Yesterday news came down that Tomorrowland‘s host towns (Boom & Rumst) had denied permits for the festival to move forward in August/September. What initially seemed like the nail in the coffin for Tomorrowland, has instead, exposed the confusing interplay between Belgian localities and the national government. Tomorrowland put out the below statement in response to yesterday’s news. In it, Tomorrowland explains the contradictory messages coming from the localities compared with the national government. Tomorrowland vows to explore all options to save the festival for 2021.
At the same time, Flemish politicians are springing into action to find solutions. The Flemish Minister for Home Affairs Bart Somers is looking to meet with Boom and Rumst about the decision. “This sector has suffered heavily from the corona crisis and we have supported them with financial means to get through it, but from 13 August onwards it should be possible again to organise larger festivals. If Pukkelpop can go ahead, I am convinced Tomorrowland can too“. There are still a number of things that can happen over the next few days to assuage concerns of Boom and Rumst.
Tomorrowland may still contest the decision, but will be communicating with attendees about tickets in the coming days. See the statement below.
STATEMENT – JUNE 18, 2021
Dear People of Tomorrow,
Earlier this month, Belgium’s national government announced that large-scale festivals can take place from the second half of August. Yesterday, the local government (Boom & Rumst) has decided that the 16th edition of Tomorrowland cannot take place in 2021.
We are very surprised and puzzled by these contradictory messages from our governments. In the next few days we will explore all possible options and try to obtain some clarity for our visitors and suppliers.
The grounds cited for the decision are that the Ministerial Decree regarding maximum capacity (75,000 persons) has not been published. For the time being, according to the mayors, only events up to 400 people can legally be allowed.
However, we have understood from the federal government that both arguments would be resolved very quickly with the publication of the Ministerial Decree and the possibility for the ID check to be carried out by private security, as the latter is a general point of attention for the control of the Digital Green Certificate in Belgium.
Finally, reference is made to a local explanation from the GEMS public health advisory group regarding the advice it has made to the Federal government for the summer plan. The federal government has clearly said that festivals can take place after August 13, provided that extra measures are strictly respected, which we intend to follow at all times.
As Tomorrowland, we first and foremost want to organise a safe festival and we have stated several times that we will always continue to evaluate and anticipate the epidemiological situation.
No Tomorrowland for the second year in a row would in any case be huge disaster for our company, but also for the more than 1500 suppliers involved, many freelancers and our thousands of employees. We are still 100% prepared to organise everything as professionally as possible if the epidemiological situation allows, and to celebrate a great end of the summer together with our visitors.
After 15 years of intensive cooperation, this feels very grim and we find it very unfortunate after the many constructive preparations and conversations and federal commitments that it has come to this point, where we struggle to comprehend what just happened to us and still have to let it sink in a bit. Creating and organising Tomorrowland is our life, and an undertaking on which hundreds of people work every day with great passion for a whole year, day in day out.
We keep looking positively towards the future and strongly believe that music will unite us again.
Live Today, Love Tomorrow, Unite Forever.