‘Full understanding’ for Tomorrowland, but Pukkelpop will go ahead, mayor assures
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‘Full understanding’ for Tomorrowland, but Pukkelpop will go ahead, mayor assures

Credit: Pukkelpop Festival/Facebook

Steven Vandeput, the mayor of the city of Hasselt, where the Pukkelpop festival takes place, has “full understanding” for the decision of the mayors of Boom and Rumst not to give permission for Tomorrowland.

Contrary to the Boom and Rumst mayors, Vandeput did grant permission for Pukkelpop, which will welcome up to 75,000 festival-goers, to take place in Hasselt in August.

“Each mayor decides autonomously about their own territory,” he said on VRT’s ‘De zevende dag’. “We made this decision based on our own evaluation, after discussions with experts which made us say: we have the confidence that we can do this in a safe way.”

Last week, the mayors of Rumst and Boom refused to grant a permit for Tomorrowland as they considered the risk to the public health and safety of the municipalities to be too great, and consultations with both Federal and Flemish Ministers did not change their minds.

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A few days later, on Wednesday, the festival organisation announced that the festival would not take place this summer, and postponed it for the second year in a row.

“I do not disapprove [of the mayors’ decision]. Not at all,” said Vandeput. “I respect the choice they have made in their autonomy. I fully understand it.”

“I, too, have been lying awake wondering whether or not we should do this. You just have to face it, as a mayor who gets negative advice and decides to do it anyway,” he said.

This year’s edition of Pukkelpop will take place from 19 to 22 August.

According to its website, all people with a valid ticket who have been fully vaccinated at least two weeks prior to entry to the festival and who can prove this by means of an officially recognised (digital) certificate issued by a competent EU authority will be granted access.

People who have only been partially vaccinated or not at all will have to pass a negative PCR test no more than 72 hours prior to entry to the festival and will have to prove this by the same means.