Following the last minute cancellation of Vestiville, billed as the premier hip-hop and urban music experience in Europe, its organisers Ravuth and Aymira Ty, and business partner Nik Chawda have been arrested.
The trio are being detained by police on suspicion of defrauding contractors and partners
The festival was set to be headlined by Cardi B, Future, Asap Rocky and Migos, and would have taken place in Lommel, near the Dutch border, from Friday 28 to Sunday 30 June. The event, however, was shut down by local authorities on the first day over safety concerns.
The festival statement said: “The mayor of Lommel decided not to let Vestiville start. After consultation with the security services and Asap Rocky’s security officer, it was decided that the safety of the artist and the public could not be guaranteed.”
Asap Rocky had previously tweeted that he wouldn’t be performing “due to security and infrastructure concerns”. “The promoters told me it would be handled, but, unfortunately for you and me, they didn’t,” he said.
The festival’s cancellation led to chaotic scenes outside the event’s site, where many international visitors had assembled to take in a largely American line-up.
Lommel’s mayor, Bob Nijs, said: “I deeply regret this. Nobody wants to make this decision. But the safety [of those attending] the festival cannot be guaranteed. Together with the security services, we have done everything in recent days to rectify the situation. That did not succeed. […] I understand the disappointment of many people. But I don’t want to have to explain tomorrow to parents why their child didn’t get home safely.”
The festival was cancelled in part due to a lack of emergency exits, non-functioning medical stations and an unfinished stage.
In a statement provided to Gazet van Antwerpen, Ravuth Ty’s solicitor, Joke Feyntons, denies the allegations against his client. “He just wanted to organise a festival,” Feyntons says.