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Music industry rallies for Europe flood victims

A number of benefit concerts aim to raise funds to support those affected by flash flooding in Germany, Belgium and elsewhere

By Jon Chapple on 23 Jul 2021

A street in Tilff, Liège, Belgium, under flood water

A street in Tilff, Liège, Belgium, under flood water

image © Régine Fabri (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Benefit concerts in Germany and Belgium are helping to raise money for those affected by the catastrophic flooding which has swept across continental Europe this month.

At press time, at least 217 people have lost their lives in the floods, which began on 12 July, including 177 in Germany, 37 in Belgium and one person each in Italy, Austria and Romania. A further 155 Germans and six Belgians are still missing, while hundreds of thousands of people were left without power by the flash floods, which have stunned the scientific community.

In Germany, which has bore the brunt of the flooding, a benefit show, Wir halten zusammen! (We Stick Together!), air on public broadcaster ARD tonight (23 July), with a host of the country’s biggest domestic stars playing for free to raise funds for flooding victims.

Sarah Connor, Herbert Grönemeyer, Max Giesinger, Peter Maffay, Roland Kaiser, die Prinzen, Max Mutzke, Jeanette Biedermann and Yvonne Catterfeld will perform at the concert, which is being produced by Oberkirch-based Kimmig Entertainment and forms part of a wider benefit day broadcast on ARD.

“It is everyone’s business to help, especially those of us in the cultural sector”

In Belgium, in addition to a national day of mourning held on 21 July, promoters and artists are stepping up to help those affected by the floods, which were described by Belgian minister of home affairs Annelies Verlinden as “one of the greatest natural disasters our country has ever known.”

Niels Destadsbader – known to non-Belgian IQ readers for his work with Covid-19 relief organisation Lights for Live – donated the proceeds of his show at Ghelamco Arena (20,000-cap.) in Ghent on Tuesday 20 July to the Belgian Red Cross, while popular Francophone festival Francofolies de Spa, which is this year called Belgofolies de Spa, has added an extra day in solidarity with flood victims.

The special concert, Belgofolies aux côtés des sinistrés (Belgofolies with the Disaster Victims), will be held on Monday 26 July and feature performances from Belgian artists including Delta, Plastic Bertrand, Glauque, Antoine Armedan, CélénaSophia, Pierres and Eddy Ape, with all money going to the victims.

Charles Gardier, festival director of Francofolies/Belgofolies, tells RTBF radio: “We know that we will be able to make this evening a great moment of solidarity to come to the aid of the victims. We said to ourselves that it was also our role to act. Faced with such a crisis, it is thanks to this beautiful act of solidarity that we will be able to get out of it. It is everyone’s business [to help], and especially those of us in the cultural sector.”


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