The alderman responsible, Bert Jongen (Student city), informed the city council in writing last week: “Both for ourselves and for the UM, it was clear from the start that Kaleido and Muziekgieterij must be able to demonstrate their right to exist and they should reinforce each other, without encroaching on the different concepts. Unfortunately, this appears unfeasible at the Timmerfabriek location.”
There is no disagreement between the Muziekgieterij and Kaleido, Richard Loomans, business manager of the pop podium emphasises. “We will continue in good harmony. Their departure is related purely to the exploitation. At a certain moment, we as Muziekgieterij made calculations and knew that we wanted 1,100 visitors for our large hall and 350 in our small hall (they will get the key to the new building on the corner of Boschstraat next month and can then furnish the premises, ed.). Kaleido, which would remain in our old building, also made calculations and arrived at a minimum of 350 while initially that number was 150, a kind of sitting-room idea. We both want to attract the same number of people in two adjacent halls. That is not a good idea. You would then have to take into consideration each other's programmes and target groups.” If Kaleido is at another location, we won't impinge on each other, the business manager reckons.
But could this not have become clear earlier, so that it could have been anticipated? For example, by Kaleido going in a different direction with regard to programming? No, was the city council's answer. For this they refer to the developments since the UM and the city council signed the letter of intent almost four years ago. The city would finally have an international student club, in the Muziekgieterij on the Boschstraat, and the opening date would be somewhere in 2017. But this was postponed to the end of 2019 and recently to the beginning of 2020, partly because of a delay with the new building for the pop podium. Initially, the International Student Network (ISN) would run the establishment, but they pulled out because the project turned out to be too big. Maastricht University then put a project team on it and the club was given a name – Kaleido – investing considerably in promotion. “The final business case and programming for Kaleido in the situation after the renovation still had to be worked out,” Simone van der Steen, senior advisor for the city council answers. The wishes and possibilities were finally placed alongside each other, but “this did not lead to a feasible scenario”.
Pascal Breuls, director of Student Services (and responsible for the Kaleido project team) also confirms the departure, but he doesn't want to say much about it, as agreed with the city council.
Kaleido’s monthly four-day event week, with a disco party, comedy night, jam session and games night, will continue to take place. And no, they will not be turned out just like that. They can stay least until half way through 2019, the city council confirms. Simone van der Steen: “We are putting all our efforts into finding a suitable new location, because the UM and the city council feel that Kaleido is important for the city.”