Fan Dinner in Maastricht Date for 2024: Friday July 5th.
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 4 nationalities: The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark 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 5th, which will be the first Friday of the concert series as announced by André Rieu. In consultation with the shipping company, the fan dinner 2023 took place on a smaller ship: the Jekervallei, with a maximum of 80 people. (See picture below). Due to the two-year global Covid-19 pandemic, the 2022 fan dinner only saw 50 participants, hence the dinner was not held on one of the river cruise ships, but at the “Riverside Lounge” restaurant, also owned by the shipping company. If you like to see photos of the fan dinner 2022 at the Riverside Lounge, click HERE:
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 all over the world. Many countries still had restrictions and the fans hesitated to book. Was Holland safe? With crowds on the Vrijthof? The concerts were spread over 3 weekends and the fans were spread over 3 weekends. That’s why the shipping company offered us an alternative for the ship: their new restaurant “Riverside Lounge”, with a maximum capacity of 50 fan dinner guests. The new contact person of the shipping company to deal with us is Jerom Roosen. We agreed and we could fill the max of 50 seats, with 12 nationalities. We had a wonderful dinner in a great atmosphere and we thank Stiphout for their offer.
For 2024 we have the following information for you: Access from 5 pm: Reception of the guests at the ship “Jekervallei”. It is a smaller ship for maximum 80 guests.The tables inside are suitable for 8 persons and there are also seats at the deck outside. Please check in with Ruud and Ineke who will give you two 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. The buffet opens at approximately 5.30 pm. Optional: If a captain is available, we will take a cruise on the Maas between 6:00 PM and 7:00 PM, to watch André’s castle. For the 2024 dinner we selected: Cold dishes coleslaw Norwegian shrimp cocktail Caesar salad with chicken strips, Parmesan cheese and croutons Green salade, Pasta salad Rolls, bread and herb butter Hot meals Pork loin with truffle sauce Rosemary potatoes Sole fillet with a herb cream sauce seasonal vegetables Dessert approx. 6.45 pm: The dessert is served and can also be eaten standing up or on the deck. Panna cotta with forest fruit coulis Program will end at approx. 8 PM. It’s a 15 minute walk to the Vrijthof. Enjoy your concert!
History of the fan dinners 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: the Scheldevallei.
2023 (12 concerts on the Vrijthof) was very different. We received only 40 fan registrations and the shipping company allowed us a smaller ship, named the Jekervallei (it has a maximum capacity of 80 people). As a big surprise they treated us on a sailing trip along the river and André’s castle. We had 10 nationalities on board.
If you like to see pictures of the fan dinner 2023, click HERE. For 2024 the Jekervallei is avaible for us again under the condition of a minimum of 40 persons.
Once you have registered, you will be forwarded to a payment form. To go straight to the payment form, click HERE. The golden rule is: as soon as we have received your payment, you’ll receive our confirmation and you are definitely on our list. Please pay before the 20th of June 2024. Registration will be closed on June 25, 2024, because we have to pay the shipping company in advance.
Fan dinner registration Fan dinner registration has been closed for the 2024 dinner.