Pukkelpop halts construction and ticket sales due to 'unexpected' rule changes

Pukkelpop halts construction and ticket sales due to 'unexpected' rule changes
Credit: Pukkelpop Festival/Facebook

The organisation of the Pukkelpop music festival has halted the construction of the festival site and taken the ticket sales offline, as it asked the authorities for clarification about the Covid Safe Ticket.

The construction of the Pukkelpop site has temporarily been put on hold, confirmed Steven Vandeput, the mayor of Hasselt (where the festival takes place), to VRT.

"The unexpected changes, announced by the authorities last Monday, have major consequences for the further organisation of Pukkelpop," the organisation stated on Twitter.

The festival is now urgently calling on the federal government for clarification, it said, adding that, in anticipation of this, work on the grounds will be suspended for the time being.

"Pukkelpop is confident that this clarity will be provided shortly," the organisation added.

Buying a ticket is currently not possible either, as the organisation has taken the ticket, voucher and accommodation sales for Pukkelpop 2021 offline, the website states.

During the festival, the face mask requirement would apply, as all participants will only be allowed to enter if they can prove that they have been fully vaccinated, have tested negative for Covid-19, or have recently recovered from the virus, using the Covid Safe Ticket.

On Monday, however, the Consultative Committee decided to reduce the validity of a negative PCR test result from 72 hours to 48 hours, which makes it difficult to organise the four-day event.

This means that the public would have to be tested several times, but it is not yet clear how that would work out, in practice.

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According to Vandeput, the festival can still go ahead. "We are always prepared to let the festival go ahead, if that is possible within the legal framework," he told De Morgen.

"But only if that legal framework can be respected. I understand that the organiser has stopped preparations because there are questions about the decisions of the previous Consultative Committee," he added. "I have the same questions."

Pukkelpop is set to take place from 19 to 22 August in Kiewit, near Hasselt, with a permitted audience of 66,000 per day.

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