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Sportpaleis Group to open pop-up arena in Belgium

The Proximus Pop-Up Arena, to be based at Middelkerke leisure park throughout the summer, will be equipped to host up to 5,000 attendees

By IQ on 20 Jan 2021

Proximus Pop-Up Arena

Proximus Pop-Up Arena

image © popuparena.be

Belgian live entertainment giant Sportpaleis Group has revealed plans to build and operate a pop-up arena, which will be based at Middelkerke leisure park throughout the summer.

The temporary venue, dubbed the Proximus Pop-Up Arena, will be equipped to host 3,500 attendees with a seated configuration and 5,500 attendees with a mix of standing and seated.

According to SportPaleis Group, the infrastructure of the venue will combine aspects of a festival setting – such as tents and open-air spaces – with the comfort of permanent areas with weather-resistant, grandstand seats.

Belgian singer Stan Van Samang will christen the stage on 11 June and the venue will remain open until 31 August, hosting both domestic and international artists.

So far, the artists announced to play the Proximus Pop-Up Arena include Gers Pardoel, Cleymans & Van Geel, André Hazes, The Schlager Festival Summer Edition, Mama’s Jasje, Soulsister, Natalia and Axelle Red.

A regular feature of the programming will be the Thursday night concert series ‘A Symphonic Evening with’, which will see the 20-piece Antwerp Philharmonic Orchestra accompany a number of artists.

The series will run during the months of July and August and tickets are on sale now.

“In these harsh times, it is up to us to show our faith in the music industry. This innovative project comes at the right time”

“There is an explosion of artists and audiences who want to meet each other within the magic of a concert,” says Jan Van Esbroeck, managing director of Sportpaleis Group. “The sector is clearly waiting for it, as evidenced by the more than 20 confirmed activities that have already been booked.”

“In these harsh times, it is up to us to show our faith in the music industry. This innovative project comes at the right time. The relatively small scale guarantees a carefree event experience for visitors by the summer of 2021,” he says.

Van Esbroeck says he hopes the arena will be attended not only by locals but by the millions of holidaymakers that visit the Belgian coast.

Jim Casteele, chief consumer market officer at Proximus, the Belgian communication and media company which has secured the naming rights of the arena, says: “Via the Proximus Pop-Up Arena we want to give Belgian artists, both established and young talents, the opportunity to show themselves to a large audience and at the same time bring them closer to the fans.”

The Sportpaleis Group comprises Night of the Proms promoter PSE Belgium, ticketing company Tele Ticket Service, and venue operator Antwerps Sportpaleis, which was acquired by Live Nation Belgium in 2019 but is still managed by Van Esbroeck and Jan Vereecke following the deal.

The deal also saw Live Nation Belgium acquire the Sportpaleis Group venues which includes the 23,001-capacity Sportpaleis arena in Antwerp (one of the largest arenas in Europe), the Lotto Arena (8,050-cap.), Forest National (8,000-cap.) in Brussels and the Ethias Arena (18,000-cap.) in Hasselt.


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