Mayor hauled back in line by judge: Pride on Amstelveld may continue until 00:00 hrs

Although preparations are already in full swing and the city is already slowly getting into the mood, there was some last-minute suspense for Pride Amsterdam festivities on the Amstelveld in Amsterdam.

judgment in preliminary relief proceedings

The mayor of Amsterdam granted the Pride Amsterdam Foundation (hereinafter also referred to as the Foundation) a permit for Pride Amsterdam on 16 June 2023. Much to the displeasure of the Foundation, the mayor set the end time of the festival on the Amstelveld at 20:00, due to, in short, nuisance for the neighbourhood. The Foundation asked the Amsterdam District Court’s preliminary relief judge to intervene. The latter ruled in favour of the Foundation in its ruling of 12 July 2023(ECLI:NL:RBAMS:2023:4368).

In its judgment, the preliminary relief judge stated that the mayor should act in accordance with its policy. This policy has been shaped, among other things, in the ‘Noise Policy for Events in Amsterdam‘ and in the ‘Location Profiles for Event Locations 2021’, according to the preliminary relief judge. In brief, this policy states that during events, music noise is allowed from 11:00 a.m. until no later than 11:00 p.m. and that, in certain cases, the end time can be extended to a maximum of 00:00 a.m. A request to this end is assessed on a case-by-case basis, with the interests of the residential environment being taken into account. In this, the duration and nature of the burden play a major role.

The mayor must follow this policy, unless doing so would have consequences for one or more interested parties that, due to special circumstances, would be disproportionate in relation to the goals to be served by the policy rule. This follows from Article 4:84 of the General Administrative Law Act. The court in preliminary relief proceedings found that in this case, the mayor did not provide sufficient justification that there were such special circumstances that it was necessary to deviate from the policy to allow the party to take place only until 20:00.

The mayor referred to nuisance to the neighbourhood – which was substantiated by only one opinion on nuisance from a local resident from 2016. Reference was also made to future policy for celebrating Pride, from which it will follow that this event will be shaped differently on Amstelveld. The preliminary relief judge found the one opinion on nuisance insufficient to substantiate nuisance for the neighbourhood and rules that the mayor should not involve future policy in this case. After all, that circumstance lies in the future.

Interim relief

The Foundation is thus vindicated and the preliminary injunction is granted. Specifically, this means that the end time of the festival on the Amstelveld is set at 00:00 on 4 and 5 August 2023. The festival will thus be allowed to take place as in previous years.

Event policy in Amsterdam, as also follows from this ruling, is a sensitive issue. We are keeping a close eye on developments.

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Mayor hauled back in line by judge: Pride on Amstelveld may continue until 00:00 hrs