Belgium's (f)estival season comes to an end


September brings the end of summer, but in Belgium, it also marks the end of another season altogether: festival season.

While many people might think of Belgium as the land of fries, beer, chocolate and waffles, the country has just as much to offer when it comes to music festivals. In fact, they come in all shapes and sizes, and when measured in square kilometres, Belgium has more festivals per inhabitant than anywhere else in the world.

That’s right, Belgium has festivals other than just Tomorrowland, whose 2022 edition attracted 600,000 visitors from over 200 countries. From Rock Werchter and Pukkelpop in Flanders to Dour and Les Ardentes in Wallonia, the festivals have become an unmissable element of the Belgian summer.

You might wonder about festivals for those who don’t like EDM  (Electronic Dance Music) or rock. If you are one of them, fear not! Home to stellar jazz acts like Aka Moon, Toots Thielemans and Django Reinhardt (not to mention the Belgian who invented the saxophone), Belgium has excellent jazz festivals, like Gent Jazz, Jazz Middelheim, and Djangofollies.

If classical music is more your thing, radio stations Klara and Musiq3 each have their own festival, and there are also many family-friendly music events, often in prestigious settings.

But it’s not only festivals that attract musicians to Belgium. Our country is a must on the tour lists of many major bands, from the Rolling Stones to Ed Sheeran to Coldplay. You just might come across Mick Jagger roaming the streets of Brussels!