July 7, 2009

Popular summer festivals in Belgium

Ghent Festival, Ghent

18 July 2009 - 27 July 2009

A few years ago I visited Brugges, Belgium, and I was absolutely fascinated with the adorable fortress town of Brugges. And if you're around Ghent mid-July, check out the Ghent Festival, the largest open air cultural and popular festival in Europe.

The Ghent Festival
(Gentse Feesten) takes place in Ghent every July and it promises visitors a whole host of artistic and cultural events, along with a fair fest of food and beer.

In recent years, the festival has attracted more than 1.5 million visitors who flood the historic city and made the place exciting, filling it up with vibrant atmosphere that sets it apart from many other open air festivals.

This 150 year-old festival combines jazz, street, and dance festivals and throughout the week of festivities the city streets are filled with various kinds of music and art performances.

There are two great features that make the Ghent Festival particularly special. Firstly, many of the concerts and performances are completely free. Secondly, since its first days, the festival was known to be the “venture” of people to come together and share a week of booze. While the festival did become more sophisticated, the rumors hold that there is still plenty of drinking in and around the city. So, take precautions when visiting.

For ticket information, please visit here.

Pukkelpop Music Festival, Kiewit

August 20 – 22, 2009

Such artists as Faith No More, 50 Cent, Arctic Monkeys, dEUS, Deftones, Kraftwerk, The Bloody Beetroots, Vitalic, Wilco, Badly Drawn Boy, The Whitest Boy Alive and Crystal Antlers are the artists who will be entertaining 100,000 and some young rockers during the three-day Pukkelpop festival this year.

The festival features several staging areas and it costs $145 that covers camping, concerts and public transportation (bus and/or train) to and from the concert anywhere in Belgium.

Pukkelpop takes place in Kiewit, Belgium, located near the city of Hasselt. It is one of the largest music festivals in the country that was founded by the Humanistic Yough of Leopoldsburg in 1985. Originally it was a one-day event, but over the years, with the increase in demand and attendance, the festival grew to a three-day music venue that now features up to 200 music acts.

For tickets, click here.

Rock Werchter, Village of Werchter

July 2-5, 2009

Rock Werchter
is a Belgian annual four-day music festival held in the village of Werchter since 1974. Since 2003, when it received the first (and three more in 2005, 2006 and 2007) the Arthur Award for “best festival in the world” at International Live Music Conference, Rock Werchter has been sold to Live Nation, owned by U.S.A.

The festival started in 1974 as a one-day event with performances from Banzai and Kandahar, but over the years it has evolved to become Belgium's largest music festival. Originally it was a double-festival, called "Torhout-Werchter", with two festival areas at different sites in Belgium: one in Werchter and one in Torhout. In 1999, the festival dropped the Torhout site and since then has taken place only in Werchter. Now it’s a four-day festival and it attracts such old school rock gems like The Black Eyed Peas, Metallica, Scial Distortion, Limp Bizkit, White Lies, The Prodigy and Metro Station.

Since the festival takes place in the village, literary, it cannot accommodate all the visitors, and many stay in the nearby larger cities and take buses/trains to and from the festival that are free. Everyone rides free with a concert ticket.

For tickets, clickhere.

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