In Memoriam: Belgian nightclubs unite after one year of cancelled nightlife

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Nightlife promoters from all over the country have come together and are asking their fans to hold a symbolic (but safe) moment of remembrance at the doors of their clubs on Saturday March 13. The goal? Drawing attention to the unhappy one-year-anniversary of the compulsory closure of nightclubs in Belgium. 

A call to action from the participating nightclubs: “We call upon everyone to join our 'In Memoriam' memorial on Saturday 13 March safely and responsibly. Burn a candle on the doorsteps of our clubs, bring flowers, drawings, postcards, and so on”.

“This closure has been a tragedy for the young generations because their creative outlet has been absent for a year now", explains Wim Van der Borght, owner of Antwerp’s Club Vaag, Roxy and Lima. “More so, we must not forget that the survival of the clubs is precarious since the support measures are more than insufficient to survive”.

“With this action, we want to draw attention to the fact that nightlife and clubs are more than just going out for young people. Clubs and parties have a connecting function in society, where young people find each other, discover themselves and can let off steam in a controlled way”, says Jens Grieten of Kompass.

With this initiative, the promoters want to let the world know that time is running out and that we cannot stand by as quiet weekends without any parties have gradually become normalized. "We very much feel that our governments have forgotten about our industry", says Labyrinth Club's Uggur Akkus. “Belgium has been a nightlife and festival pioneer for years", and we're at significant risk of losing that position. “In neighbouring countries, there have been loads of different tests and experiments with safe-access events, rapid tests, mini-groups and so on”, says Van der Borght, who pleads for a plan for a gradual restart of the event industry.

According to the organization, Belgium has around 400 venues that are professionally active in the broader nightlife industry. “All clubs are on the brink of a financial collapse”, says Van der Borght. “We’re asking for urgent additional resources to save our industry, its rich cultural heritage and its massive potential”.

You can find a list of the participating nightclubs below:

Amigo, Stapelplein 31, 9000 Gent

Ampere, Simonsstraat 21, 2018 Antwerpen,

Bloody Louis, Louizalaan 32, 1050 Brussel

C12, Grasmarkt Straat 116, 1000 Brussel

Carré, Koning Leopoldlaan 2, 2830 Willebroek

Charlatan, Vlasmarkt 6, 9000 Gent

Club Vaag, Rijnkaai 4, 2000 Antwerpen

Contrast Club, Overpoortstraat 76, 9000 Gent

Fuse, Blaesstraat 208, 1000 Brussel

Grand Café Capital, Stadspark, Rubenslei 37, 2018 Antwerpen

Ikon, Kotterstraat, 2030 Antwerpen

Kitsch Club, Canadasquare 1, 8300 Knokke-Heist

Kompass Klub, Ottergemsesteenweg Zuid 717a, 9000 Gent

La Cabane, Terhulpensesteenweg 182, 1170 Watermaal-Bosvoorde

Labyrinth Club, Gouverneur Verwilghensingel 70, 3500 Hasselt

Lima, Rijnkaai 2, 2000 Antwerpen

Madame Moustache, Brandhoutkaai 5/7, 1000 Brussel

Mirano, Leuvensesteenweg 38, 1210 Sint-Joost-ten-Node

Radar, Gentse Steenweg 144, 9160 Lokeren

Red & Blue, Lange Schipperskapelstraat 11, 2000 Antwerpen

Roxy, Rijnkaai 1, 2000 Antwerpen

Spirito, de Stassartstraat 18, 1050 Elsene

The Villa, Limbastraat 1, 2030 Antwerpen

Versuz, Gouverneur Verwilghensingel 70, 3500 Hasselt

VK, Manchesterstraat 13, 1080 Sint-Jans-Molenbeek