"We get to carry each other." These famous lyrics by rock and U2 can be seen on the façade of the Ziggo Dome. 'A tribute to all people in vital professions, who are now doing the hard work for us.' Damman is very adamant: 'Our problems are totally outweighed by what’s happening in the hospitals.' But still, the corona crisis also affects the Ziggo Dome, and how. The organisation was forced to postpone the many concerts scheduled in the coming weeks. Together with his team Damman is working really hard on two things: finding new dates for the gigs as soon as possible – with a 90% success rate so far – and exploring all possibilities to be of some meaning to the public in one way or another. And the latter you will notice this weekend.
Out together, home together
What can we expect? On Friday (17 April) the Ziggo Dome Concert weekend will kick off. Damman: 'On Channel 13, the Ziggo music channel on TV we will treat you, for three days and nights, to shows that have taken place in the Ziggo Dome in these past few years. Kensington, Ladies of Soul, Gerard Joling, Holland Zingt Hazes, Kapital, and so on and so forth. We’ll also broadcast intimate Backstage Sessions of the Kaiser Chiefs and Within Temptation. Up to and including Sunday you can enjoy all the concerts, 24 hours a day.'
Collaborating free of charge
'We may be in the middle of a crisis, but in times like these you know who your friends are and what you can achieve if you join forces. What would normally be impossible, is now arranged in no time.' Damman refers to the rights involved in the broadcasting of concerts. The performers’ management, record companies and other entitled parties – they all contributed to his initiative free of charge. 'Wonderful. And Ziggo is also a great partner to work with. For the broadcasting time and programming of the Ziggo Dome Concert weekend they made an all-out effort.'
Music lovers therefore have something to look forward to. 'And there is a lot more we are still working on', Damman confides. 'Hopefully, most of these future plans will not be necessary. On 21 April, the government will decide on the next set of measures. Who knows, perhaps we can resume our real programming before we know it. At the same time, Mark Rutte says entrepreneurs should already think of ways to implement “the new normal”. So we are discussing a really weird question: how to organise concerts with social distancing?'
'Let’s hope it will not come to that, and that we can all enjoy being in the Ziggo Dome together again, soon,' says Damman optimistically. 'Until then we will keep treating the Ziggo Dome audience and that of Ziggo, to music. As much as possible, as much as needed.'