The mayor of The Hague, Jan van Zanen, unfortunately had to decide that the Hague bonfires cannot continue this year. The decision was taken in constructive consultation with the builders of the four bonfires: Scheveningen, Duindorp, Escamp and Laak. The municipality and builders will continue to focus on the successful completion of the bonfires during the turn of the year 2021/2022.

After the near-disaster with the sparks rain at Scheveningen, the Dutch Safety Board (Dutch Safety Board) stated that bonfires could only take place with an event permit. Although the process for granting permits went according to plan and all signals were green, the corona measures of the national government now prohibit the granting of an event permit. The municipality of The Hague reports this with this press release on their website.

The bonfires in this new form deserve a fair chance. Even with a possible lightening of the corona measures later this year, it is likely that only a very small number of people will be allowed on the event site and the preparation time for both builders and municipality will be too short to organize the bonfires pleasantly and safely. In addition, it creates too much uncertainty and unacceptable (financial) risks for all parties and the chance of a large influx of interested parties is too great.

This is a downer for all parties. From the beginning of this year, the Municipality of The Hague and the builders have been in constructive and good conversation. From the first moment, those talks were aimed at having a licensed bonfire take place this year. That commitment will remain unchanged for next year: during the turn of the year from 2021 to 2022, all parties intend to have a bonfire.

Mayor and builders understand that this is a great disappointment for residents of Laak, Escamp, Duindorp and Scheveningen. Together they call for peace and quiet, both before and during the New Year.

Also read: Extra large terraces in The Hague will remain open this winter

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