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Jul 14, 2014

Rieu Fan's Reunion Becoming Ever Busier

The 160 fans after their Friday-evening dinner on the boat. 
They concluded the proceedings with a heartfelt rendition of ABBA’s Thank You for the Music.

André Rieu Reunion Becoming Ever Busier
Concert Series: Couple from The Hague organizes dinners and picnics for fan club with eighteen nationalities

De Limburger, Monday, July 14, 2014 by John Hoofs: A lot of things happen in the ‘margins’ of the Rieu concerts. A fan group with members from 18 nationalities met for dinner for the tenth year running in Maastricht.

Dancing with a hundred year old nun is the talk of the day after Rieu’s Friday concert.
  
There was much giggling at the pond in the city park this past Saturday afternoon. And that’s not because of the huge fallen tree that’s been lying there – partly submerged in the water – since Thursday, but because of André Rieu’s concert the previous evening. The reason: André left the stage to help a hundred-year-old nun from her wheelchair, danced with her and even bestow three kisses on her cheeks. Just the idea of Rieu leaving the stage to dance with a fan is sufficient to cause havoc amongst his avid followers. "Facebook exploded with jealousy at that moment" laughs Ineke Elshout. "So nice" echoes her husband Ruud. The Hague couple is responsible for the gathering of roughly seventy Rieu fans in the park for a picnic to which you bring your own snacks and drinks.

Ineke and Ruud Elshout understand the fandom surrounding André Rieu. They have been following him since before his big breakthrough. Ruud estimates that they must have attended about eighty of his concerts. "More, at least a hundred," interjects Ineke. The couple has been part of the party in Maastricht since the very first Rieu concert on the Vrijthof. They have viewed and captured all the performances on camera. That is their hobby. Half-way through the show, images from Friday’s concert were already on www.andrerieumovies.com; complete with subtitles.

Together with the hotel management, Ruud Elshout was instrumental in having a webcam with sound installed next to the balcony of their suite in the Hotel Du Casque; the semi-permanent abode of the couple when they are in Maastricht. Every movement on the Vrijthof is recorded and sent around the world. The images are even seen in New Zealand. Why? Because the Elshouts have been organizing a fan dinner since the first Rieu concert on the Vrijthof. They started ten years ago in D'n Ingel on the Vrijthof with fifteen people, mainly Dutch. Thereafter, Charlemagne on the Onze Lieve Vrouwe (Our Dear Lady) Square, became the following stop. With sixty diners this venue soon became too small. Thus the fan dinner moved to one of the party boats of the Rederij Stiphout (shipping company) on the Maas Pier, where last Friday at 4:30 PM, 160 fans from eighteen nationalities – a record number – gathered for a buffet dinner.

The British were in the majority, but were joined by fans from Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, South Africa, Malta, Ireland, Sweden, USA and, the latest members, a mother and a son from Estonia. "For us the Rieu Concert series is a great reunion, which starts on Thursday afternoon on the terrace of our favorite hangout, the restaurant Gauchos, on the Vrijthof, " says Ineke Elshout. Strangely enough, they have never met André Rieu in person. "He likes to keep some distance between himself and his fans and quite rightly so. We understand why. Allow him to give beautiful concerts, and then we will organize everything around them. We admire André’s musical talent, his charisma and his jokes, which we all know by now – all of them, of course."



Thank You to Ruud and Ineke for sending the newspaper and Entia Translating it

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very good article and I think so nice that Ruud and Ineke get recognized for the work they do for Andre and all his fans! Thanks guys!! Eileen

Alice said...

Yes!!!! Very nice! But we fans who have been to Ineke's movies website and fans dinner would know that our Dutch couple did a lot more for us than the "movies" and dinners. And yes, they know all the jokes. Ahahahaha :D

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Pierre and André September 30, 2016 Maastricht

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Photo Taken at Mexico City Concert ~ September 2013

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