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Fan Dinner in Maastricht Date for 2022: Friday July 8th.
The FAN Dinner history In 2005 was the first concert on the Vrijthof and the first fan dinner. A mere 25 persons attended this dinner arrangement on the second floor of the restaurant D’n Ingel (Vrijthof restaurant). The staff provided us with a TV screen in the room, since we could not see the stage due to the many trees in front of the restaurant. We stayed there all night until the concert was over, and there were 3 nationalities: The Netherlands, Belgium, and the USA. In 2006, 2007 and 2008 we organized the fan dinner to take place on the first floor of the Restaurant “Charlemagne” on the Onze Lieve Vrouwe Plein (Our Dear Lady Square), from 5 to 8 PM. The number of participants grew every year. And with 65 fans (from 8 nationalities) in 2008, we reached the maximum for this location. In 2009 (5 concerts) the fan dinner (buffet style) was held for the first time on one of the river Maas (Meuse) cruise ships, the “Scheldevallei”, from the Stiphout Shipping Company. It was a big success! We had 90 participants from 14 nationalities. For the first time we welcomed guests from Hong Kong, Brazil and South Africa. In 2010 (6 concerts) we welcomed 105 fans from 13 nationalities on the ship, and for the first time we welcomed fans from Malta and New Zealand. Ship: “Scheldevallei”. In 2011 (6 concerts) we welcomed 94 guests with 13 different nationalities. Less than the year before, since the concerts (and the attending fans) were divided over two weekends. For the first time we had guests from Argentina attend. Ship: “Scheldevallei”. 2012 (5 concerts) was a difficult year. Due to a sudden change of concert dates from July to June and concerts for only one long weekend, many fans had to cancel. Many new fans signed up, and all in all we ended up with 150 fans from 18 nationalities on the ship! This time Japan was present! Ship: “Scheldevallei”. In 2013 there were 6 concerts on the Vrijthof square. The fan dinner took place on July 5th, where 122 persons from 15 nationalities had signed up. For the first time fans from Ireland and Poland joined us. Ship: “Scheldevallei”. In 2014 there were 8 concerts on the Vrijthof square over 3 weekends!! 160 persons from 18 nationalities had signed up for the fan dinner on July 11. For the first time: Estonian and Spanish fans joined us. This time, due to the large number of fans attending, we changed to a larger ship, named the “Geulvallei”. In 2015 there were 7 concerts on the Vrijthof square which took place over two weekends, including the Thursday in between. 135 adults and 2 children signed up for the fan dinner on Friday July 10, from 17 nationalities. For the first time we welcomed one lady from Uruguay. Ship: “Geulvallei”. In 2016 there were 7 concerts over two weekends, again including the Thursday in between the two weekends. 143 fans from 15 nationalities attended the fan dinner on Friday July the 8th. Carmen Monarcha and Gary Bennett joined us, being followed by a camera crew. Ship: “Scheldevallei”. New for this year: AIRCO added to the ship!! In 2017 there were 10 concerts over three weekends. 135 fans from 16 nationalities attended the fan dinner on Friday July 7th 2017. Gary Bennett came aboard to greet the fans. Ship: Scheldevallei. In 2018 André Rieu and the Johann Strauss Orchestra performed 13 concerts over three weeks. 104 fans from 15 nationalities attended the fan dinner on Friday the 6th of July 2018. Ship: Scheldevallei. In 2019 we had 75 guests, due to a malfunction of the concert ticket sales, so that most of the hard core fans could not buy concert tickets for the first weekend, had to come to Maastricht the second or third weekend, and missed out the fan dinner. We had 13 nationalities on board and for the first time one lady from Lebanon. The fan dinner took place at Friday July 5th 2019. Ship: Scheldevallei. We celebrated that 10 years in a row Shipping Company Stiphout hosted our fan dinners with excellent buffets. 2020 & 2021: All concerts and of course also the fan dinner, had to be canceled, due to the worldwide Corona (Covid) virus.
The three course dinner will be BUFFET STYLE with open seating. Registration and payment in advance is needed. Access to the ship starts at 4.30 PM. A professional photographer is at the entrance. The Buffet is served from 5.30 PM to 8.00 PM. At the end a group photo will be made by Al Girard. The Vrijthof concert starts at 9.00 PM. André will be at the theater steps as from 8.45 PM. There is plenty of time to go to the Vrijthof square to attend the concert in time (a 10 minutes walk).
You will be welcome on the ship at 4.30 PM and please check in with Ruud and Ineke at the reception table, where we can check our participation list, so we may know that the proper people are on board. We’ll give you two more drink coupons per person, i.e. tea, coffee, sodas, beer, or wine. Additional drinks or drinks such as cognac, whisky etc. may be ordered on a cash only and pay as you go basis.
Location: Rederij (Shipping company) Stiphout, Maaspromenade 58, Maastricht, the Netherlands (close to the ancient Servaas-bridge). You'll recognize the ship with the André-decorations!
Traditionally Ruud and Ineke organize ONE fan dinner during the Maastricht concert series, just like in the past. This year’s dinner will be held on Friday July 8, which will be the first Friday of the concert series as announced by André Rieu. Due to the two-year global Covid-19 pandemic, many fans are still cautious about booking a trip to the Netherlands in 2022, which created consequences for the fan dinner registrations. The number of participants is currently around 40 (of 9 nationalities), and are not enough to rent an entire ship. The shipping company offered us a pleasant alternative: the use of the former restaurant “Brasserie Bonhomme”, which is located on the quay viewing the Stiphout river cruisers. Former Maastricht viisitors know the location of the restaurant, which is now owned by the shipping company and has been completely renovated and refurbished. It has been given a new name: “Riverside Lounge”. For this location the maximum occupancy is: 50 fan dinner guests. We have reached the maximum of 50 participants for this year. If you want to be placed on the waiting list, please send a mail to ruud @ (remove the spaces before and after the @) stating your name and the number of persons. A few days before the Fan Dinner we will contact you if space became available.
Please wear name tags, badges or signs from your country, so you can easily be recognized by your country’s fans. More information: The ship will not be sailing, but will actually be a floating restaurant. It has two floors and an open air deck, so there is plenty of room! The ship is wheelchair accessible. We'll decorate the ship in André style and will of course introduce all the nationalities.
In the meantime, Ludo Mesters, with whom we had done business for 10 years with the fans dinner, is retired. In July 2020 we said goodbye and thanked him for all he had done for us.
2022. Finally the (15!!) Vrijthof concerts could go on in July 2022. We did not have many participants for the fan dinner this year, due to the Covid virus which lasted for two years. That’s why the shipping company offered us an alternative for the ship: the restaurant “Riverside Lounge”, with a maximum capacity of 50 fan dinner guests. Our new contact person of the shipping company is: Jerom Roosen.
Below more information about the fan dinner 2022: From 5 - 5.30 pm: Reception of the guests at the Riverside lounge. During good weather you can use, if you desire, the side terrace. (Non fan dinner guests may take a seat on the main terrace.) Ruud and Ineke will give you three drink coupons. These can be used as desired for consumption of your choice; soft drinks, water, coffee/tea, beer or house wine. Other drinks are pay as you go, by the guests themselves. Appetizers of Bruschetta tomato / basil are on the tables. The buffet opens at approximately 5.30 pm. Cold dishes Ardennes ham with melon Poached whole salmon with remoulade sauce Caesar salad (romaine lettuce, chicken, croutons, dressing) Pasta salad Coleslaw Bread and mini rolls with herb butter Warm meals Ham with honey-mustard sauce Spinach risotto with scampis Potato gratin seasonal vegetables Approx. 7 PM: Dessert will be served at the table: Fresh strawberries with white chocolate mousse and Bastogne crumbles. Dinner will end at approx. 8 PM.
To show you some history: here comes the fan dinner information from before 2019, when we had more guests and the record in 2014 was 160 fans on the big Maas (Meuse) cruiser.
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