Brussels concert hall Ancienne Belgique is closing its doors until the new year, it announced on Monday.
The recent developments related to the coronavirus pandemic have forced the Ancienne Belgique (also known as AB) to close, the organisation said in a press release.
“Although a reopening of the cultural sector is currently planned for 19 November, the AB has now decided to suspend all public activities until 31 December,” the organisation said.
“In this way, the institution wishes to show clarity and assume its responsibilities in the fight against the virus,” AB added.
“The AB remains convinced that it is possible to receive spectators in a safe and warm environment. But, now more than ever, AB feels that it must contribute to the effort to relieve congestion in hospitals,” the organisation said.
There are currently 1,091 patients in Brussels hopsitals, of which 187 are in the intensive care unit. Brussels accounts for 17.5% of all hospital admissions in Belgium.
“Today, we feel even better equipped to welcome the public and the artists safely. But when all the indicators are turning red, we have to temper our ambitions,” the organisation said.
Nevertheless, AB is “preparing to start the new year with a fresh look and new concerts” in anticipation of what it is describing as a mental health crisis that will be “no less dramatic” than the virus’ impact on physical health, as “culture and music can help to combat these feelings of depression, isolation and lack of meaning.”
Those who have purchased tickets for the concerts that were scheduled will be notified in person, AB said.
The Brussels Times