Coronavirus crisis | Why aren’t all music festivals canceled now?

In a time of widespread bewilderment around the world,the music industry in particular lives expectantlyGiven the clear possibility that this 2020 is a year completely lost by the coronavirus. Not surprisingly, more and more authoritative voices point to 2021 to regain some normality when it comes to concerts.

In this climate in which it is difficult to affirm something emphatically, the organization ofResurrection Festyou want to add a little light tothe public to understand why many summer festivals have not yet been canceledand they keep their potential assistants on edge.

“Given the restrictions that are in place right now,it is more than likely that no musical event can be held in the coming monthsand that obviously includes the Resurrection Fest, “begins the statement shared on social media.

And he adds, with total sincerity: “As we have already communicated to you,the safety and health of all parties (public, workers, gangs) is the main thingand we will never put that before anything, so we do not believe that an event should be held with so many thousands of people given the current situation. “

Then ‘El Resu’ asks the question that so many people are asking these days: “Why don’t we make the decision to postpone the festival?” And the answer is most direct: “This is an event thatinvolves managing hundreds of gang contracts,suppliers, sponsors, etc. thanwe cannot unilaterally break. For ita force majeure clause is needed, something that can only be established by the Government. This has already been done in many countries in Europe, but it has not been done here yet and we all have to wait for it to happen. “

According to the statement, this situation is “really difficult for an independent festival such as the Resurrection Fest, since unfortunately in Spainthere is no type of insurance that covers a global crisis due to an epidemiclike this and the losses caused by not carrying out the event to be assumed are enormous. “

In addition, the different actors that make the festival possible alsothey will be “very disadvantaged”.From the staff and their families, to suppliers, to external workers, the press, the technical stage team, sound, lights, workers, decoration, security, waiters, food trucks, sponsors and “many other small companies that have a large part of their billing with the festival. “

“We also want to emphasize that this will also be a severe blow to the local hospitality industry inNursery-Lugo locality where the Resu is planned from July 1 to 4- and the entire region, since the great economic impact that the festival leaves in the area (bars, supermarkets, hotels …) was this year more necessary than ever “the organization points out.

The bands, very collaborative

The festival has “been working for a long time in all possible scenarios, in contact with local and regional administrations”, so it anticipates that “most likely” is that the edition of this year 2020, that of its fifteenth anniversary,“It just has to be postponed to 2021.”

And he adds: “The positive part is that the bands are very collaborative when it comes to re-scheduling the poster, and we are almost convinced that, in the more than probable case of not being able to do the festival this year, our 15th anniversary will be celebrated in 2021 in stylewith all the attractions of the current posterand many more surprises. “

The festival explains that it does not want its public to worry about the tickets, so they will give “the specific details later”.They will all be valid automatically by 2021,in any case, “and whoever cannot attend will be offered a refund of the value of the ticket within the periods established by law.”

“We know and it is a source of pride that our public is one of the most loyal in the country and we count on your support to be able to enjoy magical days in Viveiro again. Now more than ever,support culture, music and the rock scene in all its aspects. Thank you for your understanding and much encouragement to everyone. Please stay home, keep safe distances, wash your hands as much as possible and follow all directions. We will see each other soon, “he concludes.


Festival summer canceled: no Pinkpop and Lowlands | NOW

This summer, at least until 1 September, there will be no festivals and other events in the Netherlands, sources have confirmed Tuesday to after previous reports from RTL News. As a result, major festivals such as Pinkpop, Lowlands, Best Kept Secret and Down The Rabbit Hole cannot take place.

The ban on major events was initially in effect until June 1.

Pinkpop would take place in Landgraaf from 19 to 21 June this year. The line-up included Guns N ‘Roses, Of Monsters and Men, Liam Payne, Twenty One Pilots and Red Hot Chili Peppers, who would perform with guitarist John Frusciante for the first time in the Netherlands.

Earlier this month, it was announced that Pinkpop director Jan Smeets has been hospitalized because of an infection with the coronavirus. He made it up to circumstances.

Lowlands previously assumed that the festival would continue

Lowlands would be held August 21-23. The organization previously announced that it would as yet assume that the festival would continue. “The preparations are in full swing. Since the situation changes daily, we will certainly not make decisions about the continuation of Lowlands until mid-May, unless we are overtaken by a new reality,” the festival website states.

Among others, The Chemical Brothers, Foals, Liam Gallagher, London Grammar, Die Antwoord and supergroup Hollywood Vampires – of which actor Johnny Depp is a part – would visit Lowlands.

Best Kept Secret, which would be held in the Beekse Bergen in mid-June, cannot take place either. This means fans will be missing the performances of The National, Catfish and the Bottlemen, The Strokes, Massive Attack and Belle & Sebastian this year.

Also the events Concert at SEA, Awakenings Festival, Down The Rabbit Hole, North Sea Jazz Festival, Zwarte Cross, Milkshake Festival, Dekmantel Festival, Psy-Fi Festival and Mysteryland cannot take place.

Follow the latest developments around the virus in the sports world in us live blog.

The coronavirus in short


“He was part of our family”: readers tell Christophe

YOUR TESTIMONIALS – Readers of Figaro are very moved after the death of singer Christophe; they recall the poetry of his songs.

By Juliette Singeot

The singer Christophe, 74, died on Thursday in Brest.
The singer Christophe, 74, died on Thursday in Brest. BERTRAND LANGLOIS / AFP

The announcement of his hospitalization and then his transfer to Brest had already moved many. The singer Christophe died on Thursday, April 16, from a lung disease. The interpreter ofAline, was 74 years old. Internet users Figaro pay him homage.

Lydie B is stunned by this news: “I thought he would have gotten out. Immense grief …“Same feeling for Nelly C, who, getting up this morning, says to be”very touched“Learning of his disappearance:”I liked his mysterious personality …“Lyne M explains that Christophe “Was part of the family”. “I have all of his albums. He was a very poetic singer with relaxing and melodious music, filled with happiness and love “, she specifies. Nathalie H adds that by leaving us, “it’s a whole era that goes with him“…

Juste C, who was in Vietnam in the years 1980-1990, says that he “Heard very often Aline in dance halls and restaurants. Most often, it was a half-French, half-Vietnamese, very faithful adaptation, in which only the chorus was sung in French ”, he adds. Fleur D also remembers “full of good memories of youth, or the time of languid slows and the hours spent with my little sister listening to her songs. He was a music genius and he always will be” Tonight, Prim V, would like “everyone pays tribute to him by singing one of his songs in the windows at 8 p.m., for our caregivers …


Photo festivals in confined version (2)

For most photography festivals, there are scheduling constraints inherent in exhibition venues. Finally, there are the specific production and installation methods for each of the events. Difficult to prepare or rethink the script, the deadlines are short and the partners can also disengage. Some have finally chosen to reduce the volume of exhibitions while maintaining quality programming.

→ LIVE. Coronavirus: the latest information in France and worldwide

Pending a decision for the international photography meetings (RIP), a major event for summer photographic events, you can find exhibitions, parties and projections from previous editions in images and videos on the RIP website.

Photo festivals in confined version (2)

Smaller structures, which have the advantage of flexibility, seem to respond more calmly to maintain their programming. The latest of the photographic festivals, Women expose themselves, is expected to hold its rank until August 31 in Houlgate, Normandy. “We are small and everything is relatively stable. The exhibitions are held outdoors throughout the summer without worrying about the calendar, and unless the beach is completely closed, we will be there “, specifies the director Béatrice Tupin. But foreign photographers, including a Haitian resident, will not be able to come to this festival dedicated to women photographers for a third and promising year.

In Vichy, a great first postponed to 2021

Photographic walks of Vendôme have been installed in the landscape for fifteen years. “As long as our partners support us we stay the course, we prepare with the same energy to be ready at the end of July”, announces the artistic director, Odile Andrieu. The program, which combines headliners, newer talents and some nice surprises, will give its audience a little later this summer.

Yes Portrait (s) in Vichy postpones the start of its programming, the wish is to be present this year. For this 8e raised, it loses nothing, neither of its singularity, nor of its quality. The outdoor exhibitions, in particular on the very pleasant esplanade of Lac de l’Allier, will be maintained as soon as the ban ends. The solution that seems to emerge in the usual galleries of the cultural center is the layout of the premises to respect the necessary distance, with an opening probably later. Only downside, this year was the occasion of a great first since a series of exhibitions was to be held in the beautiful space of the convention center. Unfortunately, the technical teams will not be able to install the rails, due to the lack of the necessary equipment. “We keep the series of photos concerned in the same place for 2021”, underlines the festival commissioner Karim Boulhaya.

Facilities in La Gacilly

For the festival of La Gacilly, dedicated this year to the talents of Latin America and whose reputation is well established, local issues are important. In this Morbihan town with nearly 4,000 inhabitants, it is a strong cultural and economic moment with 300,000 visitors expected each year. For Auguste Coudray, the president, ” it will not change anything in our determination to be there, we want to involve local partners in this opening, it is vital for them too. “” Everything will therefore be done to maintain the festival ”, specifies the director Stéphanie Retière. Arrangements, with controlled circulatory flow, are already being studied to preserve the exhibitions, the quality of which is the main subject and the essential reputation of this prestigious festival which runs until October.

→ READ. Coronavirus: between cancellations and uncertainties, the festivals turned upside down

The announcement of the ban on assembly until mid-July, although harsh, has the merit of removing the uncertainty that hovered over it. The decision to maintain a cultural meeting, certainly postponed or postponed, will be for many, organizers, local and public partners, a great opportunity to meet and exchange again in the world after the confinement.


The government sees it as difficult for large music festivals to be held in the summer

Government is finding it difficult to hold music festivals this summer. This was stated yesterday by the counselor of the Presidency, Meritxell Budó, after the executive council. “Unfortunately, nothing makes us think we can enjoy these shows in the summer,” added Budó. According to a study on the impact of the music festivals of the Ministry of Culture, in Catalonia there are 400 festivals concentrated especially between spring and summer in the districts of Girona and Barcelona. So far, only the Polo Music Festival and the Terramar in Sitges have been canceled. For its part, the Primavera Sound has been postponed to the end of August.

The 250 music festivals subsidized by the Culture Department added 2.1 million viewers last year, which is 4% more than in 2018. The increase has a lot to do with the public of medium and large festivals such as Cruïlla, which doubled the audience, Anolia (with 70% more), Ithaca (40%) and Figueres’ Acoustics (11%). According to the same study as to the impact of these appointments, the top 10 events cite 46% of viewers, while there are a constellation of small pageants throughout the region (190) that do not exceed 5,000.

According to a study presented by the Ministry of Culture in March, they received 2.1 million viewers, which is a 4-point increase over 2018. The public concentration is noticeable in 10 music events that bring together 46% of all festival goers throughout the year. The flagships are Primavera Sound (220,000), Barcelona International Jazz Festival (144,000), Acoustics (120,000), the Live Music Market in Vic (115,000) or Sónar (105,000).

Until the fall of 2021?

Despite the fact that there are many festivals that have opted to move their dates to the end of summer or the autumn months, the uncertainty in the sector, especially in the field of live music, continues to grow. In fact, some experts point out that major events will not return until next year. “Larger meetings, conferences, concerts, sporting events … will be the last to return. Being realistic, we are talking about fall 2021, “said Zeke Emanuel, a bioethics and health policy specialist at a panel recently organized by the newspaper. The New York Times about returning to normal in the USA.


Government is finding it difficult to host music festivals this summer

Government is finding it difficult to hold music festivals this summer. This was stated by the Minister of the Presidency, Meritxell Budó, after the executive council on Tuesday, in which a shock plan of 31 million euros was approved for the culture sector.

“Unfortunately, nothing makes us think we can enjoy these shows in the summer,” added Budó. According to a study on the impact of music festivals on the Ministry of Culture, In Catalonia there are 400 festivals concentrated especially between spring and summer in the districts of Girona and Barcelona.

So far, only the Polo Music Festival and the Terramar in Sitges have been canceled, and the Primavera Sound has been postponed to the end of August.

The Polo Music Festival was to take place from May 22 to June 7 in Barcelona, ​​while the Terramar in Sitges was scheduled for July 24 and August 14. The busiest festival in Catalonia, the Primavera Sound, moved the edition of the twentieth anniversary of the end of June, when it takes place every year, on August 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30.

The 250 Department of Culture-subsidized music festivals totaled 2.1 million viewers last year, up 4% from 2018.

The increase has a lot to do with the public of large and medium-sized festivals such as Cruïlla, which doubled the number of spectators, Anolia (with 70% more), Ithaca (40%) or Figueres Acoustics ( 11%). According to the same study as to the impact of these appointments, the top 10 events cite 46% of viewers, while there are a constellation of small pageants throughout the country (190) that do not exceed 5,000.

Acoustics or Sónar

According to a study presented by the Ministry of Culture in March, they received 2.1 million viewers, which is a 4-point increase over 2018. The audience concentration is notable in 10 music events that bring together the 46% of all festival goers throughout the year. The flagships are Primavera Sound (220,000), Barcelona International Jazz Festival (144,000), Acoustics (120,000), the Live Music Market of Vic (115,000) or Sónar (105,000).

But except for Acoustics, which did increase its audience by 11%, The appointments that have fattened the total number of viewers for 2019 are medium, especially the Cruïlla festival (which, adding to its various calls during the year, more than doubled the attendees of 2018), the Itaca (with 40% more attendees), the Festivalot de Girona (33% more) and Anolia, with a growth of 70%.


Several festival insurers included the coronavirus in January as a clause not to cover cancellations




Ben Barbaud, the director of one of the most important metal festivals in Europe, the French HellFest, ensures that all festivals are waiting for further extensions of confinement by government order to be able to cancel due to force majeure, and thus be able to collect insurance.

But as this newspaper has learned, the situation would not be exactly like this for the vast majority of festivals in Spain. A source in the live music industry says that at least in our country, “last January, insurance companies added the coronavirus as a clause not to cover cancellations, for 99 percent of festivals,” which It would leave its organizers in a very complicated situation if they wanted to cancel rather than postpone. ABC has been able to confirm that one of the major festival promoters tried to negotiate the addition of this clause earlier in the year, “but the insurance companies did not want to.”

Sympathy for the Lawyer, a music law firm, explains that you have to check how the policy is written, especially the exclusions section. “If a cause of epidemic or force majeure is expressly excluded with a definition that fits the current situation, the insurance does not cover it.” Logically, the new policies signed from now on clearly include a coronavirus exclusion, “so there will be no doubt that this type of cancellation will not be covered.” But the surprising thing is that the insurance companies have already had their backs covered with this matter since January, when nobody imagined this scenario even remotely.

This issue, which is undoubtedly one of the great challenges for the music industry, has not yet been addressed in depth by the Minister of Culture and Sport, whose appearance on Tuesday is described as “very disappointing” by the Association of Musical Promoters, APM.

For this, the postponement it is the only lifeline for agents in this industry right now. According to Sympathy for the Lawyer, the public is not required to accept a new date and can request a refund of the ticket. But in view of the facts it does not seem likely that they will succeed, since if the event is postponed, there is no obligation to refund the amount.

With the money raised from the sale of tickets, the festivals cover fifty percent of the artists’ cache (the other half is paid after the performance is performed), advertising, the conditioning of the venues and other expenses prior to the celebration. of the event. It is money already spent that they cannot recover, so that if they were forced to return the amount of the tickets due to the health crisis, without insurance coverage, the developer would be in a terrible financial situation or go bankrupt in case of the least powerful. This same Wednesday, a group of professionals in the sector has appealed to the public to “not return their tickets” and thus support this union so badly hit by the pandemic.


2020 Bayreuth and Edinburgh festivals canceled

For fans of Richard Wagner’s work, the summer of 2020 will be marked with a black stone. Indeed, the Bayreuth festival in Bavaria announced on Tuesday March 31 on its website that it was at regret having to cancel the 2020 edition due to the epidemic »From Covid-19. Current containment rules make it difficult, if not impossible, to organize rehearsals that were to begin in the coming days.

→ LIVE. Coronavirus: the latest news in France and worldwide

Another major cultural event, the Edinburgh Festival scheduled to take place from August 7 to 31, 2020, was also canceled on April 1. The largest festival in Europe, which has organized every summer since 1947 nearly 5,000 events in the Scottish capital, bringing together all cultural fields, theater, concerts, operas, arts, literature… each year brings together an audience of 4.4 million people and 25,000 artists. The sheer size of the Scottish event made it incompatible with restrictions linked to the coronavirus pandemic.

In Bayreuth, it was the nature of the organization of a lyric production that led to the cancellation, this type of show requiring many set-up sessions several weeks before the premiere. This specific constraint therefore dictated the decision of the festival organizers.

A Ring postponed to 2022

The festival specifies that tickets purchased for this 2020 edition will be valid next summer. On the other hand, the new production of Ring (the Tetralogy) entrusted to the young Austrian director Valentin Schwarz and directed by the Finnish chef Pietari Inkinen is postponed to 2022. ” This new Tetralogy looks cursed “, notes Christian Merlin, music critic and specialist of Richard Wagner (1). Initially, it was to be conducted by Italian conductor Danielle Gatti and each of the four operas that compose it proposed to a different director. Project that could not succeed … The Schwarz-Inkinen duo had only been asked for a second time.

Interruptions due to history

Created by Richard Wagner in 1876 for the premiere of Ring, the festival has been held every year since 1951. ” An annual regularity that was not the rule at the start, recalls Christian Merlin. The 1876 edition was both triumphant and dramatic financially! In bankruptcy, the festival could not be relaunched until 1882, with Parsifal, Wagner’s final opera.

The demonstration, resumed after the death of Wagner in 1883 by his widow Cosima, will again have to cease all activity between 1915 and 1923, because of the First World War then, peace restored, of the terrible inflation which durably shatters finances German in general and those of the festival in particular.

The Nazi period

Strongly compromised with the Nazi regime – Hitler’s predilection for Wagner’s music and the complacency of part of the composer’s family towards the national socialist ideology – we know another long eclipse. It was not until 1951 that the “New Bayreuth” opened to music lovers, under the leadership of Wieland and Wolfgang Wagner, grandsons of the author of Tristan and Isolde. Their mother, Winifred, director since 1930, then had to give up all function at the festival. She will never deplore her cordial and close ties with Hitler … Her two sons will try to rid the works of their ancestor of explicit references to German nationalism. Wieland, remarkable director, purifies the productions, playing on the lights, the powerful Wagnerian symbolism, his musical and dramatic poetry.

Katharina Wagner, daughter of Wolfgang, has chaired since 2008 (2) the destinies of Bayreuth, thus keeping the festival in the family fold: “ The statutes specify that the director of the event must be chosen in priority from the Wagner family but “without exclusivity” “, Further details Christian Merlin.

With these announcements, the eyes and questions now turn to the other major summer lyric events such as the festivals of Aix-en-Provence, Salzburg or Munich. Will they be able to maintain their annual meeting despite the crisis? Similarly, what about the major music festivals in France which bring together hundreds of thousands of spectators, Francofolies de la Rochelle, Vieilles Charrues de Carhaix and Interceltique festival in Lorient?


The great music festivals join forces to stand up to the coronavirus and save the summer




As much as the sum of canceled or postponed tours, unflattering forecasts and sound lows like those of Coachella and Glastonbury make people fear the worst, the European festivals do not want to give up on the summer and have conspired to stand up to the coronavirus and try to develop its activity normally during this summer. “We all hope to be able to host our festivals this summer,” read a joint statement signed by some 70 festivals and the European Festival Association Yourope.

In it, weighty quotes like him Primavera Sound and the Bilbao BBK Live as well as other top European festivals such as the Danish Roskilde Festival and Northside, the Parisian Rock en Seine, the Norwegian Bergenfest or the Serbian Exit Festival announce that they are acting in a coordinated manner and hope to be able to celebrate their editions of this year with normal agreement with sanitary guidelines and local authorities.

“We share experiences and knowledge. We are united. We have to remain vigilant in the coming weeks to the global situation of the pandemic and we will jointly communicate any decision in this regard, “highlight some festivals that, in addition to claiming themselves as the” last link “in a chain on which artists, venues and technicians depend, trust part of the future of the industry to the normal development of the season. “By holding our festivals this summer, we can be a crucial part of the survival of this industry,” they consider. Furthermore, they add, “it is about taking responsibility for the events, and it is about taking responsibility for the industry we are part of.”

Those who follow

Most festivals that subscribe to the manifesto should be held during the months of June and July, dates when some great events that have already taken place, the case of Glastonbury, scheduled for the end of June. Most, however,

He keeps his dates waiting to see how the pandemic evolves. This is the case, for example, of Cruïlla de Barcelona, not attached to the manifesto but that last week already announced that it was working to keep its celebration on July 2, 3 and 4. “We do not consider the possibility of postponing the festival, because the Cruïlla is summer, but we will always follow the health guidelines and we will never put our public at risk,” the organization stressed.

In similar terms, the director of the Primavera Sound, Gabi Ruiz, advancing that, for the moment, the festival was maintained as planned between June 3 and 7, although alternative scenarios were not ruled out. “Our obligation is to try to prevent the future to see what we can do and we are talking to all the artists to see, in the event that we had to postpone the festival for a few weeks, what would be the best date for everyone,” Ruiz said then.

He too Azkena Rock from Vitoria (June 19 and 20) continues, while Sónar (from June 18 to 20) announced on the 16th that the entire festival team was working from home so that the event could continue this year “without ruling out any option.” The Mad Cool, For its part, it has also not given a counter-order and maintains its 2020 edition for July 8, 9, 10 and 11.


Belgium: In Ostend, the concrete serves as a canvas for street art

Garbage men who do nonsense instead of cleaning up. House-high vases made of Delft ceramic, which appear as three-dimensional objects on a gigantic shelf – a perfectly staged optical illusion. Colorful fantasy characters.

Realistically painted people doing everyday activities, enlarged several floors. Cute dogs, wandering ants, strange metamorphoses. From facade-covering maxi paintings to miniatures: a tour of Ostend is full of surprises, the Belgian seaside resort is one big open-air exhibition.

From April 11, the port city on the North Sea coast will again be enriched with further paintings and installations. On this deadline, artists from all over the world must take part in the annual “The Crystal Ship” the largest street art festival of its kind in Europe.

Optical illusion: high vases made of Delft ceramic appear to be on a shelf. The artist Leon Keer calls his mural “Fragile”

Source: Tourism Ostend vzw

You can watch them at work in the two weeks before – and visit the newly painted attractions in the years after. Since 2016, the festival has been taking place during the Easter holidays – an event that has turned Ostend into a very special seaside resort.

Ostend offers enough concrete for all kinds of street art

It was once a classic piece of jewelry, with Belle Epoque architecture, horse racing and a wonderful sandy beach. The Belgian king also spent his holidays here. Then the Second World War came. Ostend was bombed and quickly rebuilt: treeless streets, large concrete blocks with undemanding architecture all the way to the beach promenade – a kind of Berlin-Marzahn by the sea.

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Belgium: There is a lively street and urban art scene in the Walloon industrial city today

But the Belgians take it pragmatically. At weekends and during holiday periods, traffic is regularly on the motorway from Brussels to the North Sea, everyone wants to go to the water, and quite a few have an apartment for the family in Ostend. You can go swimming or go to a concert, there are museums, a casino and a sand sculpture festival.

But the most interesting for foreign visitors is the “Crystal Ship Festival”, no city in Europe has such spectacular public art to offer. The idea is simple: concrete as a canvas – Ostend has enough of that. And this is how gigantic facade paintings by artists such as Roa, Cyrcle, Guido van Helten, Eversiempre and Robert Montgomery were created in recent years, which attract tens of thousands of visitors.

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03 October 2019: Moments ago in London, Banksyís derisive portrayal of The House of Commons reduced to an assembly of parliamentary primates achieved a record £ 9,879,500 / $ 12,142,893 / Ä11,127,304 in Sothebyís Contemporary Art Evening Auction (est. £ 1.5-2 million) . The hammer came down after thirteen minutes of competitive bidding, with ten determined collectors driving the price well beyond the previous record of $ 1.8m. Spanning an impressive thirteen feet, this is the largest known canvas by the anonymous street artist whose subversive practice has granted him a reputation of infamy as much as world renown. Banksy first unveiled the painting, then titled Question Time, a decade ago as part of his ground-breaking Banksy vs. Bristol Museum exhibition, which famously drew over 300,000 visitors to become one of the worldís top ten most-visited shows of 2019. The painting has since been reworked by the artist and more recently retitled. Once glowing, the Commonsí lamps have been snuffed-out by Banksy, while the upturned banana of an ape in the foreground now faces downwards; in addition to these and other subtle adjustments, the painting was also given a new name: Devolved Parliament. [ Rechtehinweis: picture alliance / Photoshot ]

Not just to the festival itself, if you can watch the artists live at work: the street art works remain, they can be viewed around the year and around the clock. There are now more than 60 mega images that, with installations and smaller paintings, result in a unique art trail through the city.

Some became local stars through the festival

Again and again you meet tourists on the bike, who are just turning their heads back in front of one of the works of art. For others, on the other hand, you have to bend down: The little garbage men of the Belgian Jaune can be found everywhere at knee height.

Mohamed L’Ghacham’s work “Separación de Poderes II” was created in 2019

Source: Henrik Haven

They are a tribute to the workers, who are often overlooked in everyday life (at least says the artist, who had to swing garbage cans himself). Fortunately, the works are not only original, but also apparently dog ​​urine-resistant: at around 30 centimeters high, they often miss a shower every day.

Also original are the miniatures of the British Helen Bur, depicting people you really meet in Ostend: the owner of the “Quarante-Huit” bar, for example, who was immortalized next to the entrance of his pub on Christinastraat. Björn van Poucke, curator of the festival, can also be found on the Achturenplein square.

Some locals have even become local stars through the festival. Jean, 89, and Jeanine, 76, for example: The couple of seniors have been standing 20 meters tall on the wall of the “Ostend Hotel” for two years.

The happy senior couple of the artist Ben Slow has been emblazoned on the wall of the “Ostend Hotel” since 2018

Credit: picture alliance / imageBROKER

Logical that the two can hardly go shopping without being recognized everywhere. Why the two of them? It was important to the artist Ben Slow to represent true love – and 53 years of marriage seemed the best proof of it.

Citizens participate in street art

The portrait of a young woman on a house wall on the Verlorenstraat is also spectacular. At first glance, it looks unfinished. You have to look at it on the cell phone, using the negative filter. The slightly washed-out picture then becomes the head of the first bikini wearer from Ostend, who at that time mixed up the beach with this outfit.

Ostend (Belgium): These figures painted Belgian students

Weird: These figures painted Belgian students

Source: Henrik Haven

Opposite, the viewer notices a geometric arrangement that deforms and bends, depending on where you are looking at the facade.

You should plan at least one day if you want to cycle all works of art by bike. Yet. Because every year there are a good dozen more. The walls for this are provided voluntarily by the house owners.

And sometimes even the material: The most famous object by the artist Strook (actually his name is Stefaan De Croock) is emblazoned right above the tourist information center at Monacoplein. It is the portrait of a man made entirely of wood that residents of the city donated – fences, ship planks, old doors. Street art in Ostend has long become a civil movement.

Ostend (Belgium)

Source: WORLD infographic

Tips and information for Belgium

Getting there: Ostend is easily accessible by train, long-distance bus or car, the journey from Brussels takes about an hour.

Accommodation: Boutique B&B “Belle de Nuit”, double room from 118 euros (, Grandhotel “Thermae Palace”, double room from 99 euros (

Art parcours: Information and free city maps, on which all works of art are listed, are available at the Tourist Info Ostend and on the festival page ( A bike tour is ideal, for rent from Linda ( or Nico (

Further information:;

Participation in the trip was supported by Tourism Flanders-Brussels. You can find our standards of transparency and journalistic independence at

This text is from the WELT AM SONNTAG. We would be happy to deliver them to your home regularly.

WELT AM SONNTAG from March 1st, 2020