Les Ardentes pulled in 64,000 festival goers for their 10th year, the Liège festival’s organisers have said. That’s Iess than last year’s record of 76,000. This year, the festival took place at Parc Astrid de Coronmeuse, probably for the last time. The more international acts for 2015 were not fully booked, but artists like Nicki Minaj, Iggy Pop and Kendrick Lamar were very popular. The weather was also quite warm. “This year was extremely contrasting and enriching, meaning the figures are difficult to work out”, explains Gaëtan Servais, the festival’s co-organiser. “We had more festival goers from outside Wallonia compared to previous years. However, we had less of our usual audience from Liège, which could explain why there were less people overall”.
The most well attended day was Saturday, with 19,000 people at the site. The headline acts Nicki Minaj and Iggy Pop did great shows. “The fantastic Kendrick Lamar was one of the highlights of the festival, as was Nicki Minaj, who obviously enjoyed herself”, says Fabrice Lamproye, co-organiser and programmer for les Ardentes. “We also have to mention the Belgian groups. If one concert had to sum up this year, I would say it was De La Soul, who brought together many generations and many types of music.”
Security-wise, the organisers say everything went well. “There were no incidents to speak of”, says Fabrice Lamproye. “We only heard of the usual incidents, like thefts from the campsite. The press spoke of an attempted rape, but that hasn’t been confirmed by police”.
The Red Cross dealt with 400 people before Sunday afternoon, most of them non-serious cases. Fifteen festival goers were taken to hospitals in the region.
It is still a mystery where les Ardentes 2016 will take place. The organisers are giving themselves a bit more time to choose. “It’s more complicated than we expected”, says Gaëtan Servais. “We have looked at around fifteen sites in the Liège region. We have to choose well and take everything into account. If we really can’t find anything, the Liège authorities have said we can use the Coromeuse site for one more year.”