Home > Embassy News
Belgian rock stars sponsor benefit concert for China's quake victims
2008-06-10 00:00

Two Belgian rock music stars sponsored a benefit concert on Saturday night in the northern Belgian city of Hasselt for the victims in the 8.0-magnitude earthquake in China's Sichuan province.

"Let's do something, instead of stepping aside and watch what happened to the people in the quake-hit region," Stoffel Hias, one of the sponsors, told Xinhua when talking about his purpose of organizing the event.

Hias said that he and his wife Yu Chen decided to act as they were moved to tears by news on TV about the quake-hit region.

Earlier on Saturday, the Chinese government said that the death toll in the earthquake rose to 69,134 as of Saturday noon and 17,681 others were still missing.

All the proceeds from ticket sales, donation and sales of drinks at the concert joined by 7 bands will be sent to the local Red Cross and then passed on to the Red Cross Society of China. Hias and his partner, Marc Wetzels predicted the concert could raise some 25,000 euros.

Former Minister of Defense Leo Delcroix, Representative of Red Cross Belgium, and Chinese Ambassador in Belgium, Mrs.Zhang Qiyue on the podium

"This is not an only-fundraising event," Wetzels said. "We want to show our support for the Chinese. We hope to send a signal that we are touched by what happened in China and we care. We want to draw more attention and let more people here get involved in helping those people in need."

"We should go beyond culture and ideology differences in relief efforts," he added.

Wetzels and Hias set up the band Coin Operated Entertainment Machine in 1998 and became successful after releasing their debut album "Wizzel Wo" in 2000.

Hias told Xinhua they both were touched by people around them who offered help in organizing the event. Free event posters and meals were offered, donation was pledged, Hias said.

"If tents or houses can be built in the quake-hit region with our efforts, we will be very happy," he said.

Celebrities from neighboring the Netherlands were also present at the concert. Lulu Wang, 48, a popular novelist in the Netherlands for her bestseller Bright Moon, told the audience a traditional Chinese story in Dutch to express the virtues of courage and diligence in a disaster.

Minister of State Jaak Gebriels, also Mayor of Bree, donated important amount for the earthquake victims

"The earthquake in China is disastrous," Wang said. "But the relief efforts are excellent. It is an opportunity for the people in this village of the earth to understand each other, help each other and communicate each other heart to heart."

She said she was moved and happy seeing that youths in Belgium have care for people in distant China, adding that this shows how close people of different cultures can get in the age of globalization. "We are all human beings, we need friendship, we need solidarity and yes we have them now."
Wang also signed and sold her book at the concert and all the revenues will be donated to people in the quake-hit region.

Bestseller novel writer Lulu Wang, signing her books

The event was also attended by prominent figures like Leo Delcroix, former Belgian defense minister, and Chinese Ambassador Zhang Qiyue to Belgium.

Zhang briefed the audience about the situation in the region, which was hit by the 8-magnitude earthquake on May 12, stressing that the region was still troubled by aftershocks and geological calamity.

Belgium, one of the European countries, which reacted quickly in providing help to China following the earthquake, pledged an emergency aid of 650,000 euros to China last month.

[ Suggest To A Friend ]
  [ Print ]