Herman Schueremans on the “happy rebirth” of festivals

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Live Nation Belgium CEO and Rock Werchter founder Herman Schueremans said this summer has been a “happy rebirth for festivals after two years of Covid”.

With a list of sold-out festivals and concerts, Schueremans hailed the season as “even better than 2019” and said Belgium’s recovery is “well in line with the rest of Europe”.

A highlight for Schueremans was record sales at Rock Werchter, which saw 66,000 combined tickets and 80,000 single-day tickets soar in early February – months earlier than usual.

Imagine Dragons, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Killers and Metallica were among the artists performing at Belgium’s biggest festival, which ran from June 30 to July 3 at Festivalpark Werchter.

Sister festivals Werchter Boutique and TW Classic were also sold out, with 60,000 tickets sold for each event.

Elsewhere in LN Belgium’s stable of festivals, the Graspop Metal Meeting in Dessel sold out after its capacity was increased from 50,000 to 52,000 to meet high demand.

The famous heavy metal festival, which took place over four days, sold 42,500 combined tickets and 40,000 day tickets, attracting 82,500 unique attendees.

Schueremans hailed the season as ‘even better than 2019’

Capitalizing further on the pent-up demand for festivals, Rock Werchter has also launched a new two-day festival in Brussels in partnership with fellow Belgian festival giant Tomorrowland.

Core debuted May 27-28 this year in Parc d’Osseghem, a scenic natural area in the Belgian capital, with an eclectic bill topped by Stormzy, Jamie xx and Mura Masa.

“It was a promising first year with happy audiences, happy artists and a happy team. It will work very well in 2023,” says Schueremans, who attributes the success of the festival to the synergy of the Rock Werchter and Tomorrowland teams.

“We brought the two teams together again and made it work like clockwork. They took care of the look and feel of the festival site and gave it a unique vibe and our team took care of the artist bill. Together we are strong,” he adds.

Live Nation Belgium also had an extraordinary summer of concerts, selling out four stadium shows for Coldplay’s Music of the spheres round. With 220,000 tickets sold, Schueremans says this is a new record in Belgium.

And the promoter’s sell-out success is already creeping into next year, having sold out TW Classic (June 18, 2023) with headliner Bruce Springsteen and Harry Styles’ show at Werchter Park (June 24, 2023).

Werchter Boutique (June 17, 2023) and Rock Werchter (June 29-30 and July 1-2, 2023) will also return next year and will be announced soon.


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