Pukkelpop considers its future

after severe storm ruled a case of force majeure

published: Thu 6th Oct 2011

around the site (2)

Thursday 18th to Saturday 20th August 2011
Kempische Steenweg, Kiewit, Belgium, Belgium
79 euros for Friday or Saturday, other options sold out
daily capacity: 180000
last updated: Fri 19th Aug 2011

The severe storm which hit Belgium's Pukklepop, causing major damage to two stages, killing five people and injuring many more, has been ruled a 'force majeure' ie a chance occurrence, and unavoidable accident.

Pukkelpop organizers have revealed that following this ruling their main concern is to still ensure that the victims of the Pukkelpop storm and ticket holders are still compensated, whilst still guaranteeing the future of the festival.

The festival 40 miles east of Brussels attended by around 60,000 people was hit by the storm on Thursday 18th August, causing major damage to the main open-air stage as well as causing the second tented stage (in a marquee) to collapse.

Pukkelpop decided to cancel the event entirely following the storm, and the Hasselt Public Prosecutor has announced its conclusion that no charges can be laid against the Pukkelpop Organization.

The conclusions have been announced as:
a. the events at Pukkelpop on 18th August were a case of force majeure
b. the Pukkelpop organization made no mistakes.

This decision has important implications for both insurers and victims as the Pukkelpop organization had taken out civil liability insurance to provide coverage for any errors they might commit as organizers of the festival. Now that the decision of the public prosecutor clearly states that the Pukkelpop organizers have made no mistakes and can therefore not be held liable, the civil liability insurance cannot be necessarily used to cover the damages suffered during the Pukkelpop storm.

These ruling mean that Pukkelpoppers can only file damage claims with their own insurance or through the Belgium National Disaster Fund. The latter only compensates for direct material damages in excess of a deductible of 250 euros.

Pukkelpop organizers have revealed that their main concern is to ensure that the victims of the Pukkelpop storm are compensated, and guaranteeing the future of the festival.

Organisers have released a statement saying:
One important step has already been taken: an independent relief fund for the victims and their loved ones has been established. Unfortunately, for many victims the suffering has not diminished. Moreover, they may be confronted with expenses that are not covered by their insurance policy. The donations to the Support Fund are tax deductible. The media campaign is now in full swing. Although the Relief Fund is supported by Pukkelpop, it functions in complete independence of the Pukkelpop organization.

Pukkelpop is now examining:
a. in what way the continued existence of the festival can be ensured.
b. how Pukkelpoppers who bought a ticket for the 2011 edition can be compensated.

Since the Pukkelpop organization had to pay all kinds of costs in advance, the solution to these problems is not obvious.
The Pukkelpop organizers say they hope to provide adequate answers to these problems, and propose to announce them before Tuesday 15th November 2011.

around the site (2)
Pukkelpop in 2006


Thursday 18th to Saturday 20th August 2011
Kempische Steenweg, Kiewit, Belgium, Belgium
79 euros for Friday or Saturday, other options sold out
daily capacity: 180000
last updated: Fri 19th Aug 2011


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