The Dranouter Festival, the meeting place for new traditions


In 1975, a Dutch-Belgian couple created the Dranouter Folk Festival, a free folk music event for an audience of just 300 people. Today, more than 100,000 fans of music - mainly folk, pop and world music -, gather together at the Dranouter Festival to enjoy performances by famous Belgian and foreign artists. The friendly village atmosphere of its origins is still present.

Dranouter is part of the West-Flanders municipality of Heuvelland and is located right on the French border. It was there in 1974 that a certain Alfred den Ouden arrived from the Netherlands with a backpack full of Irish folk music and fell in love with Kristien Dehollander, a local beauty. The following year, the two young people founded the Dranouter Folklore Festival. The number of visitors exploded from the end of the 80s, thanks to the expansion of the programme and the arrival of big names from abroad. To give you an idea, here are just some of the names that have been on the bill over the years: The Albion Morris Men, Group Wannes Van de Velde, De Nieuwe Snaar, Miriam Makeba, Luka Bloom, Suzanne Vega, Marianne Faithfull, Khaled, Los Lobos, Elvis Costello, Nick Cave, Van Morrison, Axelle Red, Flip Kowlier and Tourist LeMC.

In addition to the music, the climate is of course the main concern of the festival organisers. Year after year, they implement increasingly diverse sustainability actions relating to CO₂ emissions, drinking and waste water, green electricity, veggie food, compostable cutlery, sustainable printing, salvaged materials of all kinds, etc.

Do you want to discover this festival? Check out the poster and mark the first weekend of August in your calendar.