KortrijkWe’re Out: 30,000 visitors are enjoying their first fest in at least a year and a half at the Alcatraz Metal Festival starting today. Surfing, head banging, pulling a complete stranger against your chest… it’s all possible. But first: a mandatory stop along the Kortrijk Xpo for the CovidSafe squad.
Before mouth masks can be removed from the festival meadow and the obligatory distance can also be dispensed with, thousands of festival visitors must first pass by the Kortrijk Xpo. Those who can prove they have been fully vaccinated long enough, can provide a recovery certificate or already have a negative test certificate, will receive a CovidSafe squad on one side of the hall. On the other side, a test village has been built where visitors can take an antigen test or a polymerase chain reaction test.
This test village is being coordinated by covidtestcenter.be, which also coordinated the testing at the voltage test event in Zwevegem last week. “In the meantime, we’ve really managed to catch an infection,” says Louis Driglink. Here you can choose a rapid antigen test or a polymerase chain reaction test. Those who come all weekend often choose both. With a rapid antigen test, you can go in today, and with a PCR test, you’ll also be ready for tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.”
These tests are not fun at all. “But we’re going to include it,” says Kevin Werfmans of the Netherlands. “I only had my vaccination for two weeks on Sunday, so I still had to get the checkups.” Kevin wears a Graspop 2020 shirt. “But really, this festival can’t go on. I’m really looking forward to it.”
We also found Koen Neirinck from Chez Koen Restaurant in Kortrijk at the Test Centre. “It’s the first time I’ve used Alcatraz,” Quinn says. “Actually, my son-in-law is the one who challenged me to come to Alcatraz. He’s a huge fan and also wants to take me in the air today. Fun day guaranteed, we’re here with a whole bunch. Testing isn’t fun, no. But I have to travel regularly, so I’m used to it now. A necessary evil, huh.”
It’s also his first time on Alcatraz for Wesley Wuyttack from Sint-Niklaas. “It’s been two years since I last went to a festival, so I’m totally prepared for that. I’m also staying at the camp site and that’s part of it as far as I’m concerned. I have to come back tomorrow for another test. But I’ll take it for a great weekend “.
Advantage of all this extra hassle? Despite the organization’s invitation to come to the festival by shuttle bus, many people still go directly to Lange Munte by car. Since Xpo was a mandatory stop this time around, many visitors will use the shuttle buses.
Herent’s Evelyne Roos is “excited” to attend a festival once again. “To hear live music and be in the crowd again.” They primarily perform at Epica, Spoil Engine, Heilung, Orden Ogan and Jinjer. It’s only my third time on Alcatraz, but I’ve tasted it. “More comfortable than Graspop, because that’s becoming a bit mainstream. That’s where people from my office who don’t listen to metal come in. Or commercial metal, like Rammstein. Metal tourists, so to speak. Here’s a little smaller, and there’s more The real enthusiasts are here. Nothing against Rammstein, because I have tickets to it myself. (laughs)”
“I absolutely love it. The entrance is 20,000 times better than the entrance in Grasspop,” says Mike van Molokom of Wijchen in the Netherlands. “We were inside very quickly.” What groups did he come for? “Dirkschneider, Vio-Lence and Kreator. Personally I think the lineup is really bad this year, because it’s not my type. But who knows, there might be a nice surprise between them, you never know. I really enjoy watching live bands, But this year I’m mainly here for the atmosphere and hanging out with my friends.”
Hendrik Cook, Chloe Haverbeek, Daphne Haverbeek and Jonah Cook are currently enjoying premieres. “Finally! How did we miss that unique atmosphere of Alcatraz. The stop at Kortrijk Xpo was really very short: everything is very well organized. We are enjoying it to the fullest.”
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