Silje Wergeland (vocals), Frank Boeijen (keyboards) and Marjolein Kooijman (bass) of Dutch/Norwegian rockers THE GATHERING played a short acoustic set yesterday (Saturday, November 20) at the Groene Engel in Oss, The Netherlands as a way of demonstrating against Dutch government's plans to slash arts funding. Video footage of the performance can be viewed below (courtesy of Jorg Kennis).According to the BBC News, the Dutch government has pledged to cut 200 million euros ($274 million) from its arts budget over the next five years. It has also approved plans to raise sales tax on theatre, cinema and concert tickets from 6% to 19%. In Amsterdam, around 20,000 people gathered on Saturday afternoon on the Leidseplein to listen to music and give protest speeches against the proposed cuts. The slogan for the protests was "The Netherlands screams for culture", where protesters were encouraged to scream to show their anger at the cuts. Read more from BBC News. THE GATHERING's latest album, "The West Pole", was released in North America on June 2, 2009 via Season of Mist. The CD was issued in most of Europe on May 4, 2009 via the group's own label, Psychonaut Records. "The West Pole" marks the recording debut of new THE GATHERING singer Silje Wergeland, who was previously in the Norwegian band OCTAVIA SPERATI. It also includes two very talented guest vocalists, Anne van den Hoogen and Marcela Bovio (STREAM OF PASSION), along with other guest musicians. Singer Anneke van Giersbergen announced her departure from THE GATHERING in 2007. She has since launched a project called AGUA DE ANNIQUE, which has released three albums so far: "Air" (2007), "Pure Air" (2009) and "In Your Room" (2009).
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