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Social dis-dancing? Dutch club tries post-coronavirus layout


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© Reuters. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Nijmegen

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By Esther Verkaik

NIJMEGEN, Netherlands (Reuters) – Dutch youth hit the club on Saturday, sort of, in one of the country’s first attempts to resume night life after the coronavirus outbreak, with social distancing rules still in place.

Clubbers at Doornroosje in the eastern city of Nijmegen booked ahead of time to enjoy short sets of electronic dance music in the afternoon, rather than around midnight, as they used to. During the show, they were restricted to chairs.

But when the lights went down and the sound came up, almost everything fell into place.

“I expect amazing social dis-dancing!” said Nadie, a young woman who had come to see local favourite DJ Odin play.

“I think it’s your perfect daily dose of music, like, 20 minutes is enough, yeah, sure.” said Nuray Boga, 19. “It made me happy.”

Promoter Jonatan Brand said the original plan had been to have the guests dance while standing in place 1.5 meters (5 feet) apart. But local authorities said they had to sit in chairs, at least for now.

“It’s still very cool,” Brand said. “People are still dancing, although they are on the chair, they’re fist-pumping, they’re moving their bodies, so — it’s great.”

A maximum of 30 guests were allowed in the building at a time. The club plans to expand to 100 in July. The cover charge was 10 euros, including a drink.

Shows did not sell out, and the event was also streamed online.

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“It’s nice to play actually on a loud volume again, to see some familiar faces,” said DJ Davy Brandts.

“I think everyone had been looking forward to it, because it had been a while since you could drink a cold beer at a big venue like this.”

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