Music: the great guide to summer festivals in the Nord, Pas-de-Calais and Belgium

After two summers with almost nothing, current music festivals are resuming in all directions. No deaths in the battle, there are even a few new ones. And among those already installed, many add days or even full weekends. “On the side of the artists, everyone wants to shoot, find their audience. And there is a stress of being forgotten in case of absence this summer», points out Armel Campagna, director of the Main Square and festival representative at Prodiss (trade union). “IThere have never been so many offers, but there is a concern for requests. The sales before Christmas went well, there was this effect that’s it. But spring is very complicated, it picks up a bit, but it’s late.” Added to that production costs which have jumped by 20 to 30%: wood, steel, transport, remuneration of rarer employees because many have left the profession, he continues. “Some festivals are going to have trouble, there will be breakage at the start of the school year», predicts Armel Campagna. Unless the public is in support and there is a harder sacrifice than having a memorable, music-loving and festive moment. If you haven’t already, this double page will help you make your choice.

The Opal Coast goes upmarket

Three beautiful events that go upmarket. The Opal Coast Festival, dean of the region’s festivals, will once again be the unmissable event for French song with Julien Doré and a Ben Mazué-Véronique Sanson evening. Rock en stock, in Étaples, has never had such a set: Romeo Elvis, La Femme, Deluxe…

And what about the Touquet Music Beach festival end of August with Justice (dj set), Martin Solveig, Kungs… So strong that there are already only places left for the first day.

Opal Coast Festival: between July 13 and 24 (series of concert evenings from €18 to €33, depending) Rock in stock in Etaples on July 29 and 30. €30 per day, €50 for two days Touquet Music Beach on August 26 and 27. 50€ per day.

The Main Square towards records

The biggest festival in Hauts-de-France adds a fourth day to its program, on Thursday, with Angèle, Louane and Dj Snake. Thus the event should easily exceed 150,000 spectators in total. With 65 artists on stage including Sting, Black Eyed Peas, Twenty One Pilots, Niska with Gazo and Tiakola, -M –, Sum 41, George Ezra and the Pixies. “I want the reunion to be beautiful,” enthuses Armel Campagna, the director. Over the years, the organizers have worked to ensure that spectators have a good time beyond the music.

-M- Photo Pascal Bonnière
-M- Photo Pascal Bonnière – VDNPQR

The decoration is worked, we eat better, animations are added, bars and themed restaurants have flourished. Main Squareit is no longer exclusively its poster, it has become an event where people from the region like to meet.

The Secret Nights go green

For his twentieth birthday, the aulnesian festival (s’) offers lots of gifts. First a new site: the big stage leaves the paved parking lot for the neighboring field. The 7,000 campers will take place all around in 360º mode. The second stage, Eden, remains under the red roof of the old factory which gives it so much cachet.

Aulnoye Aymeris on July 23, 2021: extra-Secret Nights C festival. Strangelove. Photo SAMI BELLOUMI THE VOICE OF THE NORTH.
Aulnoye Aymeris on July 23, 2021: “C extra”-Secret Nights festival. Strangelove. Photo SAMI BELLOUMI THE VOICE OF THE NORTH. – VDNPQR

The festival doubles its surface, but only increases its capacity from 17,000 to 20,000 spectators: all to the benefit of the festival-goer’s comfort. Finally, on the programming side, three extra-heavyweights of French-speaking hip-hop with PNL, Damso and Orelsan. The queen of techno Charlotte de Witte, Vitalic as a regular. Jamie XX and Ibeyi tick the prestigious guest box. It will be a first at Les Nuits for Izïa or Dropkick Murphys, not for Juliette Armanet, who had played in front of 80 people twice at the church of Hargnies in 2015 as part of the famous Secret Routes characteristic of the festival.

From July 22 to 24. 45€ per day, 100 for three days. From June 30 to July 4. €54 per day, €129 for three days.

The Good Adventure in Dunkirk

Little brother of Secret Nights, Fortune Telling in Dunkirk combines a large free stage behind the Kursaal, a stage along the beach, small concerts on the sand, artistic installations and the famous secret routes that have made the reputation of the Secret Nights. For its fifth edition, the event that has become unmissable welcomes Clara Luciani, Romeo Elvis, Thylacine, Gael Faye. June 25 and 26.

From June 30 to July 4. €54 per day, €129 for three days.

The beautiful spirit of Cabaret Vert

It’s a music festival, but with a comic book lounge and street art that are worth the visit on their own. The decor is very elaborate, the volunteers are adorable. And there reigns over this festival a marvelous state of mind.

Stromae is programmed at Rock en
Stromae is programmed at Rock in – AFP

Added to this is one of the most impressive line-ups of the summer with Stromae, Orelsan, Slipknot, Liam Gallagher, Laylow… with, also, a real nice job on discovery. For the day of Sunday, at 20€ the entrance, are announced Eddy de Pretto or the very rare Véronique Sanson.

In Charleville-Mézières, from August 17 to 21, one day more than in 2019. €49 per day, €179 for five days.

Dur lasts seven days

As there was no Dour for two years and the important thing in Dour is the community, we thought we had to do something for it.“, Explain programmer Alex Stevens. This results in the opening of the campsite on Mondays in holiday camp mode around Dj’s. “Dour, it’s a way of life.

Dour. photo © GUILLAUME DENEUBOURG
Dour. photo © GUILLAUME DENEUBOURG

We really need to see each other again, have a party and find each other.” This is followed by the five “classic” days of the border festival with more than 250 artists. In 2019, 251,000 spectators, including a good third of French people, walked the plain with wind turbines. “With algorithms, there is a kind of tribalization of people who tend not to open up. We want to continue to bring all the tribes together and put people in a position to discover things. We couldn’t see ourselves changing that, that’s what made Dour so successful forever.”

Angèle, Booba, Laylow, Flume and nearly 250 artists of all styles. Lots of electro and hip-hop, rock, more jazz, but more metal. €88 per day, €240 for seven days.

Belgian festivals

In this country of festivals that is Belgium, Rock Werchter is the biggest: 340,000 spectators and it’s already sold out. The franchise is hosting four events, two of which have room left: Werchter Classic with Nick Cave and The Smile on June 25 and the new Werchter Encore the next day with Florence and The Machine or Foals.

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It’s 95€ per night. The other Flemish giant is the Pukkelpop (Arctic Monkeys, Tame Impala…). In Wallonia, the Ardentes in Liège have, in addition to Stromae, an exceptional hip-hop line-up (Tyler The Creator, Ninho, Orelsan, etc.). Graspop is the Hellfest across Quiévrain (Iron Maiden, Scorpions, Sabaton…), Tomorrowland the music amusement park where people come from all over the world. But it’s full.

Les Ardentes from July 7 to 10 (€80 per day, €217 for 4 days with camping) Le Graspop everything is full except for June 17 (€110) Le Pukkelpop from August 18 to 21: €115 per day, €245 the 4 days.

Rock en Seine Maestro

The Ile-de-France festival soon to be in its twenties is offering the most ambitious formula in its history. Five days instead of three with the best summer rock line-up in France: the monumental Nick Cave and the only dates in France for Arctic Monkeys and Rage Against The Machine.

Rage Against The Machine
Rage Against The Machine – Getty Images/AFP

Add Maestro Stromae for one of his nine summer concerts in France. Also take a look at the younger and more trendy We Love Green with Gorillaz, Phoenix or PNL.

Rock en Seine: August 25-28 and August 30 (Rage Against The Machine). €59 per day, €89 for the 30th. 3 and 4 day packages sold out. We Love Green: June 2, 4 and 5. €63 per day, €119 for two days.

But also…

URBX in Roubaixa new 100% French hip-hop festival on the Grand’Place with IAM, Koba LaD… June 24 and 25: €35 per evening.

Rock In Bourlon from June 24 to 26 around metal with Eyehategood, Godflesh… Free price.

Paradisiac Field in Landrecies with Ausgang (Casey), Arat Kilo feat. Mamani Keita and street arts. From July 1 to 3. 20 € per day, 45 € for 3 days.

By Nord Beat in Bailleul from July 8 to 10 with Chinese Man, Carpenter Brut… €20 or €25 for the evening, €65 for 3 days.

Electronic Laces, on August 6, at Vitry-en-Artois aerodrome around… electronic music. With DJ Rush, Umek… €31.

Open Air Festival August 20 and 21 in Douai around electronic music. With The Bloody Beetroots, Vladimir Cauchemar… €20 a day, €35 for two days.

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Music: the great guide to summer festivals in the Nord, Pas-de-Calais and Belgium


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