The mayors of Boom and Rumst (Belgium) have refused the permit for Tomorrowland to organize a postponed edition of the dance festival at the end of August and the beginning of September. That is what the festival organization says, which speaks of "a sledgehammer blow, very hard and unexpected".
According to mayors Jeroen Baert (Boom, N-VA) and Jurgen Callaerts (Rumst, N-VA), the reasoning for refusing the application is, among other things, that the ministerial decision on events up to 75,000 people has not yet been completed and that the police additional work around checking the corona certificates. The epidemiological context is also a cause for concern.
"We have a criminal, but also a moral responsibility as mayor," says Baert. "It would be very difficult for me personally if there were a local outbreak resulting from Tomorrowland with casualties. Our main concern is therefore the epidemiological situation and the risks to the local population."
Callaerts agrees with that explanation. "This is a decision of common sense, not of the hear,t" he says. "Tomorrowland has been at home here for years and we hope we can see them again in 2022. "But now it comes too early, at a time when the epidemiological situation is not yet fully under control and we have no assurance that it will be a the end of August."
The mayors state that Tomorrowland has the legal possibility to submit a new application, but point out that it will be increasingly difficult for the planning of the police to prepare for a festival.
Heavy blow to the event sector
The Antwerp provincial government regrets the decision of the mayors of Boom and Rumst not to grant a permit to Tomorrowland for this year and talks about "a heavy blow to the Belgian events industry".
"The deputation - and of course also Provincial Domain De Schorre - regrets that Tomorrowland cannot continue and counted on a conditional 'yes'", it sounds Thursday evening. "The necessary authorizations could not yet be obtained, due to no guarantee for health and safety. However, the end of August is still a while and August would be the month to maximize the recovery of the sectors affected by the covid crisis. to make."
Deputy Jan De Haes (N-VA), responsible for De Schorre, also points to the economic damage of the decision of his party members. “Festivals like Tomorrowland don't just give the region an economic boost", he says. "Through the many suppliers and the trajectory of visitors from all corners, although this time only out of honor, the whole of Flanders is affected by this."
Dozens of suppliers get a new sledgehammer blow
It is raining e-mails from suppliers who, after a difficult period without perspective, receive a new hammer blow. Is your company affected by this decision? In a similar situation with another event? Share your experiences in a comment below this article.