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24h music marathon to be held at Sportpaleis in March

Credit: Pxhere.

A 24 hour music marathon at Antwerp’s Sportpaleis will be live streamed for free on 12 March as an intended antidote to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic felt over the past year.

“Pop, rock, cabaret and schlager artists will come by and perform in English, French, and Dutch,” explained the Flemish artist Miguel Wiels, who will be hosting the marathon concert entitled “24 Uur Live.”

The date of the concert is the one year anniversary of when Belgium went into lockdown.

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“All genres criss crossed together, five artists per hour, good for a total of more than 400 songs,” Wiels told HLN, who will be broadcasting the event at 24uurlive.be. “There is no rehearsal beforehand. You can look at it as a very long jam session.”

Over 100 artists will gather at the music venue – which is the second most visited event hall in the world according to Billboard Magazine, second only to Madison Square Garden in New York City – in order to bring 24 hours of live, nonstop musical performances.

But Wiels is keeping those artists a secret for now.

“We have received local approval, and [Flemish] Prime Minister Jan Jambon also supports our initiative,” Sportpaleis’ Jan Van Esbroeck told HLN.

The music industry has been hit particularly hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, with artists cancelling concerts and bookings in order to comply with regulations across the world that prohibit large gatherings.

The Sportpaleis isn’t expecting to host any international artists at all this year, given the corona crisis, so it is thought that most performers will be Belgian.

Van Esbroeck is hoping that interest in the livestreamed concert will be a positive sign for interest in future performances held in person, once the dangers of the pandemic have subsided.

Helen Lyons
The Brussels Times