Martiniplaza in Groningen is losing a large number of dance parties. Too much noise due to poor insulation. ‘Are we in danger of losing them to the Randstad?’

Martiniplaza in Groningen is drastically reducing the number of dance parties. This is necessary because the event complex where they are held is insufficiently insulated.

According to councilor Rik van Niejenhuis (PvdA), this has been the case for several years. Sound insulation has been discussed in detail several times with the management of Martiniplaza. “There were two options: adjust the building or the programming. In consultation with the management, the latter was chosen.”

Especially because dance parties have caused noise pollution in surrounding neighborhoods, according to the mayor and aldermen. “There is a lot of noise pressure on the west side of the city. We want to bring that down,” says Van Niejenhuis. “Maybe dance events can be held in a different place. Our goal is to spread them across the city.”

Martiniplaza may hold a maximum of five dance parties in 2024 and only three from 2025. “That is far too little,” says D66 councilor Martina Martinez Doubiani. “Groningen is known for its vibrant character and the range of dance events. Are we now losing it to the Randstad?”

Not suitable locations

Daan Swets (Student and City) thinks so. “Organizers say they are leaving for the Randstad because there are no suitable locations in Groningen.” He wonders whether Martiniplaza can miss the proceeds from these events. Doubiani calculates that the event complex will miss out on one million euros.

Van Niejenhuis thinks that things are not going that fast. “That million euros is the turnover. After deducting costs, the loss is approximately €300,000. This can be solved with a contribution from the municipality.” The councilor spoke several times with Martiniplaza director Willem de Kok. He certainly knows how to come up with many ways to organize events. Perhaps the financial gap will be even smaller.”

Sleepy provincial town?

De Kok expressed his dissatisfaction this week about the phasing out of dance parties. The municipal council calls the phase-out period long enough to develop an alternative program. Janette Bosma (Party for the Animals) is happy with the decrease in dance parties. “The council takes complaints from local residents seriously and puts its money where its mouth is.” Ietje Jacobs-Setz (VVD) sees it differently. “Do you want to become a sleepy provincial town?”

Local residents think the decrease in dance events is a good step. “We are happy with it. Noise pollution is a real problem. Finally something happens. It feels like recognition,” says Lucy Pijttersen, board member of Stadspark Natural.