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Pukkelpop launches new festival for indie lovers

Pukkelpop, one of Belgium’s marquee festivals, has planned a new one-day event for fans of indie and alternative music.

Hear Hear! festival will take place in the Kiewit festival arena in Hasselt, Belgium, on Sunday 14 August.

Editors, Pixies, Liam Gallagher, Future Islands, Wolf Alice and Anna Calvi are among the acts booked for the inaugural event.

“Pukkelpop focuses on what is going on among young people, and in recent years that has mainly been hip-hop,” says spokesperson, Frederik Luyten. “As a result, rock and indie have faded into the background. We’ve been thinking about giving those genres a little more attention for a few years now. Now is the perfect time for that, especially because you see young bands reviving the guitar.”

Squid, Porridge Radio, Balthazar, Battles and Bill Nomates are also due to perform on one of the festival’s four stages.

“We’ve been thinking about giving those genres a little more attention for a few years now”

Hear Hear! is scheduled for the week before Pukkelpop, which also takes place in the Kiewit festival arena.

The 66,000-cap. flagship festival is due to take place for the first time in two years due to pandemic-related cancellations.

Arctic Monkeys, Tame Impala, Slipknot and Bring Me The Horizon are slated to perform across the four-day event, running between 18–21 August.

In the past, Pukkelpop has tried several times to start an extra festival in addition to its flagship event.

Previous events run by Pukkelpop include Polsslag, Rimpelrock and the Summer Swing family festival.

Since 2018, Pukkelpop has also been organising techno and house festival Garnizoen.

 


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Belgium’s festival summer hinges on April test event

Belgium’s 2021 festival season hangs in the balance of the results from a test event planned for the spring, says Flemish prime minister Jan Jambon.

Jambon had originally promised to deliver a decision by mid-March on whether this year’s festival summer could take place but now wants to wait for the results of a test event planned for late April, as well as the results from the Netherlands’ Back to Live test events.

“The festival organisers tell me they can wait a while for advice. We want to avoid a negative decision, so we’re postponing the decision. We will know more in a few weeks, that’s why we are not making a decision today,” Jambon told Terzake.

“We will receive the Dutch test results next week. We are planning a test event with more people, with a thousand people in Hasselt in April. That will yield new insights and we will also share them with the Dutch.”

“Something will certainly be possible this summer but let’s not get ahead of ourselves,” he concludes.

“Something will certainly be possible this summer but let’s not get ahead of ourselves”

The April tests, announced by Flemish ministers last week, will involve 1,000 students and young people attending an event at the Grenslandhallen (Park H) in Hasselt.

The experiment will focus on the efficacy and reliability of rapid tests and home testing kits, which culture minister Zuhal Demir says could be “the key to a fun-filled summer”.

Elsewhere, Charles Gardier, director of Belgian festival Francofolies de Spa and deputy of political party Reform Movement, along with the Cultural Centre of Spa and rock group Ykons, are planning Wallonia’s first pilot concert with 400 people for late March.

Though a decision on Belgium’s 2021 festival season is still a while off, the Flemish government recently designated a total of €60 million to help the region’s organisers kickstart preparations for the summer.

However, the announcement of the fund didn’t provide enough assurance for metal festival Graspop, which became the first major Belgian festival to cancel its 2021 edition, citing ‘uncertainty surrounding the summer’.

Other major festivals in Flanders, including Rock Werchter, Tomorrowland, and Pukkelpop, are still scheduled to go ahead at the time of writing.

 


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