An April Fools' party which drew thousands of people to Brussels' Bois de la Cambre last week could be getting a sequel, which is seeking official approval from the Belgian government.
The organisers - L'Abîme (which means 'The Abyss' in French) - set a provisional date of 1 May for its new event, called "La Boum 2," with the end date of 15 May. As of Tuesday evening, over 10,000 people already reacted on Facebook, with 3,400 indicating they would be present, and 7,500 being 'interested.'
The new event was organised in response to an open letter to Belgium's youth written by Federal Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden last weekend, in which she said that she understands it feels unfair, but called on young people to "hang in there a little longer."
"Think of something that will make the last few weeks weigh less. Be creative and motivate each other," she said. "Think of a challenge and share it - and let us know how we can help."
On Tuesday, the anonymous L'Abîme collective responded to Verlinden's call with an open letter of its own.
"We have found an occupation for our young people who are experiencing a lack of freedom, parties, love and hugs," the collective wrote. "We suggest that they help think up and organise La Boum 2 in the Bois de la Cambre."
- Give youth more freedom once over-65s are vaccinated, says minister
- Police on horseback run over partygoer in Bois de la Cambre: investigation opened
- Thousands party in Brussels Bois de la Cambre as April Fools' joke gets out of hand
- Authorities fail to make contact with ‘La Boum 2’ organisers ahead of planned party
Additionally, as Verlinden called on young people to let her know how she could help, the collective is giving her "the mission" of granting them official authorisation for the event.
The organisers said that they are prepared to respect some sanitary measures, "taking into account the opinion of experts, some of whom believe that the risk of this kind of event is minimal and yet so important for our youth."
They do not deny that hospitals in Belgium are currently overwhelmed, but stated that this is "the result of the deterioration of our healthcare services, for which your government and previous ones were responsible."
The negative impact of confinement on the entire population, and in particular on the most vulnerable among them, "cannot be ignored," they said.
"For the moment, the only solutions proposed by the government are freedom-killing laws, the use of fear and police repression," the collective added. "At no time did you appeal to collective intelligence or our sense of responsibility."
The Brussels Times