A summer of music in Brussels

Planning your summer around music festivals? Then think Brussels. There are 14 summer music festivals taking place in or around this vibrant city. All you have to do is choose.

Brussels is not a city you would necessarily consider to have a big music culture. But look aside from the waffles, chocolate and stunning architecture and dig a little deeper. Don’t, of course, forget the endless types of beer as this is the perfect accompaniment to any festival. In Belgium you will find no less than 14 music festivals taking place over the summer months this year. It’s the perfect location to visit, being centrally located in Europe, with easy links by train, car, or plane. 

Dance the weekend away amongst large international crowds and enjoy music across various genres, covering metal, rock, indie, electronica and dance. Find out more about the three largest festivals taking place this summer: Tommorowland, Rock Werchter and Punkelpop.

Tommorowland: 18th – 20th July and 25th -27th July

Belgium’s largest electronic music festival, Tomorrowland, takes place in the aptly named town, Boom, thirty minutes from Brussels. The festival is celebrating its ten year anniversary and with this comes a magnificent line-up featuring top international DJs. The list of artists is too long to mention but with over a hundred acts confirmed the hardest part will be deciding who to see on stage. Confirmed artists include David Guetta, Paul Oakenfield, Paul van Dyk and Armin van Buuren, to name a few. Incredibly, festival organisers plan to double its size with a new capacity of 360,000 revellers, and it will be held over two weekends instead of one.  

Each year festival-goers travel to Tomorrowland from all over the world and unite. Last year the audience was made up of over 90 nationalities, quite appropriate for an international city like Brussels.

Rock Werchter: 3rd – 6th July

Rock Werchter is a well-established rock and indie festival which has been running since 1975. It has an incredible story to tell of music spanning over four decades, where one small village gives up everything for four days, whilst revellers descend here. Its experience and capacity of 140,000 over the weekend makes for one of the best festivals in Europe and the perfect weekend for any music lover. It has indeed received the ILMC Arthur Award for Best Festival several times. This years’ amazing line-up includes Metallica, Arctic Monkeys, Pearl Jam, Kings of Leon, Paolo Nutini, and the list goes on. This outdoor festival takes place in Leuven, thirty minutes from Brussels.

Pukkelpop: 14th – 16th August

Established in 1985, Pukkelpop is more of a mixed genre festival. It started out as a small local event, but has grown into a large outdoor alternative music festival. The line-up covers everything from rock and pop, to dance, hip-hop, metal and folk music. Headlining acts include Calvin Harris, The Cat Empire, Queens of the Stone Age, Röyksopp, The Kooks, Portishead to name a few. With over two hundred bands scheduled to play over the course of the weekend, no matter what your music taste you will find plenty for see.

To get to Pukkelpop you have to travel a little further afield to Hasselt, but it’s still just one hour from Brussels, and there are great transport links to make life simple for festival-goers.  

If you still want the festival experience but at the same time wish to combine it with comfort and a good night’s sleep, the Park Inn by Radisson Brussels Midi is conveniently located next to Gare du Midi, the city’s largest station. This way you can party all day, rest and recover at the hotel, and wake up fresh for a new day of revelling at the festivals. If you miss out this year, then remember there is also another summer of unforgettable Belgium music festivals in 2015.

Which festival would you most like to go to?