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Tomorrowland, Rock Werchter launch new fest

Belgium festival behemoths Tomorrowland and Rock Werchter have joined forces to launch a new two-day festival in Brussels.

Core festival will debut between 27–28 May this year in Osseghem Park, a picturesque nature area in the Belgian capital.

The organisers say the boutique festival will feature “a very eclectic” line-up (yet to be announced) that will “break the boundaries between quality indie, hip hop, electronica, hyper pop and alternative dance”.

The four-stage event will aim to attract 25,000 visitors per day including domestic and international festivalgoers.

Core‘s lineup will be revealed soon and the presale for tickets (which start at €67 for one-day admission) will start on 23 February.

“Tomorrowland and Rock Werchter have been working together on several smaller events i.e. the Garden of Madness shows by Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike at the Antwerp Sportpaleis, the KNTXT event in Ghent, Swedish House Mafia at the Antwerp Sportpaleis,” Rock Werchter’s Yo Van Saet tells IQ.

“Our ideas are mostly complementary, the ambition of both our teams are high and like-minded. And so there was this new idea, becoming now a brand-new event. We are uniting to create this original and refreshing festival in one of Brussels’ most beautiful green parks. Expertise and knowledge are shared. Our teams are working together closely on this new festival, with great passion. It’s new, it’s fresh. It’s nothing like Rock Werchter, nor Tomorrowland.”

“Two of the most important players in the world of music, are coming to Brussels with this new concept”

Philippe Close, mayor of the city of Brussels, says: “We are very proud that Tomorrowland and Rock Werchter, two of the most important players in the world of music, are coming to Brussels with this new concept. A total experience of music, art and nature. Brussels celebrates and thus enables the event, cultural and hotel industry to breathe again.”

Rock Werchter (cap. 88,000), promoted by Herman Schueremans and Live Nation Belgium, is the country’s largest festival.

The marquee event is due to return between 30 June and 3 July this year for the first time since 2019.

Tomorrowland (70,000), meanwhile, will return to Boom from 22 July to 24 July and from 29 July to 31 July.

In addition to the flagship festival, Tomorrowland is also busy preparing for two weekends of Tomorrowland Winter in the Alpe d’Huez ski area between 19–26 March 2022.

The brand has had to cancel six festival weekends due to the pandemic, including four in Belgium (Tomorrowland 2020 and 2021) and two in France (Tomorrowland Winter 2020 and 2021).

 


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Werchter Parklife celebrates summer success

Werchter Parklife, the summer concert series held in lieu of Rock Werchter, TW Classic and Werchter Boutique at Festivalpark in Werchter, Belgium, concluded yesterday (1 August) with a Covid-secure mini-festival with 2,500 fans.

Werchter Parklife was announced in May, shortly after restrictions on mass gatherings in Belgium led to the cancellation of Rock Werchter (88,000-cap.), Live Nation Belgium’s flagship festival, for the second year running. In June, a temporary, socially distanced open-air arena was constructed in the Festivalpark, with space for 2,500 people in four-person bubbles.

For Parklife, each bubbled-up group was each given their own space in the semi-circular arena, consisting of a parquet square and a stand. Food and beverages were ordered contactlessly and served to the tables of 625 bubbles in attendance.

The festival series ran from 1 July until 1 August, four days a week, welcoming 63,000 people to 28 shows across the month. “Fans and artists reconnected and enjoyed every second of it,” say organisers in a statement, “but also the crew and volunteers, who celebrated the return of live music to the Festivalpark. Summer, live music and Werchter: It was, and always, will be a magical combination.”

Herman Schueremans, Rock Werchter founder and Live Nation Belgium CEO, tells IQ the festival team were, unlike many socially distanced events, able to make Parklife work economically, given the strong ticket sales and their spreading the production costs over 28 days.

“Werchter Parklife was good for now – but next year it’ll be back to normal”

A similar limited-capacity event, Rock Werchter Summer Bar, attracted 15,000 people in summer 2020.

Despite the success of the event, a festival spokesperson says 2021 will likely be the only Werchter Parklife. “Was Werchter Parklife a success? Absolutely. Did we enjoy it? Definitely. Will it be repeated? Probably not,” they say.

“Despite the return of live music to the Festivalpark, there was always a feeling that something was missing, that something was lost in the ongoing restrictions. Werchter is the home of the major festivals Rock Werchter, TW Classic and Werchter Boutique. These are huge gatherings; grand experiences.

“Werchter Parklife was good for now – but next year it’ll be back to normal.”

Rock Werchter 2022 will take place from 30 June to 3 July with Pearl Jam, Metallica, Twenty One Pilots, Faith No More and more. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds will headline TW Classic on 25 July 2022, with Placebo, Sleaford Mods and Whispering Sons also already announced.

 


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