Festival Dranouter

A shell discovered next to Dranouter Festival campsite

Festivalgoers hoping to pitch their tents ahead of this weekend’s Dranouter music festival in West Flanders had something of shock on Thursday afternoon. The festival’s campsites was evacuated after a WWI shell was found in an adjacent street.


The shell discovered in the Dikkebusstraat was reported around 5:20 p.m. The area was immediately cordoned off and army bomb disposal experts went to the scene.

The “Westhoek” area of West Flanders was one of the major battlefields of WWI and as such it is not uncommon for shells from the Great War to be unearthed there even now, more than 100 later.

Police Spokesman Glenn Verdu told VRT News that "Shells in the Westhoek are nothing new, but this one still had a warhead, so there was a real danger of an explosion”. No risks were taken, and the bomb disposal service defused the shell on Thursday evening.

The Dranouter festival (Festival of new traditions) gets under way today (Friday 5 August) and continues Saturday 6 August and Sunday 7 August.

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