Police to be deployed at Brussels’ largest park following announcement of fake festival
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Police to be deployed at Brussels’ largest park following announcement of fake festival

Credit: Belga/ Paul-Henri Verlooy

Police officers will be present at the Bois de la Cambre, the city’s largest park, on 1 April and 2 April following an announcement on Facebook of a festival dubbed “La Boum”, which claims will have internationally renowned DJs on the line-up.

Although the Brussels-Ixelles police zone has communicated both online and on social media that the event was “unauthorised and fake”, there is still a risk of people gathering, the mayor of the City of Brussels Philippe Close said on Monday evening.

“The police will be present at Bois de la Cambre and will act with discernment in the event of an actual gathering,” Close said at the town council meeting.

He also asked that people be considerate of the police, “who have a lot of work to do and are subject to complex tasks in the context of the pandemic,” adding that he would contact the public prosecutor’s office to see if steps could be taken against the anonymous authors on the Facebook page.

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Earlier on Monday, rumours were spreading that the Brussels police had made arrests in connection with the supposed organisation of the festival after information to that effect was posted on Facebook, but the police denied making any arrests, and have opened an investigation into these claims.

“We would like to refute this false information. No arrests have been made by the police in the Brussels-Capital/Ixelles area. Moreover, we note that someone used our identity to post totally erroneous information on La Boum’s social media channel,” the spokesperson for the police zone said.

The Facebook post in question spoke of “a major police operation in Brussels” and “four cybercrime experts arrested without violence connected to “La Boum festival”.

The police zone previously put out a warning on its Twitter account about a similar festival which was reportedly being organised in Cinquantenaire Park on 2 April, saying “the event LABÎME announced on social media, which was to take place in the Cinquantenaire Park in Brussels on 2/4 is fake news.”

It added that no permission had been given for a possible music festival and that the police will be monitoring this and restricting attendance.

Lauren Walker
The Brussels Times