Last month, Tomorrowland officially cancelled after weeks of uncertainty. However, fellow Belgian festival Pukkelpop maintained that it would be going ahead with their event. The difference was due to regional rules regarding COVID, with Boom and Rumst denying Tomorrowland, but Mayor Steven Vandeput of the city of Hasselt gave Pukkelpop permission to move forward.
Now, sadly, it too will not go on.
“These past weeks and months we’ve worked in close consultation with the government and our medical partners,” Pukkelpop wrote in a lengthy statement. “Throughout we have given all concerns, wishes and guidelines our full attention. However, last Monday it became clear that the current framework has made it impossible for us to organise Pukkelpop. The additional demands in terms of testing would require us to almost triple the testing capacity at and in the run-up to the festival.”
The statement continues, “Initially we planned for a capacity of up to 7,000 tests per day at the Pukkelpop site but the 24/48 hour limit for the validity of, respectively, a rapid antigen test (RAT) or a PCR test means that we would have to triple this capacity. To put things into perspective: this is 21 times the capacity of the Park Spoor Noord testing village in Antwerp at the height of its activities. The 24/48 hour limit effectively means tripling the number of tests but there is no way we could guarantee the government we can organise this under safe circumstances. This is simple math and a healthy dose of common sense.”
Running a festival during COVID was unthinkable, not to mention against strict regulations in most, if not all, nations. With the delta variant barreling through the world now, the process of throwing an event still sees significant hurdles and it’s not always feasible.
Pukkelpop was set to feature Liam Gallagher, Nina Kraviz, Netsky, Marshmello, Future, Boys Noize, and more.
Read the full statement below.
Photo via Pukkelpop