Coronavirus: Brussels could still allow small events this summer

Coronavirus: Brussels could still allow small events this summer
Event in Parc de Bruxelles/Warandepark © - Eric Danhier - 2017

The City of Brussels is awaiting further information regarding nationwide regulations on public gatherings to decide whether the city can still host small scale events during the summer.

"I am waiting to get precise information from the National Security Council (NSC) regarding events on a smaller scale, that could take place this summer in our neighbourhoods, for example," Delphine Houba, culture and tourism councillor for Brussels 1000, said.

Houba said that the NCS's decision to keep all culture and recreation sites shut and to ban all events until 31 August as part of continued measures against the coronavirus pandemic came as terrible news for the culture and events sector.

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The announcement on Wednesday came as the NSC said the current nationwide lockdown would remain in place until 3 May, and triggered a wave of cancellations from organisers of major summer festivals in Belgium, which in turn prompted an immediate cry for help from the industry.

Announcing the extension, Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès said that the list of events that were allowed to go forward would be defined after 3 May.

"This situation is even harsher for this sector because the period running from May to September is normally one of the most active moments of the year," Houba said.

"Behind it, there's the reality of artists, producers, technicians and all kinds of other people who live from the events," she added.

Despite the cancellation of events, performances and other planned culture and arts initiatives, Houba said that the City of Brussels had decided to maintain the regular subsidies supporting the functioning of cultural institutions under its responsibility, such as museums, theatres and other cultural sites.

Additionally, Houba said that, on a case by case basis, Brussels 1000 would provide support to a number of original and solidarity projects that had emerged in Brussels since the start of the confinement in mid-March.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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