Every year, the European Music Festival for Young People, Neerpelt (EMJ) invites over 4000 participants from 26 countries from all over the world to Neerpelt in order to make music together and fraternise. Because of the global character of this big indoor event, the EMJ has a high risk of spreading the corona virus. Therefore, the organization has been in constant debate with the Belgian authorities since the emergence of the corona virus. Our first concern obviously remains the health and security of all participants, visitors and staff. In the light of current evolutions, we are obligated, with great regret, to not host the EMJ at the planned date.Our participants have been preparing for months and are really looking forward to participating at EMJ. To accommodate the current questions and suggestions of the participants, the organization will for the first time in the 68-year history of the European Music Festival for Young People postpone its yearly event until the weekend of 11 to 14 September 2020.The festival flags will this year be hung out in September. Practical details will be communicated on short notice.
'Your initiative is a wonderful example of cooperation in the field of culture that I warmly applaud and for which I thank you.'
It is incredible to have over 4000 young musicians from across Europe & beyond in one place. It is an experience that all participants will surely remember forever. I think the EMJ is the largest one of its kind. The festival is very well run and it is a great experience for a group to attend.
Today the EMJ has become one of Europe's most prestigious and most welcoming festivals for young people, thanks to its high musical level, its charisma and its passion for co-operation. The festival is truly European; its foundations, its spirit, its objectives they all reflect the European idea of cooperation and unity in diversity.
Obviously there is no limit to EMJ’s efforts to welcome thousands of youngsters to Neerpelt year after year. Lirica has participated in quite a few festivals. Still EMJ remains to us one of the best organized and most intense festivals in the world. Nowhere else is there a match to the musical level of EMJ. The friendship resulting from receiving so many international groups and the possible exchanges afterwards, is truly invaluable. Thanks to EMJ we got to know festivals in Japan and in South Africa; Kindly accept our gratitude for doing so.
Regarding the jury performances, it seemed like there was music being played everywhere.