Celebrating the reinstatement of the Dutch monarchy 200 years ago, the Dutch government organised a number of events. I attended one of them.
The whole day was quite festive. It started by a re-enactment of the landing of King William the First on the beach of Scheveningen. During the day there were various other festivities, and the whole thing led up to the royal concert.
It was surprisingly easy to get tickets for this event. It was all in the organisation. The event was attended by the full Royal family and a lot of dignitaries. Being not such a big country, that left for the second ring of the Circustheater to be filled with the little people. Looks better on camera, you see? Every province of the Netherlands was allowed to send 50 people. And what do you do when you need to find people? You announce it on Twitter. Apparently I was the first one to apply, so there you go. What can I say. I love a spectacle.
The event was a fascinating experience. We started out at Provinciehuis, where the group got on a bus, headed for the Ministry of Foreign affairs. There we had to get out, and go through scanners, whilst the bus got a very thorough bomb sweep. After that, we were running a bit late, so our bus got a full police escort to Scheveningen. It's quite a sight, these motorcycles in front of the bus, and more of them blocking the roads and traffic lights for us to get through.
After arriving, and bypassing the press pool and the red carpet (wouldn't want to confuse the paparazzi, eh, oh I mean "The Press"). We were quickly ushered to our seats. The whole thing would be on live television, so I spent the time checking out the massive crane and all the other very expensive video gear. Getting bored with that, there was always the game of spot the well known person.
The concert itself was pretty good. I was quite shocked by the King clapping and singing along with the old Dutch songs at the beginning. Later we were surprised with some very good and diverse acts.
After the concert there was an after party, where everyone could network to their heart's content with all the forlorn looking notables, or in our case, enjoy the great food and drinks.
The gamble of getting the tickets paid off (I feared it was going to be an evening filled with horrible traditional dutch whining music) and I had a very enjoyable evening. And a very good reason to suit up.