The first Freedom Festival, which was held on the Place d’Armes in Namur on Saturday, was attended by 2,000 to 3,000 people. This was according to Betty Batoul, the President of the Succès association, which organised the event. Among the artists performing were Daddy K, Mademoiselle Luna, Vinz from Fun Radio, Kristoff A, and Lelectrolab. The event lasted until midnight. “There were no incidents, and a good atmosphere. As well as the crowd that had already turned up, there were Namur residents that came because they heard the music”, said Betty Batoul.
The whole festival was organised in three months. “It follows the attacks in France in January. It was said that young people are becoming more and more radicalised, they have no motivation, and they’re bored….. But not all young people are like that. They want to fight all forms of violence, including radicalism”, says Betty Batoul. That’s why we created this festival, which promotes non-violence and centers on young people. The slogan is “No violence, we dance”.
As well as dance DJs, music, and stands for children, several anti-violence and pro-youth associations attended to present what they do.
According to Betty Batoul, the artists volunteered, but the stage, security, stands, and barriers, etc had to be paid for. “Several partners joined us. The Equal Opportunities Minister, Maxime Prévot, the Employment and Training Minister, Elaine Tillieux, and the Equal Opportunities centre supported us and promised subsidies. We did it all in three months, it was quite a challenge!”, she added.
The bet seems to have paid off. A second festival will probably happen next year.
Maria Novak (Source: Belga)