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Pukkelpop No More?

HASSELT, Belgium (VIP NEWS) — Pukkelpop organisers are considering the festival's future following the conclusions of a civil liability insurer report.

As previously reported, the storm that killed five and left 140 people seriously injured has been registered as a natural disaster.

Festival chiefs are now looking to the future and seeing how they can compensate fans affected by the severe storm.

They have released the following statement:

“Previously the Hasselt Public Prosecutor concluded that no charges can be laid against the Pukkelpop Organization. This decision has important implications for both insurers and victims.

“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 relied upon to cover the damages suffered during the Pukkelpop storm on 18th August.

“The Pukkelpop organizers note that all investigations have led to the same conclusions: a. the events at Pukkelpop on 18th August were a case of force majeure and b. the Pukkelpop organization made no mistakes. The downside of the conclusion is that the Pukkelpoppers can only file damage claims with their own insurance or the National Disaster Fund. The latter only compensates for direct material damages in excess of a deductible of 250 euros.

“The Pukkelpop organizers’ main concern is to ensure that the victims of the Pukkelpop storm are not left out in the cold. 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 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 and 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 are now facing a double challenge: guaranteeing the future of the festival and finding a way to compensate the Pukkelpoppers at the same time.

“The Pukkelpop organizers hope to provide adequate answers to these problems before the proposed date, 15th November 2011."