For the last 18 years, Dour Festival grew from a humble one-day outdoor gig featuring mostly French bands to the largest musical event in the French-speaking part of Belgium, attracting visitors and performers from around the world. These days the festival normally runs for 4 or 5 days straight, with seven different stages offering all kinds of live music as well as the genuinely huge yet comfortable camping facilities able to accommodate more than 200.000 concertgoers – in fact, last year Dour Festival broke its own record with 242.000 people in attendance.
Musically, Dour Festival prides itself in eclecticism, with various genres from old-school hard rock to cutting-edge hip-hop and electronic music all featured in the lineup. Apart from the main stage reserved for the most popular bands and artists, there are special stages for electronic music (Dance Hall), indie rock (Le Petite Maison dans la Prairie), R’n’B, hip-hop and soul (Jupiler Boombox) and punk and heavy metal (the appropriately named Cannibal Stage). Since 2016 there is also a special location called La Cubanisto Dancing bringing different genres to the limelight every day, as well as a couple of stages dedicated to DJ-sets that cover the whole gamut of dance music genres from techno to dubstep and drum’n’bass.
The unusual scenery is another attraction with the festival happening amidst the deactivated old coal mines, the so-called Borinage Terrils. Despite the turnout, promoters and volunteers manage to keep the place clean each year, with various gifts and discounts provided for the responsible music fans – for instance, disposing of an old no longer needed tent at a special “eco-changes” collection point will get you a free breakfast.
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