Ghent Festivities are cancelled, the City of Ghent continues to support organizers

The 177th edition of Ghent Festivities will not take place. By reorienting ca. 1 million euros subsidies, the City supports organizers.

To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the National Security Council bans all mass events in Belgium until 31 August 2020. The 177th edition of Ghent Festivities, planned from 17 to 26 July 2020, will therefore not take place. By reorienting a total of almost 1 million euros in subsidies, the City of Ghent wants to help organizers bridge 2020 and stimulate them to respond creatively to the situation.

After consultation with the sector, the City of Ghent has an approach to support organizers. The lion's share of grants to organizers are being reoriented to allow them to bridge the 2020 edition, and otherwise program artists and reach audiences.

Unique and long tradition

It is the first time since the World War 1 that Ghent Festivities will not take place. However the city of Ghent does not want for the virus to also mortgage future editions. That is why we enable organizers to bridge 2020 and respond creatively to the situation.

The Ghent Festivities are part of our Ghent DNA. Normally every summer the city goes wild for 10 days. It’s a sparkling cultural popular festival with numerous performances of various national and international artists: a unique event in Europe, thanks to the varied and free offer of (music) performances, (street)theatre, exhibitions, animation for children, fairs, parades and so much more! Many people from Ghent and beyond look forward to that moment every year.

The cancellation of course hurts, but we are resilient. In 2021 we plan to party twice as hard.

80% of planned subsidy

The City of Ghent provided over 900,000 euros for the organization of the Ghent Festivities 2020 to support the square organizers and the initiatives by Miramiro, Circusplaneet and Puppetbuskers. Now that the Ghent Festivities have been canceled, the City of Ghent will pay these organizers up to 80% of the planned subsidy. Organizers will receive 50% of the anticipated amount to bridge 2020 if they commit to participate in a fantastic opening event for the 2021 edition. In addition, organizers will receive 30% of the anticipated amount if they develop a creative alternative to reach their audience during the Ghent Festivities period 2020, in accordance with the measures of the National Security Council at that time.

To support the countless other initiatives during the Festivities (think of experimental performances, intimate concerts, lectures, guided walks, etc.), the City of Ghent provided 200,000 euros. The City of Ghent now gives those organizers the opportunity to organize their initiative at a different date and location.