The Amsterdam city announced two new measures for the Canal Parade of the 2019 Amsterdam Pride. The first one is to declare the route of the Canal Parade as an event area. This includes the streets along the canals, as well as the canals themselves. The second one is that no amplified music is allowed any more along the route of the Parade except of course on the participating boats. These measures are meant to make the event less disturbing for people living along the canals.
Aprils fools or not?
News of these measures was made public on April 1st, so some people thought it was an April fools joke by the city. That however, was not the case. The announcement is still on the city’s website (in Dutch) and is therefore to be taken serious.
Two measures against or for what?
So why these restrictive measures? The last few years the succes of the Canal Parade became almost its’ own downfall. The number of spectators of this spectacular parade of boats attracted businesses who wanted to make a profit out of this. They sold (illegally) drinks and food and they organized illegal parties on boats and podia along the Parade. The noice of these parties was often louder than the music from the boats. And these businesses didn’t contribute anything to the clean up and organization the Parade.
So first the people living on the canals started to complain, but also people from the LGBTQI+ community felt unease with these commercial, often non-LGBTQI+ parties. The Amsterdam Pride tried to take measure, by cleaning up afterwards and placing waste bins and urinals. Since the streets and watersides are public spaces, the measures the Pride organizers could take were limited.
Are they going to help or what?
That’s why the measure of declaring the route an event area is taken. That makes it easier to put up rules about amplified music. It also makes it possible to give the Pride organization the exclusive rights to organize commercial parties along the parade.
All this is meant to make the Canal Parade more focused on the boats and LGBTQI+ community. More importantly it also wants to make it enjoyable again for people living along the canals. Hopefully this restores the local support for the Canal Parade or it may fall quiet permanently in the future.