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Dinner time in Maastricht During André Rieu Concerts.
We found this article in (the Dutch) Revue magazine from July 2010. We thought it was very funny, because it is a letter to André Rieu, written by a journalist, who happened to be in Maastricht during the concert days in 2010. A different point of view, by a non André fan. And it is quite up to date for 2011, 2012, 2013 and still 2019….. The last word. Dear Andre Rieu, Last week I elected to go to the Vrijthof Square in Maastricht. That was not possible. I did not have a ticket for you. I did not at all want to attend a concert; I just wanted to sit on a terrace. But it appeared all the terraces on the Vrijthof were yours. For eight long days (in 2010). Only those who had purchased an André Rieu arrangement, were allowed to enter the Vrijthof. A total of 25.000! I heard that not one single café or restaurant did not participate. That was unimaginable for me. There is also a Mac Donald's on the Vrijthof. As if they would serve a three course dinner for André Rieu fans there!! And…. yes, there too…. at Mac Donald's too! You could only sit there if you had booked an André Rieu arrangement. A Mac Flurry as dessert??? No, Mac Donald's hired a catering service! Mac Donald's has 31.000 restaurants worldwide. All those restaurants, each day, serve the same rolls, the same hamburgers, in the same boxes. Except during those eight days on one square in the Netherlands, all because one man with a violin decided that. I expected it for some time now, but I am now very sure: I am your fan! Not because of your music, but because of your entrepreneurship. No matter what time last week I turned on the television in Limburg: you were on. It was "André Rieu week" on Limburg TV. Your performances were spectacularly well filmed. That was possible because you sold the images to the German TV. Whoever biked along the square in the afternoon, could hear your voice reverberate all over the square, in German. You recorded all announcements that afternoon in German. They will be added later to the German broadcast. In addition you also sold your concerts to an Australian chain of cinemas. I heard that a record amount of tickets were sold. In Australia, the country where you once gave concerts in the middle of the summer, with two enormous ice rinks! So much electrical power was needed that by the end you actually earned almost nothing. Or could it be that you flew your entire crew over, or…. that you wanted to perform in a different stadium, because your décor did not fit in the first one…. That's what I heard from one of your employees. Maybe it is not even true, but I hope it is. And I believe it, because it suits you. When circumstances are in the way of your plans, then you change the circumstances, not the plans. Only the greatest minds dare to think like that. It definitely decreases the profits, but increases the joy. I once was in a record shop in Milwaukee (USA), and there you had your own display area. There you have really made it! I looked at all your covers and I thought: "All done by himself, earned by himself, under his own silly terms".  Actually that is the essence of punk. And so you are what Nigel Kennedy wanted to be: the biggest punker in the world…. with a violin! Full of admiration, Leon Verdonschot.
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