Riot police in Belgium have used tear gas and water cannon to break up a crowd who had gathered for a music concert announced on social media.
The announcement of the concert, scheduled for April 1, was posted on Facebook, promising a host of famous DJs.
About 2,000 people turned up for the event in Brussels’ Bois de la Cambre park, in defiance of the country’s Covid-19 measures. Under coronavirus restrictions in Belgium, outdoor gatherings are limited to four people.
It then turned out that the announcement was an April Fools’ Day joke, and there was going to be no concert.
When police arrived, on foot and on horseback, some music lovers shouted “Freedom!” and hurled whatever they could find.
Police said four people were arrested and three police officers were injured in clashes.
“We are all depressed. I’ll be 18 in two weeks, we want to take advantage of our youth,” one student told Reuters. “We came not to annoy the police, but to show that we also have a life and want to enjoy it.”
Prosecutors say they have started an investigation to find out who was behind the Facebook post.
Brussels Mayor Philippe Close said he could understand people wanting to go outside in the spring weather, but such gatherings would not be tolerated.
Belgium, with a population of 11.5 million, has recorded more than 882,000 coronavirus cases and 23,000 deaths.
It is one of a number of European countries to increase restrictions amid another spike in cases.
After the soul-crushing year the world just suffered through, pandemic-exhausted pranksters took their April Fools’ Day jokes seriously in 2021, the New York Post reports.
Language learning app Duolingo has rolled out their first ever three-ply toilet paper roll. Each sheet of bathroom tissue comes decorated with useful phrases translated into other languages like Spanish, Chinese and Malay.
Always wanted to know how to say, “My cat has been struck by lightning,” in Japanese, while in the smallest room? Well now, you can.
Well actually, you can’t. It was one of this year’s crop of April Fool’s jokes.
Although come to think of it, language learning toilet roll sounds like it could be a real money spinner.