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The 5 best works of art at HORST Festival

Five years ago, the Belgian festival HORST was brought into existence. The festival took place at the dreamy site of the Horst castle near Leuven. The team behind the festival wanted to encourage creativity by combining art, architecture and music in one event.

Add the mystical flair of the Horst castle and its beautiful surroundings to it, and you get the perfect formula for an extraordinary festival. It was the perfect place for many music lovers and creatives in Belgium & far beyond!

Sadly, the HORST tale has been told (for now). We stopped by for the very last edition of the festival. It was filled with beautiful people, music by some of the best DJs to date and of course, plenty of art.

We wanted to get a deeper look into the latter, sometimes overlooked part of the festival. The art gives the festival its unique identity and empowers the mysterious setting with the Medieval castle. Here are five works of art that show what HORST is all about.

Text by: Levi Adriaenssens, Pictures by: Jennifer Kesteleyn & Horst Festival

1. Lakeside Dancers Club - Atelier Bow-Wow
The art at the festival was more than just a collection of abstract contemporary statues. They had an interactive function as well. Every year, the stages are designed by art collectives.

This year, the main stage or 'Lakeside Dancers Club' was designed by the Japanese architectural collective Atelier Bow-Wow. For three days, it provided a beautiful setting for artists like Motor City Drum Ensemble and Hunee.

The cozy mood and the fascinating string lights provided the perfect setting for the good vibe in the crowd. Combine all that with a view over the castle and you've got yourself a party you'll never forget!

Chum - Caroline Coolen

2. Chum - Caroline Coolen

Second, we've got Chum, an art installation designed by Caroline Coolen. Every year the art at Horst was curated by the architectural bureau Gijs Van Varenberg. This year, the architects chose the subject of 'archetypes'. By archetypes they mean going back to the basic fundamentals in life, art and architecture.

Many of the artists used the castle as an archetype. A castle uses basic principles in building foundations and design. One piece of art that took this theme to a higher level was Chum. The idea was to go back to the basic fundamentals of living.

In the picture, you can see a hut build from porcelain. On the panels, they engraved several inscriptions from Medieval times found in Novgorod, Russia. The inscriptions describe life in those times. It's basically graffiti ahead of its time.

3. The Crossing - Leon Vrancken

Next up we've got Leon Vrancken. HORST curated art that interacts with its surroundings. Previous editions of the festival, there was a wall made of books to climb over and an installations with five consecutive walls build next to the lake to walk through.

This year, they had a rather small piece of art to get across the creek surrounding the castle. The three ladders represented the basics of overcoming an obstacle. The bouncy bridge was a playful add-on to the site!


Een bericht gedeeld door HORST (@horstartsandmusicfestival) op

EVE - Club Efemeer

4) EVE - Club Efemeer

Another landmark on the HORST site was one that only came to life by night. The festival itself was not only known for its music but as well for its notable lightning. Every year the terrain got an upgrade by strategically placed lights around the pathways of the lake and castle.

HORST has a history of working together with visual artists and light artists. This year, they worked together with Club Efemeer. The designers put together a mystical light construction on the lake itself.

5) Steiger - Fijn Atelier

Last but definetely not least, we've got a piece of art that actually wasn't part of this years exhibition, but of the one two years ago. The pier made out of wood was designed by Fijn Atelier.

It was supposed to be torn down last year, but the festival and the superintendents of the site decided to leave it, as it was a nice add-on to the terrain. The pier looks over the magnificent lake and castle.

Over the past two years, it brought together thousands of people to enjoy a beautiful night at HORST, have a beer, chat with a stranger or to take a nap to recover from your hangover. That's why we consider this one of the finest pieces of art at one of the most remarkable festivals our little country has to offer.

Thank you HORST for creating memories, bringing people together and creating a space for art & music. Until the next story?

To find out more about HORST you can check their: Website, Facebook or Instagram.

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