Belgian park party invite is April Fool, but no joke for police
A Facebook announcement for a giant party in a Brussels park during Belgium's COVID-19 lockdown was intended as an April Fool's joke, but has sent police and prosecutors scrambling as nearly 20,000 people have said they plan to attend.
A Facebook announcement for a giant party in a Brussels park during Belgium's COVID-19 lockdown was intended as an April Fool's joke, but has sent police and prosecutors scrambling as nearly 20,000 people have said they plan to attend. The announcement, posted in March, promised a host of DJs, singer and producer Calvin Harris and a one-off reunion of French band Daft Punk in the Bois de la Cambre, Brussels' largest park, on Thursday evening.
"La Boum" (the party) would have taken place just after Belgium entered a third lockdown, with groups limited to four people meeting outside. Local police have repeatedly told the public that there will be no party.
"No authorization has been given for a party and the police will be there with a reinforced presence," the police said in a tweet. Brussels prosecutors said on Wednesday that those who did not comply with health measures would be prosecuted and have also started an investigation to see who is behind the Facebook post.
Brussels residents have already flocked to the park during a sunny spell this week. Most have heard of the "joke" party. High school student Julia Ferrari told Reuters she thought a lot of people would come.
"But I think that the authorities will do everything to make sure that it doesn't get too big and that from the beginning ... Maybe they'll close the park," she said. Belgian authorities are also in a quandary after a court ruled on Wednesday that coronavirus restrictions were illegal and had to be removed in 30 days.
The League of Human Rights, which brought the case, said it did not dispute measures were necessary, but that there should be a new law and debate in parliament. The government, which has appealed, has now begun that legislative process. Meanwhile, the organizers of La Boum said they had shifted party to 2022, saying: "The Boum has moved. Once again, we had you."
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