Over 10,000 people attended an illegal rave at a disused military airbase in Belgium, over the weekend.
Organisers broke into the base in the Netherlands-bordering region of Sint-Truiden on Friday night where thousands of punters from Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany later gathered, The Brussels Times reported.
Multiple soundsystems were set up before punters arrived at around 11:PM on Friday night, many of whom travelled by car. Police later set up a perimeter around the site to block road traffic.
According to The Brussels Times, an estimated 10,000 people arrived on the site over the weekend up from an earlier prediction of 6,000, of which only 100 remained on the site in the early hours of Monday morning.
The event raged on throughout the entire weekend despite police concern, who claimed that “excessive drinking and drug taking” had complicated the site’s evacuation. Loud music was reportedly heard by locals throughout the weekend.
Police arrived on the scene en masse by Saturday, but no action was taken. “Given the size and the number of people present, it is impossible for the security services to evacuate the zone in a safe manner,” Ingrid Kempeneers (CD&V), Mayor of Sint-Truiden, told VRT.
“Our teams remain on site and make the necessary determinations. We are not going to invade with all our might, we do not want to cause panic.”
Crisis management was declared on Sunday after almost 48 hours, according to the head of the provincial security cell Governor Jos Lantmeeters (N-VA). “Currently, about 50 vehicles are still on the premises,” he said on Monday.
“In the perimeter outside the military compound, there are still about 40 cars. The police conducted checks on the departing vehicles for alcohol and drugs. Some spent the night in their cars as it was unsafe to let them to drive.”
The unlicensed event was mostly cleared out by Sunday night. No one was arrested, but an investigation has been launched to find the event’s organisers.
Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter
Written by: Tim Hopkins