Mayor van der Laan of Amsterdam has signed a bill into law that requires all festival organizers to provide free tap water to attendees. The bill came after visitors to the Amsterdam Open Air Festival were denied access to fill their water bottles at open taps by security. The requirement will be enforced by the city council who will only grant new licenses for festivals if they include the free tap water clause in their proposal. A single fountain will be required for every 150 people attending the event.
This is a bold and progressive move by the Amsterdam mayor, but don’t expect this ruling to come stateside anytime soon. Many American festivals already do provide this service, but it is the action of the promoter, not by regulation. As droughts across the West Coast grow more dire and 80% of the East Coast’s water supply going toward ice bucket challenges the continuation of free water at certain festivals seems less likely. One can dream though, and while we are dancing in la-la land, lets meet over a $6 bottled water. 2 straws.