification. Generally, showing the 'gedoogbrief', sometimes with a little additional
explanation, worked well; no unpleasant situations occured. One time a copy of the 'gedoogbrief' was
given to the police, to 'spread the news'.
Now we need to wait for the official evaluation by the City Council. From there they will decide if and how
this system will be continued next season. This evaluation is due sometime coming December.
March 19, 2008
Today we have received the Mayor's 'gedoogbrief' (letter of allowance) which makes it possible
for non-EU performers (thus without a license) to use voice amplification during their show.
Although the text is (still/again) contradictive, not really clear and not how we would have liked it,
we think it is a useable document. Non-EU performers are advised to carry a copy of this gedoogbrief,
which can be downloaded from the perform page.
March 18, 2008
A new correct license has been issued. The text is completely the same like last year, nothing has
March 13, 2008
The problem with the EU-licenses seems to be solved. Thats means, the new recent problem concerning
amplification (see Feb 15, 2008).
Every performer who received a license with contradicting text concerning amplification can get this
corrected. Probably this is the case with every circle show street theatre license issued between half
January and today. For example:
Deliver the license plus a new passport photograph to the counter of the license department, and ask them to
swap it for a correct license.
March 12, 2008
Today we have received a reaction from the license department about our concept text for the 'gedoogbrief'
and the license. Their reaction sounded incensed, irritated, suspicious, and yes, slightly arrogant.
They are wondering why we made the remarks we made. Well, remember a month ago, when nobody at the license
department seemed to know about the amplification policy and the streetperformers had to do the license
They want to stick to their own text, to avoid confusement. Well, was their own text not the reason why they
Further they say something like "This is it, we will not mess around with the text any longer"
and "If you still don't like it, you can write an appeal letter". Hmm, friendly negotiating...
Maybe they are irritated because of all the extra work, but isn't that a result of their own non-professionalism,
and not because of us, in fact despite of us? Or maybe they are annoyed because actually we know better than
they do? Please don't blame us for being professional, maybe instead take it as an example: know what you are talking
about, before you speak?
The reaction is a bit childish and not very sportive. But okay, also at the license department they are human
We will think what would be best next. The 'gedoogbrief' is far from optimal, but possibly useable. Further, it
is March now, season has started and some are already performing.
March 10, 2008
Just some funny news in between... The print on the follow-up number for the counter of the license department
has been changed.
Apparently, we have evolved from "hinder in de open lucht" (open air nuisance)
to "Straatartiesten" (street artists). From nuisance to art, nice upgrade, eh?
February 29, 2008
We have written some concept text for the 'gedoogbrief' as well as for the license and sent it to the license
department. We tried to let our texts reflect well the intentions of both the performers and the license
department. Let's hope they will read our text with an open mind, not to mention to accept our text...
February 22, 2008
The license department has acknowlegded there has been some confusement on their side concerning voice- and music
amplification. They will now work on a new 'gedoogbrief'.
February 15, 2008
A few new licenses including amplification have been issued. Apparently, SOME of what we wrote concerning amplification
came across to the license department, however, there are some errors in it. One part is stating permission to use
amplification for voice and music, another part forbids all use of amplification. The limitation of sound level and maximum
time has completely disappeared. All and all contradicting and messy.
We will try to find out if this is just (again) some kind of mistake, or if things are getting worse and worse.
January 20, 2008
We have dug into our archive and have sent all sense making data concerning amplification to the license department. We
will wait for their response.
January 18, 2008
Today we have read the reaction from the license department about the '7-minute' mistake in the 'gedoogbrief'. It's a
total surprise; they are saying it is not a mistake, but it's the policy that exists already for many years. Also,
inbetween the lines they accuse us of lieing, or at least trying to get the policy broadened in a sneaky way. They refer
to the text of the license as 'proof' of their point.
For around 10 years, voice amplification is allowed, all through the show. Now, since a few years, also music amplification
is allowed, but limited to a maximum of 7 minutes. The text in the license has been changed accordingly, although
a bit 'messy'; however in practice there was never a problem, linguistically it could be interpreted the wrong way.
Apparently this messy license text is taken as fixed reference to the current policy. It's a surprise that this is their way,
and seemingly nobody at the license department really knows. Are we dealing with analphabetic amateurs, or is this the
government of Amsterdam? Or maybe this is just 'politics', and an attempt to frustrate us?
Either way, it looks like we must dig into our archives, do the work THEY are supposed to do and tell them what is the policy.
The never ending story goes on...
January 16, 2008
The Mayor has just signed a socalled 'gedoogbrief' (letter of allowance) concerning the use of voice amplification
for street theatre performers without license (read: non-EU performers).
Obviously we are very happy with that, but apparently there is some kind of mistake in this 'gedoogbrief': voice
amplification will be only allowed for a maximum of 7 minutes per show. This is not parallel with the current license
for EU-performers and definately not enough.
We will work on getting this corrected.
Further, the issues of using fire and 'dangerous props' remain unclear, or even unsolved.
Also concerning these issues we will work on getting it resolved.
January 1, 2008
Happy and creative new year !!!
December 14, 2007
Today we had a meeting with the city council. Present were a council member of the
SP, an employee of Dpt. Legal Affairs, an employee of the
License department, and a performers representative.
One of our possible solutions, somehow through some kind of license, seems to be too dodgy. Instead, there will be
separate solutions for every part. The following things were discussed and decided:
- The use of fire will be licensed, but such license can be issued to both EU and non-EU performers.
- The maximum number of shows per day is not restricted in the by-law, it will also be removed from the EU license.
- The time limit per show will remain 30 minutes, but excluding the time to 'set up', like in the current EU license.
- Dangerous looking props, like juggling machetes, chainsaws etc, will not be restricted as long as they are not
dangerous (sharp edge or point) and/or categorized as weapon in the sense of the weapon law.
- Voice amplification will be allowed without license, within the limits as described in the current EU license. This
will be done through a socalled 'gedoogbrief' from the Mayor. This means as much as "It is illegal, but we will let
you". After one season, the council will evaluate the situation and decide for next year.
- Unfortunately, music amplification will remain forbidden without a street performing license. This means that still
only EU performers can obtain such permission.
- An explanation of all rules, including unclear things, like what is an illegal 'weapon' and what is not, the restrictions
for amplification, etc., will be explicitely written down on some document that performers can carry with them and show to
the police in case of trouble.
- Anyway, the new situation will be communicated with the police, so they are well-informed and trouble can be avoided.
- This new situation should be effective before the coming season.
Obviously, things depend a lot on the exact words, how they are described. We will try to keep close contact with the council,
to avoid unnecessary unwanted effects.
November 29, 2007
The SP will have a meeting 'pretty soon' with the city council to
see what are the actual problems, and what are the possible solutions. Also one of us will represent the streettheatre
performers. The aim will be to create possibilities and rights for non-EU performers equal to EU performers.
September 6, 2007
Today the proposal has been discussed in the 'Commissie Algemene Zaken'
(Committee General Affairs). A representative of the SAS was present and spoke to the committee members. The Mayor
kind of denied some of the aspects of the problem and reduced it to just the issue of amplification. For this he said
'to do his best'. Let's hope that means more than the hurrying up of two years ago...
We expect 'something' to happen within a few weeks, mainly/only about the issue of amplification. Further, the case goes
to the City Council.
August 15, 2007
The proposal will be discussed in the 'Commissie Algemene Zaken'
(Committee General Affairs) coming September 6th.
July 18, 2007
The large national newspaper Telegraaf follows with a article on the inequality for non-EU performers.
Also Metro published a small article on this issue. Although not really correct, all positive attention
July 17, 2007
The SP has submitted the proposal to the City Council and made an
on their web site.
The newspaper 'Het Parool' reacts with a printed article and on their
July 6, 2007
We have decided not to bring things to court at this stage. We'll first go through the channels of the
City Council. Together with the SP we are working
on a proposal on how to solve the current problems for non-EU performers. It will be submitted to the
Council within around one week. However, it will be dealt with probably only in the Coucil's meeting of
It looks like we must accept another season is lost...
June 15, 2007
We have asked the license department several practical questions and they have answered us.
Basically they confirm what the juridical department said before:
Only fire can be licensed to non-EU performers.
This license is currently being made and will cost the same as a normal performing license.
All other special allowances can NOT be licensed to non-EU performers.
This is not good... It does cover non-EU performers using only fire in their show, but no other non-EU performers.
Especially amplification is an important issue and concerns nowadays practically ALL performers.
We will think about the next step.
June 08, 2007
Things aree starting to be more clear, but not nice...
Concerning special allowances, ONLY use of fire can be permitted to non-EU performers.
All other allowances are exception of the streetperforming by-law.
This means a normal license is still required and can not be issued to non-EU performers.
This was said by a juridical employee of the Mayor.
We will inform at the license department what this means practically, and what (other) possibilites remain for non-EU performers.
June 05, 2007
From several sides emails have been going back and forth.
There is some confusement, because the license department says a license for fire can be issued, also to non-EU performers.
Further, they deny that anybody came for a fire-license...
However, when we went to the license department, the kind of special allowance was not an issue, we were just 'sent away'.
There seems to be a difference between and misunderstanding about the several kinds of special allowances.
Apparenlty, use of fire differs legally from use of, for example, amplification.
Fire is another regulation, and nationality is no issue for this.
For amplification a socalled APV-license is still needed, and the old problem for non-EU performers still apply as before.
We will continue finding out what is exactly the problem, and -moreover- what could be a solution.
May 31, 2007
The license department has informed and confirms that non-EU performers can NOT get a license for special allowances.
The letter of the Mayor is still processed by the legal department. Within two weeks they will have more information.
May 25, 2007
Today we went with an Australian performer to apply for a license including special allowances.
The license department immediately stated it is not possible for a non-EU performer to get a license.
When we showed the letter of the Mayor, they 'couldn't do anything with it'; they need an official declaration to change their policy.
The main reason is that it is not possible to proove if a performer does or does not perform 'professionally', i.e. as a business, as a means of generating income. Therefore the Vreemdelingenwet still applies and a license cannot be issued.
Further, they already stated at the counter that IF a license would be isssued, it would be only for one specific place.
All bad news...
The license department promised to inform further concerning the letter of the Mayor and come with an answer next week.
January 15, 2007
New licenses for the coming season have been applied for by several EU performers and issued by the license department.
So, for EU performers things are still the same and okay. We will 'wait' for a non-EU performer to apply for a test-license.
December 13, 2006
The Mayor has written an official answer (Dutch). Concerning non-EU performers needing special allowances things LOOK okay, but only the use of fire has been mentioned explicitely - as example (?)
Although we think the same philosopy is valid for the other allowances, this doesn't come out clear from the letter of the Mayor.
October 12, 2006
A council member has asked the Mayor what is the situation for non-EU performers and the special allowances.
The Mayor promised to give answers in writing, he said to do it 'soon'.
October 6, 2006
Yesterday we applied for a test-license for a EU performer, inlcuding all kinds of special allowances.
The application was done without any difficulties, and the license was issued today, as we wanted.
So, for EU performers things are like before and no problem.
September 21, 2006
Apparently, things are unchanged for EU performers: they still need a license for any special allowances (fire, amplification, etc.), but this license can be applied for and will be issued. For non-EU performers it looks like only a license for use of fire can be issued, NOT for other allowances, like amplification etc..
However, these are 'official answers' in writing; from the license department things are still not really clear.
We are considering to apply for a test-license for a EU performer, to be sure.
September 14, 2006
The license department denies that any request for a license has been refused.
But there has been performers at the counter, who were sent away.
What's going on? The case is if licenses CAN and WILL be issued, not if they HAVE been issued.
September 5, 2006
It appears to be totaly unclear what is the situation exactly for European as well as non-European performers. Maybe a misunderstanding or lack of communication, maybe something else...
The license departent waits for instuctions, but doesn't issue any licenses for the time being.
August 10, 2006
A council member of the SP has asked official questions to the Mayor, concerning the situation around the special allowances and the unwanted (?) side-effects.
Hopefully these will be answered during the next council's meeting.
July 27, 2006
The license department confirmes that for special allowances a license is needed.
They also state that such a license will NOT be granted to non-EU performers.
It is not clear what is the situation for EU performers, if licenses for special allowances can be issued.
However, for now the license department does NOT issue any licenses.
Some kind of Catch-22 ...
July 18, 2006
The license department stops issueing licenses.
That's strange and/or not so nice ... What is going on with the special allowances?
July 15, 2006
The by-law (APV) has changed. Performing street theatre is now officially license free.
Still it is unclear what is the situation with the special allowances, like amplification, fire, etc.
July 7, 2006
Informally, the Mayor states that for the special allowances still a license will be required.
However, since this is not directly regarding 'work', also non-EU performers will be granted such a license.
June 30, 2006
Sorry for writing nothing for such a long time, lack of time ...
Anyway, meanwhile things are really slow, nothing has really changed.
Unfortunately, the Mayor's promise to get things done "before coming season" has not become reality.
Coming July 6 our issue will be discussed during the Council meeting.
Changing the by-law (APV) seems to be fairly easy, but our current special allowances (fire, amplification etc.) are more difficult.
We have spoken to a Council member of the SP, a political party present in the Council with six seats.
They will fight for a good result.
March 8, 2006
Bad news... The political party AA/dG has lost their seat in the City Council after the elections of yesterday.
Something we didn't think of... Through AA/dG we had a voice inside the Council.
Still, the proposal has been accepted and the decision made, but it still needs to be activated, actually done.
It could easily be 'forgotten', or mistakes could be made.
Now that all the circus and excitement around the elections has passed, maybe a council's focussing on our case will be possible again.
We will see what to do next.
December 16, 2005
Great news: the Amsterdam-City council has just approved the proposal!
This means street theatre performers, of whatever nationality or status, will not need a license anymore - they can perform!
Agreed is that things will be effective before coming season.
Practical details, like the allowance for the use of fire, amplification, 'dangerous' props, etc., which are regulated by the license, are still important, though.
More information will follow.
December 2, 2005
While having an approximate majority on our side, the Mayor wanted to come with an own proposal and wait with dealing with the issue.
November 10, 2005
The council meeting postponed dealing with the license issue untill next meeting, December 2nd.
November 8, 2005
The appeal committee basically copied the decision of the Amsterdam Court.
Including the statement that a license would be issued as long as the performing is not your job.
October 18, 2005
Bad news: the Amsterdam Court has not approved our appeal.
There is some good news though: licenses can be issued to anyone if there is no economical (financial) interest.
Apparently it comes down to having enough money on the bank, in order to be 'independant' enough.
We are considering what is the next step.
October 14, 2005
Yesterday the partial council of Amsterdam-Centre accepted the proposal of AA/dG!
It still needs to be accepted by the council of Amsterdam-City, but it's a great step for mankind.
The committee General Affairs of Amsterdam-City will look into the proposal coming November 10th.
October 11, 2005
AA/dG will bring their proposal to the Amsterdam-Centre's council meeting on coming Thursday October 13.
Here it will be voted for.
Regardless of the voting result, it will also go the Amsterdam-City committee of General Affairs.
After all, changing the Amsterdam by-law is a matter concerning the entire city of Amsterdam, not only the centre, and can be done only by the council of Amsterdam-City.
This committee deals with the issue on coming November 10.
October 5, 2005
The meeting of the committee General Affairs of Amsterdam-Centre hasn't brought any solution.
AA/dG will bring their proposal to the Amsterdam-Centre's council meeting where it will be voted for.
October 4, 2005
The court case went pretty well. The representative of the city council was not well-prepared and the judge cornered her a few times. The public seats were pretty full.
We will wait for the court's decision, which is due in approx. two weeks.
October 3, 2005
A press release (Dutch) concerning the court case and the discussion within the council's committee General Affairs (Algemene Zaken) has been sent out.
September 9, 2005
On coming October 4th an internal committee of the city council will look into the proposal of Amsterdam Anders / de Groenen.
See the proposal (Dutch).
The same day, at 9:00 AM, the Amsterdam court at the Parnassusweg in Amsterdam will look into the legality of refusing a license to the Canadian clown, and if necessary provide a temporary arrangement.
The case is public.
August 30, 2005
We have requested court for a case (a socalled 'voorlopige voorziening').
We have asked the appeal committee to skip the administrational step.
July 20, 2005
We have submitted the appeal letter concerning the license refusal for the Canadian clown.
June 17, 2005
We have received the decision from the city council about the license for the Canadian clown.
As no surprise, the license has been refused on the same grounds as before. This is, shortly said: Streetperforming is considered a business / profession. Due to a national law the city council is not permitted to issue any license to any non-European without a residency or work permit.
We will submit the appeal letter.
June 7, 2005
Today the Canadian clown applied for a license again.
Again, we had to talk a long time before they wanted to accept the license.
The whole department joined in with the same rap, blabla, "no point", "waste of money", "the law", "we are not allowed to accept", "I'm not talking to you, but talking to him", etc. like last year.
This time we even had to pay on-the-spot.
Again they tried everything to stop us and get us out.
They even accused us of harassing the license department!
Ha, good to see they are developing a sense of humor ...
Now we'll wait for their answer ...
Oh, bytheway, speaking of comedy: Before, the counter at the license department where one could apply for a street performing license would be called "straatartiest" (street artist).
Now it is called "Hinder in de open lucht", which means something like 'open air nuisance'. An important software update of the number machine was needed ...
June 7, 2005
Beginning of May we have received the decision of the appeal committee.
The appeal has been declared 'niet-ontvankelijk', meaning the committee will not even look into the case.
The reason for this is 'geen belang', which means 'no interest' (for the applicant).
Shortly said, the committee's motivation is that the license -if granted- would be valid only untill the end of 2004 and thus expired by now, 2005.
So there is no point anymore to even look into the case.
A surprising result, because the committee's hearing was on December 23rd, one week before the end of the year.
This aspect was not mentioned by the committee, nor the city council's representative.
Weird too, because the license department needed some mistakes and quite some time to find the right article and procedure (see September 15 and later).
The appeal-committee needed months to get together and another few months to make up their mind.
We would say this smells a bit like a lame and cowardish decision, trying to avoid anybody of the city council burning their fingers on this case; after all it only causes delay.
Or maybe they just try to frustrate and discourage us.
Maybe both ...
So okay, we will again apply for a license, and follow a different procedure this time.
Like Winston Churchill said: "We will never never surrender".
February 3, 2005
Yesterday we had a follow-up meeting with the city council: good news and bad news ...
Let's start with the bad news:
The non-EU case is on hold, waiting for the advice of the appeal committee, which will take some months.
And then it's not the end of the story yet...
The good news:
Some other issues are / will be solved:
- There will be a possibility for a fast license application, meaning apply before noon and pick up the license in the afternoon.
There will be some 'reasonable' increase of the fee, but it means incoming / temporary performers don't need to wait anymore for a week (or sometimes longer) before they can work.
- The use of amplified music will be allowed within workable limits, like maximum sound level and maximum time.
- Use of fire will NOT be restricted or banned, things stay as they were.
- New situation will be applicable as of approximately half february.
- New situation will be evaluated in november 2005.
As of half february, application forms and actual text of the license will be changed.
So, unless you really want to work now (hm - look at the weather...) the handiest thing is to wait with applying for a license untill after that.
For those few who already applied and/or already have a license for this season, the license will be replaced by a 'new' one, without charge.
The city council will take the initiative.
January 1, 2005
Happy new year ! / ?
December 23, 2004
Today the appeal hearing took place.
The defense of the city council sounded pretty weak (to us ...).
However, it's hard to imagine the committee will grant our appeal - it would cause a political riot.
And even when the committee would grant our appeal, there's still a chance the Mayor will not follow the committee's advice (after all, it's only an advice ...).
Realistically, we are counting on a negative result, which will give us the possibility to appeal again - and go to court and let court decide.
The answer to our appeal is due in 'a few months'.
December 16, 2004
In reaction to our request for a follow-up meeting, we received an invitation for February 2, 2005.
Yes, this is three months after our first meeting of November 8, instead of just one month, as we agreed ... Not very sweet.
Let's hope things will speed up from there.
December 13, 2004
Although agreed during our earlier meeting with the city council there is still no appointment for a follow-up meeting.
We have contacted the city council asking for such an appointment.
December 8, 2004
The political party Amsterdam Anders / de Groenen has submitted a
to solve the problem of licenses for non-European artists.
Basically, their proposal is to get the need for a license out of the Amsterdam by-law (APV). After all, if no license is needed, the city council doesn't need to refuse it.
It is not clear when this proposal will be looked into. This probably takes -at least- a few months.
November 18, 2004
In reaction to our appeal letter, we received the invitation for a hearing with the appeal committee.
This hearing will take place on Thursday, December 23, 2004 at 13:45 in room number 0232 at the Town Hall (entrance Zwanenburgwal).
The hearing is public, no public speaking rights however.
The Canadian clown can not be present, he is in Australia right now, but a lawyer will represent him. Also at least one representative of the SAS will be present.
November 11, 2004
A 'second' appeal letter concerning the license refusal have been sent to the Appeal Committee.
We are waiting for an invitation for a hearing.
November 8, 2004
We had the meeting with the city council and talked for about 2 hours.
The overall feeling was positive, we think on both sides.
Some issues will seriously be looked into and some solutions were found.
The non-european-issue however remains very difficult ...
We will have a follow-up meeting around beginning of December.
October 22, 2004
After our reminder a few days ago, the city council has contacted us for a new appointment.
This will be on Monday, November 8, 2004.
October 4, 2004
We just received a cancellation for the meeting with the council, due to illness of the chairman of the board.
There is not so much point in talking (again) to only the people who are not really in charge.
A fair and valid reason, it is just unfortunate we probably have to wait another month or so, before things are actually only being looked into.
September 23, 2004
Today we received the corrected refusal regarding the license application for the Canadian clown.
This time the city council is referring to the right article of the Amsterdam by-law.
We will slightly rewrite and send our appeal letter.
September 20, 2004
Last Friday, the city council contacted us to invite us for a meeting.
We confirmed it today.
The meeting will happen on Monday, October 4, 2004.
Two of us will go there.
September 15, 2004
The appeal hearing for tomorrow has been cancelled.
The license department made a technical mistake by referring to the wrong article of the Amsterdam bylaw (art. 2.17 'street sellers' instead of 2.16 'street performers').
Therefore a hearing is pointless and eventually the appeal will just be granted. However, this will happen only on that ground, thus not quite serving the principal case.
This situation confirms once again that the city council doesn't (want to) know the difference between street *sellers* and street theatre *performers*.
We will receive a new, corrected decision from the license department shortly. This offers us the possibility to go for appeal - again.
Let's see if they concentrate a little better this time. They already wasted one season ...
September 9, 2004
We received an invitation for the appeal hearing concerning the license refusal.
This will take place on Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 15:30 in room number 0232 at the Town Hall.
The hearing is public, no public speaking rights however.
September 9, 2004
A streaming video of the protest is on-line (25 MB - 256 kbps - 14min.)
The file is streaming .WMV format (Windows Media Player), allowing the video to start playing almost instantly.
We will try to get more versions and formats available.
September 7, 2004
We are working on a video of the event, almost ready ...
September 6, 2004
Today a delegation of seven performers have presented our petition to the Council.
We gave her a colourful bouquet of balloon-sculptured flowers as well.
In reaction the Council gave reasons for the limitations and refusing a license to non-European performers.
Unfortunately, those reasons seem to refer to street sellers, not street theatre performers.
Further they referred to national law, which forbids the council to issue licenses to non-Europeans.
However, in the specific case of street performing, this is still questionable. Besides, if the motivation exists, legal ways around are possible.
We will have a meeting in the near future.
September 6, 2004
Sorry for being a bit late, it's been busy ... ;-)
Yesterday has been an intense (and hot!), but fantastic day.
More than 25 performers were present to join the protest and showed an example of on-the-spot teamwork.
We held a large positive crowd, non-stop from 2:00 untill 9:00 PM.
1000 was a goal, 2000 a dream, 2187 people signed the petition!
A press release (Dutch) has been sent out sept. 5th 23:25 PM
September 3, 2004
Another press release (Dutch) has been sent out, emphasizing the actual protest event.
Later on we got an appointment set with the chairman of the Amsterdam-Centre City Council to present our petition on the following Monday at 11:00 AM.
Performers are coming in ...
August 26, 2004
A press release (Dutch) regarding the situation and our planned protest event has been sent out.
August 24, 2004
The appeal letter has been sent to the city council.
August 14, 2004
We are working on the appeal regarding the license refusal.
Part of this will be a protest event on coming September 5th in the centre of Amsterdam.
More information follows.
July 17, 2004
Today we received the answer from the city council regarding the license application for the Canadian clown. As expected, the license has been denied.
Basically it's one and a half page of legal stuff. But a quick study learns there are possibly some handles to deal with.
We will do some more research and get some advice.
I'll be back.
July 15, 2004
Today we called the city council. The guy was back from holiday and the lady knew the details. But she said she is not going to do anything with it.
We should wait till September, the end of the season, because only then conclusions can really be made. Besides, the whole city council is on a holiday.
Hey, couldn't she have said so already in April? A bit lame, no?
And what guarantee do we have that in September there is not another (good) reason for delay?
Hmm ... I guess thats the end of this method.
So we will focus on the application by the Canadian clown. I can not imagine they will issue the license, or grant an administrational appeal. So, eventually it will go to court.
That whole stuff will take 100 years (give or take a few), but at least then it's taken care of.
We are still waiting for an official answer to the application. So far nothing, they haven't even sent the invoice yet.
Too bad that meanwhile the pitches are dying, performers can not work, and Amsterdam has to do without many great shows.
A typical case of bureau-crazy ...
July 8, 2004
After talking between ourselves, we came to the conclusion things are getting too much now.
We are talking to the city council now for almost two years about all kinds of issues.
This 'foreigner case' is going now for more than half a year, without anything actually happening.
Of course we want to be patient, but where is the end?
We could be patient till eternity.
So we decided to create some pressure. This morning a Canadian streetperformer applied for a street performing permit.
In contrast to what we were told informally before, they didn't even want to accept the application.
At the counter half the department was subsequently referring to The Hague, Schengen, Foreign Police, Heaven and Hell, in an attempt to intimidate us and get us out of the office.
They really didn't want to accept the application, nor give a written confirmation of that refusal. Not very nice, and not very legal.
I estimate it took us one hour of persistant talking, but eventually we managed. They accepted the application.
Oooof ... I always thought court cases were in court ...
But the first step is made. Now we will wait for their decision.
And for the colleague coming back from holiday.
July 5, 2004
As agreed, we contacted the city council.
It took a few days to reach the right person, but eventually we talked to her.
We were going to look into numbers and data concerning the licenses being issued up to now, and see what could possibly be done.
However, she was not able to get the data from the computer and she asked us to wait for the person who can.
Unfortunately, he appeared to be on a holiday - he comes back in two weeks.
Yeahyeah, timing is everything in showbusiness ...
April 27, 2004
This afternoon we had a meeting with the city council and also discussed the new situation for non-EU foreigners.
They were kind, and seemed reasonable and willing to listen.
Good news for all EU citizens:
Although not confirmed in writing, it was clearly stated that, already now, all EU-members would be granted a license (of course, up to the maximum number), regardless a residency permit.
As of coming May 1st (a few days from now), the same applies immediately to the 'new' EU countries.
In other words: all EU citizens do not need a residency permit in order to get a license.
Kind of relatively good news for non-EU citizens:
They seem to understand that international input for street theatre is quite valuable, at practically no cost.
So they promised to keep an eye on the situation and the actual effect of the new rules.
Around July they will evaluate "with an open mind", and then possibly pass an advice to change the rules onto the responsable politicians.
And -yeahyeah- the bad news:
Anyway things will take quite some time before changes will be made (if at all ...), but at least it's a good start (and possibly even faster than a court case) ...
We keep you posted.