At the yearly freely accessible World Festival Sfinks in Boechout, where for years already many volunteers from all sorts of background (this year 1580), including asylum seekers from different countries, try to build up a lovely atmosphere of brotherhood and a grand music and dance festival where everybody can come in for free, this year some 25 from an asylum seekers centre in Lint troubled others.
At the festival real teams come into existence and friendships are made for life.
This weekend, on Saturday night, around 21 pm, about 25 asylum seekers who came to visit the Sfinks Festival in Boechout did not yet seem to understand how in Belgium every human being should be respected, no matter how they are clothed, which skin colour they may have or which religious symbols they ma wear.
Witnesses reported to the security staff that some young girls were harassed by the group of asylum seekers. They were taken apart and the police called. The police of the Minos area had previously been warned by their colleagues that a group of men from the asylum center of Ribbon in the vicinity of the festival had caused problems. To maintain order and safety, the men were removed. Two of them who did not want to leave, were administratively arrested and remained in prison until the end of the festival.
The police have received no official complaint, so therefore not yet court proceedings can run. The organization of Sfinks speaks of an isolated incident and said that most of the 30.000 visitors have noticed nothing of the incident.
The four day free festival Sfinks Mixed in Boechout, Belgium presented its 41th edition this summer. The festival is known for its unique and adventurous musical offer and festive side programme, building bridges between different cultures.
Since 1975 Sfinks has been programming artists from all over the world. Visitors discovered stars like Khaled (Algeria), Youssou N’Dour (Senegal), Mory Kanté (Guinea) and Cesária Évora (Cape Verde).
Music that makes you want to dance, intimate concerts, today’s best DJ’s, you could find it all on Sfinks Mixed between July 28rd and 31th .
And that isn’t all. Children even got their own festival in the Kidz Village! and on the festival grounds visitors could encounter joyful parades and travelling acrobats all through the day. On the colourful world market those who could stay dry this year could find unique stuff and information about beautiful projects from all corners of the globe.
Perhaps not high Summer-temperatures it looked like once more the festival brought a great Summer to 105.500 visitors. The festival attracted a very broad audience: music lovers with an open ear, but also many families with small children, youths who like adventurous DJs, and people who were looking for artists from their country of origin.
The audience was especially impressed with the concert by Manu Dibango, Jesse Royal, Kel Assouf Guido Belcanto, Elida Almeida, Roland, Blick Bassy and Deltas. The Dutch hip hop sensation Brotherly Love led to frenzied scenes on Saturday night, traditionally a night reaching many young people. On Sunday, a typical family day were the thousands of children who were treated to concerts by among others Radio Oorwoud & Reginald and Bosbeesten. There was also the big kids village with workshops, stories and recycled musical instruments.
References and background
- Sfinks Mixed: een festival van vrijwilligers
- Asielzoekers vallen meisjes lastig op Sfinks
- Groep van 25 asielzoekers van terrein gezet op Sfinks
- Groep asielzoekers verwijderd van Sfinksfestival
- Asielzoekers vallen meisjes lastig op Sfinksfestival in Boechout
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