Organizing the Seventh Sunday Festival sounds like a “wonderful weekend”. 45,000 visitors attended performances by DJ duo Rebellion, Nicky Romero, MAAN and Kraantje Pappie, among others. Apart from one incident, the day ran smoothly. Tear gas was thrown into the audience during one of the performances.
Visitors reported on Sunday evening that people ran out of the tent with their hands over their mouths during a Sub Zero project performance. A tear gas grenade was thrown into the crowd.
According to spokesperson Geertje van Zoggel, this is unfortunately more common at major festivals. “Criminals use tear gas to create panic among the public. While visitors are preoccupied with watery eyes or breathing problems, they move about by emptying bags or pockets.”
“It’s like a quarrel.”
Van Zugl says that the incident did not last long and did not have a significant impact on the atmosphere of the day. “It’s like a fight: people run away from it, there’s a moment of panic, but within a minute the gas leaves the tent and you can party again.”
People with teary eyes were taken care of outside the tent. “Sore eyes often go away after half an hour. We hope they can enjoy the music and the nice weather again.”
“If we see something is wrong somewhere, we can quickly intervene.”
Van Zugl doesn’t know how the perpetrators smuggled in the tear gas: “We searched the entrance and there are many cameras. If we see something going wrong somewhere, we can intervene quickly.”
Willem de Lowe, an expert on events and public order in the police, agrees that the festival went smoothly. “We detained one person for misconduct and not showing ID. There were no major incidents.”
“Unable to type with boxing gloves on. Freelance organizer. Avid analyst. Friendly troublemaker. Bacon junkie.”