Tomorrowland risks €2 million fine for sticking with disposable cups

Tomorrowland will not be using reusable cups on the festival site this year, despite not being granted an exemption. By refusing to comply with the law, the festival risks a fine of up to 2 million euros.

Since June last year, drinks at events in Flanders can only be served in reusable materials. In 2023, Tomorrowland successfully applied for an exemption because it still had disposable cups in stock.

Tomorrowland did the same this year. But from 2024 onwards, an exemption is only granted if organisers prove that reusable cups would not provide an environmental benefit in their case. Flemish Environment minister Zuhal Demir refused granting the exemption three times, saying the festival had not provided enough evidence.

"Tomorrowland is a fantastic festival that is also a small multinational. With a name like that, you should be a champion of good environmental policy," Demir said last month.

Two million euro fine

The organisers have now decided that while they will use reusable cups backstage and in VIP areas, it is not feasible to do so across the entire festival site. They also argue that they still have a stock of over three million disposable cups that they plan to use up.

The festival risks a fine of up to two million euros. "We were hoping to get another exemption because we had argued our case well," Tomorrowland spokeswoman Debby Willemsen told De Tijd. "When that didn't happen, it was too late to change our plans. We are now waiting for the invoice."

"It was too late to change our plans. We are now waiting for the invoice"

Other festivals, such as Rock Werchter, have successfully implemented a reusable cup system. But organisers remain critical of the legislation. "The changeover has a huge impact, both logistically and financially. It costs us an extra €1 million," Nele Bigaré of promoter Live Nation told VRT NWS earlier this week.



#FlandersNewsService | © BELGA PHOTO HATIM KAGHAT

Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.


Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels