Belgium may be world-famous for its chocolate, beers, and waffles, but their summertime festival scene is just as impressive. For such a small country, there’s loads of fests packed into the calendar with a strong focus on the camping experiences. The train system makes it a snap to arrive at the front door of nearly every festival, so check out the Belgian festival scene this summer. We’ve got some of our favorites listed below and you can see even more European festival ideas right here.
Rock Werchter 2018
July 5-8, 2018
For over 40 years, Belgian festies have descended onto tiny town of Werchter for this annual 4-day tribute to rock, pop, and everything loud. If there's a headliner you want to this summer, it's a strong bet they'll be at Rock Werchter which curates one of the best lineups of the summer. The delicious Belgian beer flows like water here, and yes, they do have waffles, along with a massive main stage, two tent stages, and one wild dance arena.
Featured Artists: Alice in Chains, Arctic Monkeys, CHVRCHES, Courteeners, First Aid Kit, Fleet Foxes, Franz Ferdinand, George Ezra, Gorillaz, IDLES, Jack Johnson, Jack White, James Bay, Marshmello, MGMT, Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, Nine Inch Nails, Parov Stelar, Pearl Jam, Queens of the Stone Age, Rae Sremmurd, Rival Sons, Snow Patrol, Stone Sour, The Killers, The Vaccines, Vince Staples, Wolf Alice
Dour Festival 2018
July 11-15, 2018
The multi-genre Dour Festival has been tearing up the Belgian countryside since 1989. It may have started as a single day event with a few thousand folks, but now the five day mega-festival sees 225,000 attendees, and hundreds of artists. The mix of music includes everything from mainstream rock to electronic to pop.
Photo Credit: Romain S. Donadio
July 20-29, 2018
One of the top electronic music festivals in the world, Tomorrowland in Belgium should be on the bucket list of every festie. It's known for epic stage production along with its insane fireworks displays, and is one of the few festivals in Europe so popular that they hold two editions over two consecutive weekends.
Featured Artists: Above & Beyond, Alesso, Armin Van Buuren, Axwell, Carl Cox, Don Diablo, Eric Prydz, Fatboy Slim, Hardwell, Jamie Jones, Krewella, Lost Frequencies, Maceo Plex, Martin Garrix, Nervo, Nina Kraviz, Paul Van Dyk, Richie Hawtin, RL Grime, Sasha, Steve Angello, Tale of Us, Tiesto, Underworld, W&W, Yellow Claw
Photo Credit: Tomorrowland
August 15-18, 2018
The alternative flavored Pukkelpop is the second largest festival in Belgium boasting crowds of nearly 180,000. Started in 1985 as a simple single day show, Pukkelpop now features hundreds of bands over three days. The fest has changed venues a few times, but currently resides in the tiny village of Hasselt, which is located 45 miles from Brussels. Pukkelpop alumni include Pixies, Björk, The Stone Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead, Metallica, and The Prodigy. And of course, tradiation Belgian beers can be found everywhere.
Featured Artists: A-Trak, Arcade Fire, Aurora, Bonobo, BØRNS, Cigarettes After Sex, Flogging Molly, Grizzly Bear, Imagine Dragons, Incubus, Justice, Kendrick Lamar, Nina Kraviz, Nothing But Thieves, Roisin Murphy, The Black Angels, The War on Drugs
Photo Credit: © Pukkelpop
Cactus Festival 2018
July 13-15, 2018
Cactusfestival in Bruges keeps it simple with only a single stage to help fans avoid dreaded schedule conflicts and an intimate experience, only allowing an attendance of 25,000. Focused on rock and alternative music, Cactusfestival has been delivering this intimate vibe since 1982.
Featured Artists: Mogwai
Photo credit Jokko
Les Ardentes Festival 2018
July 5-8, 2018
Les Ardentes, a boutiqe rock and pop festival in Liege, brings in 75,000 festies along the banks of the Meuse River for a long weekend of music. Recently, the festival has been gaining recognition for its strong international hip-hop lineup.
August 11-12, 2018
Zeebrugge Beach, Belgium
Party on the beach! The Belgian flavored We Can Dance Festival takes place on the sands of sunny Zeebrugge Beach with five mind-blowing stages and electronic heavyweight DJs from around the world. There's a different theme each year and festies are encouraged to dress the part, which may change the atmosphere, but the vibe always remains full dance mode.
Photo Credit: Jon Verhoeft
Laundry Day 2018
September 1, 2018
Forget the detergent, Laundry Day in Belgium means a one day festival dedicated to electronic music in all its forms. For over two decades, Laundry Day has been delivering a solid dose of late-summer festival vibes to Antwerp across a dozen different stages. Previous artists have included Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Dave Clarke, Knife Party, Passion Pit, Benny Benassi, and A-Trak.
Photo Credit: Laundry Day
Paradise City 2018
June 29-July 1, 2018
This Paradise City takes you down to the historic setting of Kasteel de Ribaucourt in Belgium for a weekend of underground electronic beats. The venue, a beautiful 15th century castle in the city of Perk, is located just outside Brussels (and right next door to the international airport!).
Brussels Summer Festival 2018
August 14-18, 2018
The downtown city center of Brussels comes alive every August with 10 full days of concerts and cultural activities. While BSF is focused on Belgian bands, there's more than enough international talent sprinkled through the lineup to make this a hugely entertaining event. It's estimated that more than 100,000 festies attend BSF.
Photo Credit: Arnaud Laurent
Graspop Metal Meeting 2018
June 22-24, 2018
When it comes to metal festivals, there's few that can match the worldwide reputation of the famous Graspop Metal Meeting. 150,000 hard core festival fans make their way to Dessel for a weekend of hard rock, punk, metal, and everything else that's loud. The only thing wilder than this four-day festival is the camping. Bring a tent!
Featured Artists: Avenged Sevenfold, Body Count, Bullet For My Valentine, Guns N' Roses, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Kreator, Less Than Jake, Limp Bizkit, Megadeth, Parkway Drive, Shinedown, The Darkness, Volbeat
Photo Credit: Graspop Metal Meeting
Extrema Outdoor Belgium 2018
May 18-20, 2018
Born in the Netherlands, The Extrema Outdoor Belgium Festival, usually called the XOBE Festival, is a huge 3-day camping festival. It usually pulls in around 65,000 fans and features over 100 artists playing at 7 stages.