One of the awesome things about Antwerp is how much free or relatively inexpensive stuff there is going on in the summer. Everything from music festivals, circuses, pop up bars, outdoor film showings, children workshops, and dance performances. It’s truly wonderful and tonight I plan on taking full advantage of the available free entertainment.
We can hear the festival before we see it, as we wander the parking area trying to locate the exit. I would call it a parking lot, except that it’s more of a one-way maze-like area that the festival workers have designated as a place cars can park. However, it’s not long before we find our way out of the maze and after a quick purse search, we’re into the festival.
First order of business is to buy drink tickets. We search around the entrance and locate the ticket booth rather easily. I am a little impressed when I see that the drink tickets are just your typical carnival ride tickets, but plastic purple metallic discs with the Casablanca logo on them.
We enter the first tent we see to see what we’re in store for tonight. I did absolutely zero research on who was performing tonight at the festival in favor of attending and forming my opinion while there. The first act we come across doesn’t interest me for the music, but for the outfit the performers are wearing. There is a man in a navy military coat with a red top hat and two women in black playboy bunny looking outfits and white bow ties, but sans the ears. Being all of a 1.52m, I can’t see much of what they’re doing, but one of the women is showing off something.
“What are they doing? A magic show?” I ask my friend R. She shrugs and the man and women on stage disappear moments later before I can figure out what they were doing. I am definitely a bit more intrigued.
We decide to wander around and find the main stage, walking across the plastic cup tiled dirt. When we find it, the first thing I notice is the a large screen in the middle of the area, projecting what’s going on at the stage front for all those who aren’t close enough to the stage to see. It strikes me as a bit odd, but we move closer to the music, and more importantly closer to the bar. The first act we come across at the main stage itself isn’t especially interesting, sort of your typical electronic club type music, but it’s got a decent rhythm and I find myself bouncing along. I’ve had enough sangria to forgive almost any but the most heinous of musical sins, and simplicity isn’t one of them. We’re somewhere in the middle of the stage area, and it’s surprisingly not as packed as I was expecting it to be. The air is fragrant with a mixture of cigarette smokes, cloves, and weed.
My two Portuguese friends find us and we become a merry band of five as we wait for the second act to come on stage. It’s along the same vein as the first, but this artist layers familiar songs with a decent beat and we’re all dancing enjoying the night, the bass reverberating in our chests, stopping only to take another swig of a drink.
Eventually all the drinks catch up with us and we head for the bathroom. The area is a complete state of chaos. There is a line to get in, where you’re supposed to pay 1€ and everyone is pushing forward. I imagine that it would be easy to slip by without paying, but I still manage to pass a euro under the glass and head in. R and I find a potter potty and we stake our claim in line, constantly getting jostled by the never ending stream of people. But we manage to get through the line and out back to the festival without being trampled on.
The bathroom area empties out into the another tent area, with other acts and we decide to round off our night here. Discobaar A Moeder is playing, a local Antwerp DJ duo, and I’ve been told they’re pretty good. They’re definitely living up to their reputation.
At about half past one o’clock, my husband suggests we start heading home. I convince him to give us fifteen more minutes. Twenty-five minutes later, R and I have locked arms, and Mr. Isinvar is holding my other hand as we meander on back through the parking lot maze to the car. A very successful evening, indeed.
If you enjoyed this post, please click the “Follow” button on the left hand sidebar and enter your e-mail address. You’ll get new posts delivered directly to your e-mail; this way you’ll never miss an Antwerp adventure!