The thirtieth Couleur Café festival will be opening in the sunshine today.
Brussels will be rocking through to Sunday to the frenetic rhythms of music from all over the world: reggae, dance, and hip-hop. The festival will take place in the Parc d’Osseghem’s leafy setting, at the foot of the Atomium.
Venues, bars, food stalls bringing tastes from around the world, huge hammocks and light shows – everything is ready to welcome festival-goers.
As in previous years, the organisers have opted for musical eclecticism with big names along with fresh and intimite combos due to appear. The emerging Belgian scene looks set to enjoy a beautiful showcase.
This Friday, Sean Paul shares the top of the bill with Nigerian rapper Wizkid and Australian Xavier Rudd. After several sell-out concerts last year at the AB, the antipodean surfer is returning to cast his spell on the public with his reggae tinged with folk.
Festival-goers will also be able to count on hearing the afrobeat of Kokoroko or notably the cumbia of La Yegros to warm up.
Most of the Belgian groups will take over on Saturday with, among others, Veence Hanao & The Motel, the Niveau 4 (XXL) collective, Laeken rapper Hamza, and the Bombataz Crazies. A regular at the festival, Malian Salif Keita will distil “his golden voice” on the main stage, while Gentleman and Craig David will conclude the dance music.
Finally on Sunday, Amapranoia, Tiken Jah Fakoly, the veterans of Groundation and Goran Bregovic, a Balkan musician, will be on the various stages before Lauryn Hill.
Among the discoveries is the noteworthy Martha Da’ro, known for her role in the film “Black”, who will reveal her talents as a singer of RnB, jazz and dreamy pop.
For the thirtieth anniversary of the festival, an open-air exhibition will go back over the biggest artists that have performed there.
While it is still possible to buy tickets, they are selling well and “combi” tickets have sold out. “Sales have gone faster this year; it could be that the festival goes ahead as a sell-out,” spokesman Denis Corbisier confirmed.
While the temperature should again top 30 degrees on Saturday, the organisers have been proactive in avoiding heat-related problems. Festival-goers can bring their own water bottles and refill them free of charge at several festival locations; bottled water will be the same price it is in shops and sprinkler points will be found almost everywhere. The Red Cross will also be attending to festival-goers’ safety and sun cream will be available at various information points.
To get to the festival, festival-goers can utilise the “eventpass” coding on their tickets for a free ride on STIB public transport. It also permits half-price train travel.