Pierre Rieu - The World Looks Forward To The Vrijthof Concerts
October 24, 2013 by Maarten van Laarhoven
MAASTRICHT - About 45 percent of the 90,000 people who visited the Hometown concerts of André Rieu on the Vrijthof in the past year, come from outside the Benelux.
Also the visitors of the Rieu concerts abroad (there are about 700,000 yearly) are fond of the Vrijthof concerts. After the concerts they may watch a film about the beauty of "the most beautiful square in the world".
The square is also seen annually by more than 80 million people who watch a DVD of the concert." André wants all his fans to know that they must have been there at least once in their life", said Andre's son Pierre this morning during a meeting in the old council chamber of the City Hall on the Market Square.
There was an agreement signed between André Rieu Productions, the municipality of Maastricht represented by Mayor Onno Hoes and 22 catering business entrepreneurs of the Vrijthof.
Rieu notes a growing interest in the Hometown concerts, which are visited by people who not only come for the music, but also want to know where the phenomenon Rieu grew up. With a smile: "I understand that the municipality for the Vrijthof a 60-day standard applies. Well, 60 days on the Vrijthof seems a nice goal for the future."
The so called Covenant Vrijthof concerts, signed by each entrepreneur, is a sequel to the Code of Conduct that was signed in 2006. They are among others, regarding the tackling nuisance behavior, ticket sale, the exclusion of large groups, the establishment of terraces and patio roofs.
The agreements are necessary because the Vrijthof is public land and the square actually should not be closed. The terrace arrangements that the entrepreneurs of the Vrijthof may offer their guests, using the name and logo, is a compensation for the losses they suffer because the gates will be closed for a few hours.
On the other hand, the entrepreneurs also see that Rieu is a giant advertising machine that constantly advertises the Vrijthof and implicitly also for their business and other businesses in the center.
According to Pierre Rieu, André Rieu Productions keeps accurate track on where visitors come from. Increasingly, they are people from Australia, Canada, Brazil or South Africa, says Rieu. And they are not coming only for the concert on Saturday to go home again on the following Sunday, but they make it a holiday."
Pierre Rieu told something else that was nice: 30 percent of the tickets are bought as a present.
Ticket sales for the Vrijthof concerts in 2014 start next week. As a starting point: Friday July 11th and Saturday July 12th. If these evenings get fully booked. More concerts will be scheduled for the weekend before. July 13th is not yet 'scheduled', because on that day the final of the World Cup takes place in Brazil.
Thanks to Ineke for this and the Translation