Three incidents on Johan Cruijff Boulevard, how do you manage that?

Canadian singer The Weeknd at Johan Cruyff Arena, American band The Chicks at the Ziggo Dome and Australian singer-songwriter Dean Lewis at Afas Live. It was an exceptionally busy Friday evening at the Johan Cruijff Arena. By all means, efforts were made not to overcrowd, despite the approximately 60,000 visitors.

In one of the offices in the Johan Cruijff Arena, the so-called Operational Mobility Center, are, among others, the municipality, the Johan Cruijff Arena, the police and the GVB. This area is monitored by around 200 cameras and decisions are made from here, such as temporarily closing Bijlmer Arena station (so that it is not too busy on the platforms) or directing traffic in other directions.

The venues themselves employ security personnel and the police were also busy with 25 to 30 officers at events last night. It belongs to an event team consisting mainly of agents who work in Zuidost. “The atmosphere is good, people are quietly enjoying a drink, talking to each other and it’s often about the experience of the event and what they are going to experience,” says Adri Varlan, project leader for the police event Will happen.”

Also today, a part of the fans has arrived a long time ago. Verlan understands that fans want to come earlier, but he feels it is not wise for safety reasons if they sleep on the street. So the agents try to persuade the concert goers not to do so. For example, he asked Harry Styles fans to book a hotel room, even though many fans used the same hotel room for the duration of the day or night.


There are also advantages for some fans to get in early, as the influx is gradual. In addition, the Arena opens at 5 PM, while Ziggo Dome and AFAS Live open at 6:30 PM.

But the spread is less in the evening. The Dean Lewis concert at Afas Live ends around 10:30 pm and stops at The Weeknd Arena and The Chicks at the Ziggo Dome around 11:00 pm.

At Bijlmer Arena station, NS staff direct concert-goers via loudspeaker to the correct entrance. Although it is very busy for at least half an hour, there are hardly any queues in front of the station around 11.45 pm. Mick Workendam, chairman of the Operational Mobility Center on behalf of the municipality, is therefore satisfied. “It was a successful evening.”

The Johan Cruijff Arena is packed with concerts during Ajax’s summer break. Bruce Springsteen, Harry Styles and Beyoncé have performed before. There will be a total of fifteen consecutive concerts this summer. “I think this is one of the busiest concerts for the arena since 1996, since we opened,” says Maurits van Hovel, mobility and environmental consultant at the Johan Cruijff Arena. “It has to do with partly recovering from the corona years.”

In preparation, we try to coordinate concert schedules so that it is not too busy. Nevertheless, all three concert venues on Johan Cruijff Boulevard were occupied tonight. Workendam says, “Quite honestly, if an artist like Beyoncé calls and says, I have time on Friday and Saturday of June 18th, they’ll try to squeeze it in.”

“We find that sometimes we are at the limits of what is possible”

Adri Verlan, Project Leader Event Police

When asked whether it was appropriate to have three concerts at the same time on Johan Cruijff Boulevard, Verlaan answered in the affirmative. “Provided you make good deals. But we’ve seen that sometimes we’re at the limit of what’s possible. And that has to do with area development happening across the board. Parking capacity is lost.”

This summer, only major Coldplay concerts will take place at the arena. The band performs at least four evenings. Then there will be a lot of peace on Johan Cruijff Boulevard, because most days there is nothing planned at Ziggo Dome and AFAS Live. Only on July 19 at AFAS Live will there be an accompanying concert by Irish musician Hozier.

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