Belgium's biggest festival organisers Rock Werchter and Tomorrowland are bringing together a mix of electronic beats and alternative indie at the new CORE Festival, which kicked off this Friday in Osseghem Park.
Right by the Atomium, Brussels' latest addition to its already rich festival scene is the new two-day festival which is the fruit of a collaboration between Belgium's two biggest festivals.
"If you want to organise a new festival, you don't do it overnight," Debby Wilmsen of Tomorrowland told VRT news.
"We were looking for a location in an urban environment, but also with enough nature. That is how we arrived at the Osseghem Park in Brussels. This is a site with differences in level, large trees and water features."
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The festival consists of four stages, with a carefully crafted lineup which unites big household names but also a representation of the newest talent coming through in the various alternative music scenes.
Friday & Saturday highlights
Friday will see the American hip-hop legend Nas, arguably the greatest living rapper of all time, headline the main stage. He will be joined by Swedish indie synth-pop outfit Little Dragon, rapper Action Bronson and a closing set from German techno producer Paul Kalkbrenner.
Brussels singer and songwriter Lous and Yakuza will also take to the main stage, after recently scoring a record deal from the label of American producer Jay-Z.
On the other stages, Friday highlights include some of the biggest DJ names like Peggy Gou, Mura Masa and DJ Harvey.
On Saturday, British musician and DJ Jamie xx will headline alongside the likes of Caribou, The Blaze and recent last-minute replacements Jungle and Denzel Curry.
Saturday will have a bigger focus on electronic music across the other stages, with Nina Kraviz due to play an early set despite being a big name. Rising star Sofia Kourtesis, who will play a DJ set, is also not to be missed. Other notable performing artists include Daniel Avery, Ross From Friends, Daphni and Chaos in the CBD.
The festival experience is key
CORE festival is aiming for 25,000 visitors but so far tickets are not yet sold out.
"We have started well and expect that tickets will still be sold," said Debby Wilmsen. "We hope that visitors will feel good about the festival so that we can focus even more on experience in the coming years."
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Similar to Tomorrowland, CORE wants to focus on the experience and let participants enjoy the music as well as art and nature combined.
In the middle of the festival site, there will be an 8.5-meter stage with an LED video wall all around it. Participants will have the opportunity to see 'Fantastic Funghi', a documentary about mushrooms, filmed by Louie Schwartzberg. The documentary is also available on Netflix.
The return of summer festivals
CORE is just one out of many festivals in what looks to be a packed summer for the music scene in Belgium. Both Rock Werchter and Tomorrowland were forced to cancel performances in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.
But this year, the festivals will take place during different weekends starting from the end of June throughout July.
CORE Festival is taking place on May 27 and 28, with tickets available here.