Pukkelpop music festival cancelled after all: "Impossible to get the extra corona tests organised"

Pukkelpop organisers have thrown in the towel due to the latest corona safety demands. "We wouldn't be able to cope", they told a press conference.

Pukkelpop was the only major music festival left this summer, after Werchter and the dance festival Tomorrowland had been scrapped. Organisers in Kiewit, Hasselt had been allowed to receive up to 66,000 festival-goers per day. 

However, during the latest consultative committee and amidst growing concerns about the emerging delta variant, the different governments imposed strict(er) corona checks: people had to be fully vaccinated, or else they needed a negative PCR test (valid for 48 hours) or a negative fast test (valid for 24 hours). 

This would have triggered major practical problems to get everything organised (including the checks) during this four-day festival (19-22 August), organisers said, because it meant that many more festival-goers would have to have themselves tested during the event at the festival site. Pukkelpop spokesman Frederik Luyten: "We had prepared for 7,000 tests per day, but new calculations revealed it would have been triple. It is impossible for us to get this organised."

Construction works at the festival site had been suspended yesterday and ticket sales had been stopped pending a final decision. The cancellation will cost the government 1.8 million euros, cash that had been paid to Pukkelpop in advance to get things organised in times of corona.  

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