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Awakenings ‘heartbroken’ after calling off final day

The ID&T festival was advised to forego its third and final day on the basis of severe weather that ultimately didn't materialise

By Lisa Henderson on 10 Jul 2023

Major Dutch festivals Awakenings, Bospop and Wildeburg were cut short yesterday (9 July) due to severe weather warnings.

On Saturday night (8 July), the national weather forecasting service (KNMI) issued a code orange for a raft of provinces including Limburg and North Brabant due to expected severe thunderstorms and hail.

Following advice from a number of authorities, Awakenings, a techno festival promoted by Superstruct-backed ID&T called off its third and final day but the weather wasn’t as severe as expected.

“Yesterday marked the most heartbreaking day in the past 26 years of organising Awakenings. For the past year, we poured our heart and soul into creating the most unforgettable edition of Awakenings Summer Festival,” reads a statement from organisers.

“This challenging decision was based on the available weather and safety information at that time. That the weather subsequently changed is a testament to the unpredictability of such conditions. It also indicates how painful the decision was.

“However, we stand fully behind that decision. Particularly after learning about the impact the hail, lightning and storm had around our area. While it may seem in hindsight that our visitors, crew and venue were spared from severe weather consequences, we know it was the right course of action.

“We extend our gratitude to all those who have reached out, offering messages of support and understanding. It devastates us to read and see the negative comments about yesterday’s decision. We know you’re hurt, we know you’re upset. We are too.

“Yesterday marked the most heartbreaking day in the past 26 years of organising Awakening”

“Just how we poured our heart and soul into the organization of Awakenings Summer Festival, we are fully committed to resolving the issue of refunds for our weekend and Sunday visitors. In the upcoming period, we will get in contact with all of you about a refund plan.”

The festival in Hilvarenbeek, Brabant, attracts more than 100,000 visitors across three days. Around 32,000 visitors were expected on Sunday, 6,000 of whom were from abroad. Shelter was arranged for them on-site “in cottages, restaurants and party rooms”. “They already have a mat and sleeping bag, which makes a difference,” said a spokesperson.

Shortly before that, the third and final day of annual rock festival Bospop was called off. The Weert-based festival welcomes around 50,000 people each year.

“Due to this extreme weather, the local government, in consultation with the organisation, has decided to cancel the Bospop festival today for safety reasons,” the festival management writes in a message. Those present were asked to leave the campsite as quickly and quietly as possible.

Electronic music festival Wildeburg, a three-day festival that takes place in Kraggenburg, Flevoland, was also cut short due to the predicted weather conditions.

“Unfortunately, due to bad weather, we had to make the decision in consultation with the emergency services to cancel Sunday. Our main priority is your safety and with the current weather forecast, it cannot be guaranteed,” a statement said.

Visitors with a day ticket for Sunday were not admitted and campers were told to pack up and leave.

All three festivals announced that they will soon provide more information about financial compensation.


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