Unfortunately there will be no EMJ in 2020 due to the coronavirus. Many musicians and volunteers have been looking forward to the weekend of May 1 for months, so we couldn’t let this moment pass unnoticed. Watch our unique live show 'EMJ United @ Home' here or on our Facebook Page, on Friday May 1 at 20h00 prompt, to soak up some EMJ atmosphere and enjoy some music.
The organising committee of the European Music Festival for Young People Neerpelt has held an additional board meeting this week. The organisation had to acknowledge that the current exceptional state of affairs makes it almost impossible to predict how the situation will evolve in Europe in the months to come. The ongoing CORONA-crisis has closed down most schools in Europe. This makes it currently impossible for our participating youth to prepare for the festival. The measures concerning large indoor events with an international audience will likely be the last to be eased. Furthermore, it is uncertain how international travel advice will evolve in the next three months. Every year the European Music Festival for Young People Neerpelt (EMJ) invites over 4000 participants from more than 25 different countries from all over the world to Neerpelt to make music together and fraternise. The global participation in this massive indoor event makes the EMJ a high risk for further spreading the corona virus. Our biggest concern remains the safety and wellbeing of all participants, visitors and staff. Given the most recent evolution and the consequences for the participants’ preparations, the board has decided to postpone the 68th edition of the festival from September to next year, specifically to the weekend of May 1st, 2021. Because at that time we already host the instrumental edition of our festival, we will exceptionally organise a larger edition where both choirs and instrumental ensembles will be welcomed at the same time.
Practical details for the 2021 edition will be communicated later. It is with our deepest regret that we had to take this decision. However, given the circumstances we deem this decision to be the only correct one at this time. For the first time in the 68 year history of the European Music Festival for Young People there will be no festival in Neerpelt.
'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.