From: Den Haag FM (The Hague FM), July 20th 2019. Translation by Ineke.The Hague couple on their way to the 100th concert visit at André Rieu.Ruud and Ineke Elshout from The Hague again traveled to Maastricht this year to listen to André Rieu's concerts from their hotel room for three weeks. "We are already doing this for the fifteenth year in a row and this year we’ll experience our one hundredth concert on the Vrijthof square", says Ruud on The Hague FM radio interview.The couple from The Hague have not missed one concert so far, because they book a hotel room overlooking the square for about three weeks a year. “We purchased tickets for three concerts and we watch all the other concerts from our hotel room. We love to invite guests to our room to enjoy the concerts together", says Ruud.The fascination for André Rieu started due to their love for the music, but the experiences besides the concerts also proved to be very important for the couple. “For us, forty percent of the joy is about the music and the other sixty percent is about the social contacts with the international fans who we meet every year.” The concert series by André Rieu last until Sunday July 21, 2019.
Interview with André in the Limburg Glossy Magazine Chapeau (June/July 2019). You can find the translated article on the Harmony Parlor website, click HERE. At the end of the article was a little item about Ruud and Ineke “Fans for Life”. The same item was in the 2019 edition of the Maastricht City Guide.
RADIO interview with Ruud (in Dutch).By Den Haag FM Radio.Resume and translation in English, by Ineke, edited by John.
Video by the local TV channel “Den Haag FM”. Translation and subtitles by Ineke, John and Ruud.
Hi Ruud,Hi Justin,Do you eat meat balls 12 days in a row?No, maybe 12 days of micro wave meals from the supermarket. We have to do it that way, because of the sky-high hotel rates during the concert days.Do you have a micro wave then?Yes, the hotel makes it available to us: a little refrigerator and a micro wave, those are not standard for a hotel room. We are special guests for 15 years in a row already.Is it a joke? Really 12 days of micro wave meals?Yes, it's a joke, because we also have a lot of meals out with various fan friends of course.This year you are in the hotel for 3 weeks and you did so last year too?Yes, we have done this for 15 years in a row, from the beginning, but then there were only 3 concerts in one weekend. This year we'll experience the 100th concert on the square here in Maastricht. We've seen them all.So this is your summer holiday each year?It has become our most important holiday of the year. In the Spring or Fall we sometimes add little breaks, like a week or a weekend.Aren't you fed up to see the same concert for the 12th time?No, each concert is different. Either André is, or the audience. The first weekend, with the cameras recording for the cinema streamings, André is nervous. He likes to be in control of everything. After that he is more relaxed. The audience can be different every evening. One night can be more enthusiastic than the other.Does he wave to you?No, André keeps distance to the fans. He needs to concentrate on the performances. The moment he gives attention to one fan, he'll be spending hours giving autographs and he cannot miss that time.Have you ever spoken to him?Never. We have spoken to both his sons. But I am sure he knows us.Tell me, because I cannot imagine that I could ever join 100 concerts of the same artist… What makes it so special for you?It started with the music that touched us. It still does, and in addition we developed more and more contacts with fans. This year 99 nationalities are here and we know a lot of them. We always say: For us it is 40% music and 60% contacts with fans from all over the world.Do you invite guests in your hotel room?Yes, we do. Our room is never empty. When we are in the concert on the square, we give the view to friends. Our windows are not too big, so only two persons can watch.Do you have a balcony?No, that is the room one floor below ours. Friends of us live there so we can also watch from the balcony every now and then.Do you have the same room each year?Yes, for 15 years in a row the same room and we already booked it for next year.What is the best part of the concert?Hard to say. It's a very lively concert with lots of highlights.What about the Village people?You're not allowed to say Village People. The original group split up and the lead singer obtained the rights to wear the name and the special outfits. The group here contains two former members and they call themselves "The Kings of Disco". André always called them "the Vriethof People". The Press wrote about the "Village People" which caused an issue. But they perform the same songs: "YMCA" and "In the Navy". And we do the movements all together.Does André join them?Yes, the orchestra plays and André tries to do the movements, but it is hard holding a few million Euros worth violin in his hands…..Thank you Ruud, you infected me with the André Rieu virus.Well, come and join us next year.Okay, give my regards to Ineke.
Chapeau Magazine and Maastricht City Guide, July 2019.