Angry fireworks traders due to lighting ban: ‘150,000 euros down the drain’

This year there is a ban on setting off fireworks in Eindhoven and Tilburg. In both cities you are not allowed to set off fireworks yourself on New Year’s Eve. But that does create strange situations and angry traders: “I have 150,000 euros in damage. That money has literally gone down the drain,” says fireworks seller Maurice van Hommel.

If you drive from the Willem II stadium in Tilburg to Goirle, you pass under the A58 at the viaduct. It is a main road, with houses on both sides of the viaduct. But with New Year’s Eve it will be a world of difference, because on one side you are allowed to light fireworks, on the other you are not.

At the beginning of this year, the Tilburg city council decided that there is a cross-cutting ban in that city. Maurice van Hommel thinks it is ‘absurd’ that municipalities can determine this themselves. He has been selling fireworks in Bisschop Zwijssenstraat for sixteen years. But not anymore: “If there is a ban, it doesn’t make much sense to open anymore, does it?”

“A very large group buys their fireworks illegally in Belgium.”

But selling is allowed. And so, the store on Korvelseweg, does the same. The owner does not want his name in the article. He has the feeling that he is being blamed for all the nuisance: “On December 28, there are a few thousand reports of fireworks nuisance, while I am only allowed to start selling on the 29th. So that nuisance is not caused by us. But those numbers are used to impose a cross-cutting ban as quickly as possible. That’s not fair.” has purchased as much as ever. “We’ll see,” says the owner resignedly. According to him, the number of fireworks shops in Tilburg has fallen from sixteen to four. Van Hommel has little hope for those who remain: “I don’t think the common man will buy here. A very large group buys their fireworks illegally in Belgium.”

Immediately when the decision on the cross-cutting ban was made in Tilburg, Mayor Weterings said that it would be ‘complicated’. “We can only give a fine if we catch someone red-handed. So not when we hear it popping around the corner and not when we see the flares sticking out of the backpack,” a spokesperson explains.

“I will continue to sell fireworks until the end of the day.”

On New Year’s Eve, checking for fireworks will in any case be ‘a low priority’ for the police, the spokesperson explains. That will be music to the ears of many young Tilburg residents. “I would like to do it, but yes. A ban is a ban, right?” says one. When asked whether he will adhere to the ban, he laughs: “I would say yes. Maybe I’m lying, maybe not?”

Van Hommel turns around and looks at his empty shop again. The light box is still there, but everything is empty: “That hurts.” Just like the damage item: 150,000 euros. “But we’re still alive.” Because in Boxtel you are still allowed to light fireworks. And he also has a shop there: “I am a fireworks fanatic, so I continue there enthusiastically. I will continue to sell fireworks until the end of the day.”


Fireworks ban will be introduced in Tilburg, even if it cannot be enforced