Festivals equal freedom: here’s what went down during the first post-covid Belgian festival week
There are many things we have been looking forward to during the never-ending pandemic, but one of the most highly anticipated things of them all were festivals. Sweating bodies, magnificent stages, and loud beats through steady sound systems. With approximately 208 festivals every year, Belgium tops the list. That’s why the first week of August was the official start of 2021’s festival season with Voltage festival and WECANDANCE welcoming people from all over Europe.
Article by Yaell Monas, pictures by Denkraam, Ruben Van Vreckem, Oriol and Simon Leloup for Voltage festival and Mirco Buyls for TAGMAG
While The Netherlands is still waiting for festivals, the beginning of August officially stated the start of the Belgian festival season. WECANDANCE topped it off with a very first festival day on August first. Due to the Covid restrictions, the festival decided to turn the, normally, weekend edition into 8 smaller day editions. Meaning there are 4 weekends filled with music on the beach of Zeebrugge, with a limited capacity of 2500 people.
The liberty of techno tunes
The very first real festival weekender, however, was Voltage festival which welcomed techno-fanatics on Saturday the seventh and Sunday the eighth of August. Their line-up contained some of the best names in the techno scene worldwide. A live-set from 999999999 or heavy techno tracks by Anetha on the Possession stage? Len Faki turning the mainstage, which was hosted by KOMPASS x STYXX on Saturday, upside down, and Jan Vercauteren giving everyone what they came for: a party. This edition of Voltage most definitely was a banger to start the festival season with. What we loved most? How inclusive this line-up was, serving both male and female DJs.
With 4000 people every single day, and only 1 person testing positive, you could call this a winner. There was not a soul complaining about the mandatory PCR-test, which needed to be done before entering the festival. Not that getting a test stuck up in your nose is nice, but it’s definitely worth not having to wear face masks or not being stuck on dancing in bubbles. And even though the mud took over, and the rain kept pouring, it did not stop anybody from dancing away 2020.
Our reporter Yaell went from Voltage straight to WECANDANCE in Zeebrugge to enjoy a sunset on the beach. And God, what a way to end the weekend. WECANDANCE set up 3 stages, ready to serve some of the most magically melodic techno tunes and the most grindable 808’s were served at the ‘Eagl invites’ stage. We do hope Eagl and his companions, Faisal, Kestified, and Bavr, and Assia Mk, get to take over the main stage next year. Their sets are still stuck in our mind, going from some Tik Tok bangers for the Gen Z’ers to Justin Timberlake for the Millennials. Not to forget, they brought out Yung Mavu to hype up the crowd that evening.
We are sure about one thing: the people have been waiting long enough and the way these test events were regulated was top tier. Our team can’t wait to see what the other upcoming events will bring. Next weekend, you’ll find us at Trillers Open Air in Ghent. Come say hi!