Brussels famous nightclub Fuse allowed to reopen

Brussels famous nightclub Fuse allowed to reopen
Credit: Fuse

Fuse, Brussels' famous techno nightclub that was forced to close several weeks ago, is now allowed to reopen following a new decision by Brussels Environment.

The decision regarding the nuisance caused by the nightclub was taken on Wednesday, the regional authority told Belga News Agency. From now on, the club can open for two days each week until the early hours. However, the agreement obliges Fuse to move to a new location within no more than two years, unless the acoustic problems are entirely resolved within that time.

To what extent this is feasible is not yet clear, as Fuse has already heavily invested in insulation against noise nuisance in the past. "Additional works will probably cost millions of euros," said Alya Dirix, spokesperson for the Brussels Night Council.

The Night Council said that their proposals to protect the nightlife remain in force. "This time it is Fuse, next time another club. We need a legal framework," she said.

'Wake-up call'

The Mayor of the City of Brussels, Philippe Close and Pascal Smet, Brussels Secretary of State for Town Planning, shared the opinion that a long-term policy for Fuse and for Brussels nightlife in the broad sense is needed as "bustling Brussels nightlife is an essential part of our vibrant city life."

"The reopening of Fuse is not a victory for us, but a wake-up call. The (fortunately) short closure of the Fuse shows that the importance of our 'Night scene' for many Brussels residents, for our image and tourism is not sufficiently anchored in our policy today. The public interest must be able to go hand in hand with a pleasant and safe living environment."

They both argued that regulations should be adapted to protect cultural venues. "All levels must actively plan suitable sites for cultural venues so that our nightlife has a place in tomorrow's Brussels. Brussels must continue to vibrate!"

On Thursday afternoon, Smet confirmed that an urgent task force on nightlife, headed by the region's Minister-President Rudi Vervoort, had been created, which will discuss solutions for Fuse and re-evaluate the current legal framework.

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Fuse itself responded on Wednesday evening, taking to social media to argue that the "very restrictive conditions do not correspond to what we had proposed and what we thought had been accepted during discussions with Brussels Environment."

In particular, the club points out that decibels will have to be below 95 (a level already considered insufficient by Fuse) during the first and last hours of opening. It also highlighted the need for a roadmap that works towards "a healthier climate for nightclubs," and called on the authorities to "take swift and determined action to protect our beloved clubbing scene."

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