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Music industry rallies for Europe flood victims

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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Cars ‘still marooned’ at flooded Festival No6

Around 150 cars were reportedly still stranded at Festival №6 this morning after becoming stuck following widespread flooding at the Welsh festival.

The BBC reported earlier today that many of the remaining vehicles were abandoned by their owners and are expected to be collected later in the week.

Gynedd councillor Jason Humphreys has called for an inquiry into why the festival’s park-and-ride car park was allowed to be situated on a known floodplain. “Forecasters gave ample warning of torrential rain on Saturday,” he tells the BBC. “But once again flood management agencies failed in their duty as they seem to be completely unaware of the dangers to people and property.”

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) counters that festival promoter Broadwick Live was made aware of flood warnings and took the final decision to use the Porthmadog site for the car park.

“We invested heavily in extra infrastructure at the site, but ultimately the extreme weather was beyond our control”

A spokesman for Broadwick Live tells IQ: “We have used the park-and-ride site at Porthmadog Rugby Club effectively and without incident for the last four years and did so again this year with the guidance and support of the authorities and Safety Advisory Group.

“We were aware that the site had flooded previously, however we were advised by the landowners and knew from experience that the land drained well. At the time the decision was made there were no advance flood warnings and no intervention from other agencies. We contacted Natural Resources Wales and arranged preventative measures, as well as investing heavily in extra infrastructure at the site, but ultimately the extreme weather was beyond our control.

“At no point over the past five years have we been advised not to use Porthmadog Rugby Club for the festival park-and-ride operation. We strive to deliver the best customer experience for all our guests and are genuinely saddened by the outcome of this weekend.”

Noel Gallager’s High Flying Birds, Hot Chip, Bastille and Super Furry Animals headlined Festival №6 2016, which was held from 1 to 4 September in the seaside village of Portmeiron.

 


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