Thousands party in Brussels Bois de la Cambre as April Fools’ joke gets out of hand
Share article:
Share article:

Thousands party in Brussels Bois de la Cambre as April Fools’ joke gets out of hand

Credit: Video screengrab/Twitter

Riot police were deployed to disperse crowds in Brussels’ Bois de la Cambre on Thursday afternoon after thousands of people showed up to “La Boum,” a fake festival that was announced as an April Fools’ joke.

Photos and videos on social media show large crowds of young people dancing and partying, but police spokesperson Ilse Van de Keere told the Belga news agency that police started clearing the park around 5:00 PM.

Many of the people present, however, refused to leave and threw bottles and other projectiles at the police, leading the police to use water cannons, police horses, pepper spray, tear gas, and a drone.


Since the beginning of the week, it was clear that the professed festival “with eight stages, a hundred DJs and zero coronavirus rules” was an April Fools’ joke.

The City of Brussels was aware of the Facebook event, and communicated in advance that it was “unauthorised and fake,” and that the police would be present in the park.


The anonymous organisers of “La Boum” announced several times via social media that it was an April Fools’ joke, but that did not stop thousands of people from flocking to the park.

Several of those present came to protest against Belgium’s coronavirus police. One of them told De Morgen that he does not believe in any scientific consensus on the coronavirus, called the measures “excessive” and said that “enough is enough.”

Related News:

 

Around 6:30 PM, the mayor of Brussels City, Philippe Close, tweeted that “we cannot tolerate” gatherings like the one in the Bois de la Cambre, after having seen the efforts of the vaccination centres to fight the virus on Thursday afternoon.


“We have therefore evacuated the forest,” he said. “Those who do not follow the orders of the police run the risk of being arrested and prosecuted.”

Additionally, he thanked the police “for the difficult work,” and “the people who have been following the rules for over a year.”

Around 7:30 PM, the police were still at the scene, four people were administratively arrested, and three police officers were injured by projectiles, according to interim figures by police spokesperson Ilse Van de Keere.

Credit: Belga

Credit: Belga

Credit: Belga

Update: This article has been updated to include comments by the Brussels mayor and figures by the police.

Update: Over 20 arrests were made, and dozens of people were injured, according to the police on Friday morning. The latest can be found here.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

Latest news

More women take police selection tests in Belgium
The selection tests to become a police inspector have more and more female participants, according to figures released by Interior Affairs Minister ...
‘Absurd’: all Brussels schools should have the same Covid rules
Several city councillors for education in Brussels are calling to abolish the "absurd" differences in coronavirus measures for Dutch-speaking and ...
Massive renovations for iconic venue in the heart of Brussels
Brussels concert hall Ancienne Belgique has announced plans to renovate the AB Café and the AB Salon and is looking for a contractor fit for the job. ...
Display of child’s room in Brussels raises awareness of foster families
An exhibit that features a fictitious child’s bedroom has been on display since Tuesday at the Place d'Armes in Namur, with the support of the ...
Test results show pupils have fallen behind in Flemish schools
Learning delays have been reported in almost all subject areas in Flanders since the start of the pandemic, a trend that continued in 2021, a ...
Belgium considers relaxing testing rules for UK travellers
At the next Consultative Committee meeting, Belgium will look into relaxing the testing and entry policy for travellers coming from the United ...
Jette libraries start giving plants away with books
Visitors to libraries in the Brussels municipality of Jette will soon be able to pick up a free plant along with a book, thanks to the new Plantotek ...
‘Do what you want, but do it as safely as possible,’ experts warn
As the daily number of new coronavirus infections exceeds 3,000 for the first time since May, infectious disease expert Erika Vlieghe and ...
‘We’re running dry’: Brussels teacher shortage reaches critical levels
The teacher shortage in Brussels is affecting schools across language borders, according to Brussels’ Minister for Multilingualism and Dutch ...
New coronavirus infections above 3,000 for first time since May
The number of people testing positive for coronavirus has skyrocketed to the highest rate since the start of May 2021. Between 9 and 15 October, ...
Belgium in Brief: Getting To The Airport
When I saw the news of plans for a tram line and cycle path to connect Brussels' outskirts to the airport, my first reaction was sheer joy.  Let ...
EU should invest €5 trillion in climate plan, says State Secretary for Economic Recovery
The European Union must invest €5 trillion in its climate plan over the next decade to "retain its credibility as a political project," according ...