From Retie Rockt to Woolstock: the best summer festivals in the region
Which pop festivals should we go to this summer? Univers gives you an overview of the best (walkable or cyclable) festivals in Tilburg area and surroundings.
Nobody likes to be sitting in a train with his drunken head. Or even worse: in a (shuttle) bus. It’s definitely a lot better to ride a bike or even crawl back home after a day of heavy ‘festivalling’. With some vigorous pedalling, the location – the E3 beach in Eersel – of one of the best dance festivals in the region – We Are Electric – can be reached from Tilburg within about an hour. With public transport, it would take you a lot longer! The program poster shows it all: on June 17 and 18 you’ll get to enjoy some adventurous acts like 2Many DJs, Underworld, Lost Frequencies (!), Paul Kalkbrenner, Joost van Bellen, Benny Rodrigues and Michel de Hey, Fatboy Slim, Die Antwoord and a lot more. Even the Syrian wedding singer Omar Souleyman got a gig at the festival.
If you want to bounce around all day long, just attend that same beach on July 16 and enjoy Dominator; Europe’s largest gabber event with over 45 thousand visitors.
We Are Electric gets some serious competition from Best Kept Secret, June 17-19, in Hilvarenbeek, a few villages closer. With acts such as Beck, Bloc Party, Editors, Air, Dinosaur Jr., Wilco, Jamie XX and fifteen thousand visitors per day, it’s no longer a well-kept secret. However, the excellent (green) location remains a unique one.
A week later – June 25/26 – Festival Mundial in Tilburg Spoorzone shines with some trendy ‘world’ and urban. With inevitable names like Typhoon, Lil’ Kleine and Ronnie Flex, but also with Wende, Balkan king Shantel, the Nigerian diva Nneka and fine Antwerp rapper Tourist LeMC. Personally, we recommend the weird yet brilliant ‘rapper’ Jack Parow, the Mongolian punk rockers Hanggai, the Chassidic American reggae star Matisyahu, the Malian desert rockers Tinariwen, the elderly calypso queen Calypso Rose from Trinidad (with members of the Manu Chao band), the exotic mambo surf of Orkesta Mendoza ft. Salvador Duran, Sergio Mendoza from Calexico, and the spicy ‘sound system’ Kuddedieren, bringing you a thumping ‘tropical bass’.
From July 1 to 3 you can do it all again in Hilvarenbeek, during Elastiek Muziek, with free performances of Diggy Dex, Bazzookas, The Kik and Bohemian Betyars. The weekend before (June 30-July 2) the new Share a Perfect Day will take place in the Beekse Bergen: the festival for ‘you and your friends’, sponsored by a Brabant supermarket chain. You’ll get your dose of easily digestible acts such as Douwe Bob, Kensington, Racoon and Dotan.
In the category ‘carnival music’ and ‘cheap nostalgia’: Back 2 the 90’s, in the Tilburg Leijpark on the 2nd of July. With, among others, T-Spoon, Coolio, Rednex, Paul Elstak and Party Animals. Just keep on partying the next day: on July 3 the not a bit less cheesy Ibiza festival Bora Bora is held at the “Experience Island” in Loon op Zand.
Slightly more exciting is Woo Hah!, the biggest hip-hop festival in the Spoorzone, also on July 2, but it’s already sold out. Tickets are still available for the alternative dance party The Full Moon Festival at the Muzentuin (Muse Garden) in Tilburg (July 9), but no program yet.
Not to be missed and always plenty of space: the free Total Festival in Bladel (26 to 31 July). Sure to perform there: Gallowstreet, Jacco Gardner, Rotterdam Ska-Jazz Orchestra and Jules Deelder.
Almost last but certainly not least: Woolstock, ‘somewhere on a meadow near Tilburg’, August 26 and 27. In other words: two days unlimited food and drinks and camping plus good music for 45 or 65 euros for one day or 90 euros for the whole weekend. On the event poster: Stef Kamiel Carlens (dEUS/Zita Swoon), comedian/musician André Manuel, Flip en de Noormannen and many others. Make sure to be there on time because there’s only limited space. And no tickets available at the door.
You may just as well close the summer season with the Free Dance Tour in the Leijpark on August 28. Artists: yet to be announced.
And one last hot tip for this Saturday, June 11th: Retie Rockt in Retie, just across the border near Reusel. One more cycle tour, but well worth the effort: for only 15 euros you get Peter Pan Speedrock (on a farewell tour), the equally filthy (hard)rock of Death Alley, The Hickey Underworld and John Coffey, you know, those beer catchers of Pinkpop.