Couleur Café 2018 opens Friday at the foot of the Atomium in Brussels
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    Couleur Café 2018 opens Friday at the foot of the Atomium in Brussels

    © Belga
    © Belga

    The 29th Couleur Café festival of world and urban music will be held from Friday to Sunday at the Osseghem Park, located at the foot of the Atomium in Brussels. The organisers expected the remaining 300 combination passes for the three-day festival to be sold out on Thursday. Camping passes have been sold out for weeks now, while the passes for Friday and Saturday will soon be finished.

    Last year, 60,000 persons attended the first edition held at the foot of the Atomium, which was more than the number of participants in 2015 and 2016, when the festival was held at the Tours & Taxis site. Since that site is bigger than the current one, the festival was able to top 80,000 participants 5 to 6 years ago.

    Big names this year include, on Friday evening, Selah Sue, Amadou & Mariam, Ibeyi, the rapper Damso and Sicilian reggae man Alborosie.

    Funk legend George Clinton will be present on Saturday for his last tour. Soul and jazz fans will be able to enjoy Leon Bridges and Gregory Porter. Hip-hop will be represented by The Underachievers from New York, the leader of the Latin American rap group Residente and Belgian rappers Niveau 4, while Chronixx will dish out their reggae sounds.

    On Sunday, Caribbean legend Calypso Rose will be followed by Ziggy Marley. On the electro-pop scene, Milky Chance will be on stage in the early evening while Atlanta rapper Young Thug and Chinese Man from Marseille will close the festival.

    In addition to the three big stages, there will be a “Black Stage” devoted to Djs, and Dub Forest for Reggae, starting with dub from Belgium on Friday evening, then England, Hungary, France and Greece on Saturday and Sunday. There will also be the “Mamafoufou” floor reserved for dancing and the “Secret Bar” for a festive ambiance with music from the Balkans.

    World Cup round-of-16 matches will be shown on big screens at the festival.

    With the heat expected at the weekend, festival-goers are authorised to bring along a bottle of water, which they will be able to refill for free on the site. About 90 Red Cross volunteers will be on hand each day and a 150-m2 first-aid centre will be installed with three ambulances and an intervention vehicle remaining on stand-by. Moreover, 9 intervention teams will be deployed among the public while a night team will ensure safety at the camping ground.

    Christopher Vincent
    The Brussels Times