1.3m people flock to Gentse Feesten

The public holiday on Friday attracted 210,000 visitors to the Gentse Feesten, bringing the provisional total for the citywide festival to almost 1.3 million visitors, 17 per cent of whom came from abroad.

After eight days, the Gentse Feesten counter stands at 1,295,000 visitors. Most of the foreign visitors were Dutch, followed by French, Germans, Brits and Spaniards.

The annual event in Ghent has been generally calm. On Thursday, there were a few incidents of fighting and violence against police. On Friday, the atmosphere seemed more friendly, according to police spokesperson Matto Langeraert. Ghent police recorded 11 fights, while 65 people were fined for urinating in public and two cars were towed away.

First aid interventions

The Red Cross attended to 158 visitors at first aid posts on Friday, and ambulances were called to the festival area 15 times. In total, 43 people went to the emergency services, two of whom had to be hospitalised.

The Gentse Feesten is an annual 10-day festival that takes over the entire city centre of Ghent, capital of East Flanders. Besides stage events, there are street acts such as mimes and street musicians. Alongside Oktoberfest in Munich and Las Fallas in Valencia, the event is among the biggest folk festivals in Europe. In 2021, it was recognised as intangible heritage by Flanders' minister of Culture.




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