PM believes that large indoor events can take place this autumn, concert organisers sceptical

The Federal Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (Flemish liberal) has told the VRT’s music radio station Studio Brussel that if everyone remains motivated to get vaccinated against coronavirus, he believes that large-scale indoor event should be able to be organised in the autumn. However, the CEO of the Sportpaleis events hall in Antwerp Jan Esbroeck remains sceptical. Mr Van Escbroeck told VRT News “I would like to believe it, but I would like to see this kind of promise on paper before I start to applaud”.  

Although the Federal Prime Minister Alexander De Croo can’t or won’t make any firm promises, he believes that in autumn large-scale indoor events should be able to take place again here in Belgium. Mr De Croo was speaking in an interview with the VRT’s music radio station Studio Brussel. As soon as it allowed to do so Studio Brussel hopes to organise a dance event entitled “I want to dance again” at Antwerp’s Sportpaleis.

"You have to be cautious about what you say, but I believe that we should go for it. If everyone is motivated to get vaccinated, then this kind of thing should be possible during the second half of the year. If you then go to an event and are not vaccinated this will be at your own risk”, Mr De Croo said.

Despite his apparent optimism about indoor events this coming autumn, Mr De Croo is more cautious about music festivals lasting several days that are planned for this summer.

"This is trickier as those attending are very young. For example, many 16-year-olds have not yet been fully immunised. A lot of festivals are going ahead. Above I hope that next year a lot of the festivals will have survived”. 

"Forgive my scepticism"

The CEO of Antwerp’s Sportpaleis events hall Jan Van Esbroeck says that seeing is believing. “I am very pleased that the Prime Minister has said this, and I want to believe him. However, there is too little faith in policy makers for this to be taken seriously”.

"The sector has had a belly full. Forgive my scepticism, but just look at what has happened in the past week with Pukkelpop. Decisions are revoked or measures tightened to such a degree that the organisers decide to cancel the event themselves. I would like to see these kind of promises on paper before I start to applaud them”.

"Perhaps this is a good way of motivating young people to get vaccinated. However, we have been trying to explain our business modal to policy maker for the past year and a half. It won’t be because the Prime Minister says that events can take place from 1 September that they will be able to take place on 2 September. The preparations take months”, Mr Van Esbroeck added.


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