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Tomorrowland’s 2021 permit pulled by Belgian officials: “Giant disaster!” organizers say

“Giant disaster!” for the Tomorrowland HQ today. The world’s largest electronic dance music festival has been forced to cancel its 2021 event by Belgian authorities.

Scheduled for two weekends in the fall, August 27-29 and September 3-5, the festival has faced strong opposition in recent weeks over concerns about rising cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant. While just two weeks ago the Belgian national government approved outdoor events up to 75,000 people, VRT News reports that the localities of Boom and Rumst stated that they will not allow it to occur. “We have just been informed that the mayors of Boom and Rumst will announce a ban on Tomorrowland 2021,” event organizers said in a statement. “That hits like a sledgehammer, very hard and unexpected.”

Planning to appeal the local decision to the Belgian national government, Tomorrowland organizers called the decision a “giant disaster” in a statement given to Dutch newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws,

“Giant disaster! As Tomorrowland, we want to organize a safe festival first and foremost and we have stated several times that we will always continue to evaluate and anticipate the epidemiological situation. The mayor of Boom and his counsel have indicated to us that we can go to the Council of State against this decision.”

– Tomorrowland HQ

During a recent press conference over the matter, Belgium government officials said they love the festival, but they must react to the current situation and growing fears that at an event such as Tomorrowland’s—with its sheer size, scale and international appeal—would not be able to properly ensure health and safety protocols.

In order for the festival to happen, according to officials, the festival’s 75,000+ daily attendees would need to be tested for COVID-19 each day of the event. The Belgian government stipulated that private companies cannot do the testing, and its police force lacks sufficient resources and manpower.

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