Eurorock Festival Organiser Hospitalised After 80

Eurorock Festival Organiser Hospitalised After 80,000 Euro Theft

Eurorock festival in Neerpelt, Belgium has been mired in controversy after falling foul to criminal activity last weekend, when it became apparent that a large sum of money had disappeared, leaving several artists with little choice but to cancel their performance when it turned out they could not be paid.

News outlet Het Nieuwsblad reported that some 80,000 Euros was stolen from the festival, an event focusing on gothic, rock, new-wave and industrial music. When organisers informed performers they could not be paid, some decided to withdraw their act. Spokesman Bernard Van Isacker told reporters that “we were able to convince the vast majority to play anyway”.

Headliner Killing Joke did take to the stage to perform, as did Peter Hook of Joy Division although Belgian bands Front 242, Neon Judgement and Praga Kahn decided to bow out – ticket prices were lowered as a result.

Rudi Doncker, the driving force and main organiser of the festival, became seriously unwell when he found out about the theft. The man suffered heart problems and spent the night in hospital, and has since received heart surgery.

“I was informed early Saturday morning – while Lovelorn Dolls were playing – that money had been stolen” continues Van Isacker “I got a real déjà-vu because this happened also 14 years earlier so I knew instantly how this would be spun by some media. That money had not been there overnight like all media seem to suggest, it had just arrived, was the organiser’s private money and not of the sales, and had immediately been put in a sealed metal hub.”

“There were maximum 20 minutes between putting the money there and it being stolen. When speaking to Rudi, I noticed he became paler and paler as time progressed after the discovery of the 45.000 Euro (I was first told 75.000 euro, then 45.000 euro) being stolen until I told him to go to the first aid post to be taken care of. He was immediately rushed to hospital as the signs he showed were very alarming.”

This was the festival’s first comeback after a 12-year absence, starting on Friday and attracting several thousand music fans.

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