Coronavirus: Belgian music festivals ready to assist in mass vaccination campaign

Coronavirus: Belgian music festivals ready to assist in mass vaccination campaign
© Belga

Music festivals in Belgium are ready to assist in carrying out the country's massive coronavirus vaccination campaign, according to a letter sent to the federal health minister.

After a year of hibernation, representatives of the mass music events in Brussels and Wallonia say they are ready to return to action and support the government in their efforts against the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a letter to Federal Health Minister Franck Vandenbroucke, the Federation of Music Festivals of Wallonia-Brussels (FFMWB), said that organising, assembling and dismantling ad-hoc structures in collaboration with local authorities were among "the key skills that we mobilise year after year for mass events like our festivals."

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The federation, which groups together international crowd-pleasers like Dour, Brussels' own Couleur Café, Les Francopholies and Esperanzah!, which every year draw thousands from within and beyond Belgium, also said that their extensive experiencing in safely managing massive crowd flows made them an ideal partner to rapidly and effectively get things in motion.

"We also have a large network of technicians, contractors and providers who have an array of skills and of material necessary to carry out this mission in the short term," FFMWB President Damien Dufrasne said.

Dufrasne said that getting to pitch in in the nationwide event would be like a "fair return" to the industry, who took a heavy blow amid a flood of cancellations, announcing losses of up to €1 billion.

"Our sector has been at a standstill for several months and our collaborators are only asking to be able to contribute their creativity in the fight against the coronavirus," the letter said.

Confirming previous reports, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo last week said that the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines was set to arrive in Belgium by the end of 2020, but said that priority groups would be first in line to get the shot, warning that a mass general population vaccination campaign would only be carried out later in 2021.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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