Giving the third edition of the La Boum festival authorisation from the city would be “a slap in the face to the events sector,” according to the mayor of the City of Brussels Philippe Close.
La Boum 3, planned for the end of May, would follow on from the two previous editions which saw mass gatherings in Brussels’ Bois de la Cambre ending in heavy police intervention.
Close has previously said he was open to discussions with representatives of the events sector to prepare for the weeks and months to come, but told the city council on Monday this would not include La Boum 3.
“It would be a slap in the face to the events sector, which is responsible, to grant authorisation to these people who have no competence to do so,” said the mayor. “It is only with the professional event sector that we should work and not with people who are only into provocation”.
Speaking after La Boum 2, Close admitted that they feared it could end the way it did.
“We knew there would be problems. Strong measures were needed, but completely closing off this important green space in the capital would have amounted to taking hostage all the inhabitants of Brussels who can use this wood,” Close said.
Close’s reaction mirrors comments by Belgium’s Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, who made it clear that he thinks “[organising] an event like this is asking for trouble.”
“You attract people who only want to fight the police. Others who do not have that intention are dragged along,” he told VRT, adding that he is open to listening to young people, and understand what they are going through.
“However, anyone organising something like that, knows they are organising problems,” De Croo said. “And I am not going to have a dialogue with that. An event like this only leads to violence.”
“L’Abîme”, the group behind organising the unauthorised gatherings in Brussels’ Bois de la Cambre, has planned to hold a “La Boum Test” on May 15 at the same location.