Belgian Mayors Unwilling to Reverse Permit Rejection for Tomorrowland 2021

Tomorrowland may very well have just been dealt its death blow as far as its prospects for a 2021 edition are concerned.

Late last week, news had dropped that the Mayors of Boom and Rumst were not willing to move forward with granting Tomorrowland a critical permit to take place in 2021, citing multiple factors they deem risks to public safety. 

This rejection at the local level came as somewhat of a surprise given the national government had conditionally green lit the event under a specific series of stipulations. 

Mayors Jeroen Baert and Jurgen Callaerts then went on to reject the permit request, saying that the federal government's previously promised event guidelines, which would permit 75,000 person events, have not yet been enacted. They also cite a lack of police capacity to test concert-goers on site as an insurmountable bottleneck.

The main stage of Tomorrowland.

The main stage of Tomorrowland.

According to Niewsblad, the Mayors engaged Flemish Minister of the Interior & Society Bart Somers, Flemish Minister of Culture Jan Jambon, and Federal Minister of the Interior Annelies Verlinden in discussion on the issues, but it still appears the two camps don't see eye to eye. 

The federal officials reaffirmed that the aforementioned guidance on holding large scale events is imminent. They also offered the resources of the federal police to assist with security and testing of attendees. 

While one federal official described the meeting as "constructive," ultimately the local leaders are unwilling to change their position at this time. 

“Of course we were happy to discuss this in an open dialogue and it was a very constructive conversation with the three Excellencies," the Mayors said in a press release. "We understand of course all the higher or economic interests at stake and especially the eagerness with which everyone wants a festival summer back, but the full responsibility to ensure public peace, safety and health rests with us as mayors. In view of the current circumstances known to us, we cannot reconsider our decision and our position regarding the license applied for.”

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