VestiVille, which was due to take place in the Belgium city of Lommel, was cancelled this weekend after concerns with crowd safety and infrastructure were raised.
Festival-goers travelled to Belgium on Friday for the three-day festival, described by the organizers as an “Urban oasis of music, art, and wonder... a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, a charm to sadness”.
Hours before the festival was due to begin, with a line-up featuring Ashanti, Cardi B, Meek Mill, Migos and Fyre Festival affiliate Ja Rule, fellow main-stage act A$AP Rocky tweeted that he had cancelled his performance, due to "security and infrastructure concerns relating to the production of the show".
In the hours following the post, hundreds of attendees were denied entry to the festival site, discovering the entire three-day event had been cancelled by the Mayor of Lommel following a visit with the organizers and production team.
"In the evening when we came back we saw they had worked hard, but there were still problems" Bob Nijs, Mayor of Lommel, told the BBC. "There were no emergency exits, the stages were not safe and they only had about 30 security guards. It was a difficult decision to make, but I didn't want to be the mayor to say, 'Sorry your son or your daughter died at this festival'".
Assuring VestiVille attendees they would not be stranded, the official organizers shared in a statement "The campsite will remain open for the time being and an organized festival exit will be organized in consultation with the municipality".
VestiVille also shared they would consult with official partners to issue refunds for ticket holders.
The scenes at VestiVille this weekend are being compared to 2017's Fyre festival which saw thousands of party go-ers stranded on a private island in the Bahamas, with "refugee" grade-tents and basic rations, after being promised a luxury festival experience.
In May this year, Fyre festival organiser Billy McFarland promised another edition of Fyre was in the works. Some people never learn.
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#breakingnews #vestiville #vestiville2019 @vestivillebelgium @vestiville if at all you had any hope you will be refunded, that hope will vanish soon, just like @vestiville which vanished faster than ice in the sahara! #RavuthTy together with his lovely sis, #AmyraTy and partner #nikChawda have been formally arrested by @Belgium police. According to his lawyer “his intentions were good and only wanted to organize a #festival ” :-)) question is for whom? He is being arrested on counts of #fraud #AbuseOfTrust and falsifying documents. Happy about this acknowledgement yet I doubt any refunds will be done. #fyrefestival 2.0 Belgium #vestivillains
— Gevor Gevv (@GevorGevv) June 29, 2019
— SAMMY (@samanthamutongi) June 28, 2019