Christophe Ketels / BELGIAN FREELANCE

Culture Crisis Cell "This is a do or die moment”

Ahead of today’s meeting of the National Security Council those involved in the cultural and events industries are hoping for a glimmer of hope after what has been a disastrous year so far. Tom Kestens of the Culture Crisis Cell told VRT News that the National Security Council meeting of 20 August is a “do or die moment” for the cultural and events industries. 

"This is a crucial Security Council. We are calling for an increase in maximum capacity. We need to change to a different way of thinking. It shouldn’t any longer be 100 versus 200 or 200 versus 400 because 100 in the Sportpaleis (photo above) is not the same as in a small club. If a decision was taken in this direction we would be able to take a step forward as an industry”. 

Mr Kestens added that this is necessary because “There will be bankruptcies and concert halls will close if the right choices aren’t taken now”.  However, he is hopeful “Over the past few days there have been a lot of consultative talks and a we have received a lot of hopeful signs. I understand that everyone is looking to find the right balance, but it is important that people understand that our industry can work in a corona-proof way”. 

Speaking on behalf of the events industry Stijn Snaet said that “We hope that maximum numbers will be modified and that they will look at halls in function of their size and move away from arbitrary figures. We understand that there are still steps to take: the schools must reopen, holiday-makers will be returning from abroad and the figures in Brussels need to fall. Every step towards increasing maximum permitted numbers is good news”. 


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