Decibel Outdoor festival still on, despite police actions

Decibel Outdoor Festival
Decibel Outdoor Festival. (Photo: Decibel Outdoor Festival / Facebook)

The three-day festival Decibel Outdoor in Hilvarenbeek will happen as planned this weekend, despite police actions during the event, a spokesperson for the Decibel Outdoor organization said after consultation with the Hilvarenbeek municipality, police and Public Prosecutor, RTL Nieuws reports.

The police unions announced on Tuesday that no police officers will be deployed to the festival as part of labor actions for a better collective bargaining agreement. The festival organization hired security personnel from a private security company, as usual, to check visitors when they arrive at the festival. The security officers will also take over the supervision the police usually do at the festival, and there will be traffic controllers to guide traffic, according to the municipality. 

The municipality and festival organization emphasize that the police will still respond for disasters and emergencies. According to the police, they deploy 300 officers to the event every year. "These are not people who are continuously working for Decibel", a Decibel spokesperson explained to RTL. "It concerns people who, for example, stand along the access routes and are deployed at the control room."

He emphasized that the festival still has a zero-tolerance policy. "We have certain standards and values we pursue, that will not be different now", he said. If drugs are found on festival visitors, the security officers will seize the drugs and the offender will be asked to leave the festival site, for example.

The Decibel spokesperson is disappointed that the police action is happening now, but also understands it. "Of course it's annoying. We're working on a huge festival, we want to focus on elements that make the experience better. At the same time we respect the police and their right to strike."

The municipality also told RTL that they have a lot of appreciation for the police and the work they do, and their remuneration must be proportional. The municipality said they're surprised that Decibel was chosen for the police action, because the police always find it a fun event to work with.