Vestiville festival cancelled, organisers charged with fraud

Vestiville festival cancelled, organisers charged with fraud

Three of the organisers of the Vestiville music festival due to take place in Lommel in Limburg this weekend have been charged with fraud after the festival was suddenly cancelled on Friday.

Ticket-holders themselves found out the festival has been cancelled even as they were arriving at the train station in Mol. One of the main attractions, the rapper A$AP Rocky, posted on Twitter that his appearance would no longer take place because of concerns over infrastructure and safety.

That led to clashes between management and festival-goers who had been waiting for hours outside the locked fence of the festival ground. Some managed to gain entry and helped themselves to beer while dancing on the stage and emptying fire extinguishers.

Later, the prosecutor’s office for Limburg said three of the festival organisers had been charged with fraud involving false invoices, forgery, money laundering and abuse of trust. Full details have not been released, but it is understood the charges are a result of complaints brought by some of the festival’s suppliers, who despite being given multiple assurances remained unpaid up to the moment when the festival should have started.

In the end, several hundred ticket-holders spent the night on the festival’s camping ground before being shuttled to the railway station by bus today. The organisers announced on Twitter that ticket-holders would be reimbursed – a day ticket cost 78.85 euros, while a ticket for the three days of the festival cost 202.60 euros. Whether that promise would be realised remains to be seen.

The three accused have not been identified by the Limburg prosecutor, but the VRT reports they are a brother and sister of Cambodian origin resident in the Netherlands, as well as their business partner living in London. All three were in Belgium at the time they were charged, although the London man will only be interviewed today when an interpreter is available.

Alan Hope

The Brussels Times

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