The Dour festival in Belgium is truly a hidden gem among European festivals. With 8 different stages and more than 140 bands it attracted more than 50.000 visitors this year. However, if you don’t live in Belgium, France or the Netherlands where most of its visitors come from there’s a high probability you have never even heard about Dour.
I had the chance to go there this year with a group of friends and I have to say it was one of the nicest festivals I have ever been to. Great music, nice location, lots of friendly people and everything was really well-organized.
Here are some impressions:
And here are my personal musical highlights from the Dour festival 2016:
I have been following Underworld since the 1990s and I was very much looking forward to seeing them live. They didn’t disappoint. From old hits like “Cowgirl” or “Born Slippy” to new tracks like the Drum&Bass-influenced “Scribble” their show was highly energetic and got the entire crowd in front of the main stage to dance their asses off.
Even though they have been around for so long their music did not sound old or retro but still fresh and original and their live performance clearly puts them in the top league of electronic music artists.
I have to admit that I was not a huge fan of Peaches so far but her live performance really made me change my mind. Her performance was energetic, original and even quite funny sometimes – I have certainly never seen dancing plush vaginas before…
Fakear was not really on my musical radar so far. With their groovy, melodic and somewhat glitchy sound I wouldn’t have expected them to enter the main stage. However, once they had started and gotten everyone into their sound universe they had won a lot of hearts and plenty of new fans.
I had known a few N’to tracks before and while I did like their music I didn’t expect much from the live performance – maybe a “one guy and his laptop”-kind of performance. How wrong I was! With the combination of electronic beats, live percussions and live xylophone, they delivered a wonderful live performance that had a large crowd dancing and partying. Definitely worth seeing live!
As an electronic music veteran and with plenty of underground hits under his belt, Tiga from Montreal (Canada) delivered a hypnotic live performance that was clearly inspired by early 1980s electronic music. Not the most danceable performance I saw but certainly fascinating and unique.
As a former member of Woodkid, Clément Bazin has certainly taken some of these epic melodies as an influence and turned them into his own unique style. As a one-man show, Clément delivered an impressive live performance which was a combination of electronic beats and live steel drum sounds. The large audience in front of the stage also clearly showed how many fans he already had in France and Belgium – and he clearly deserves to be known beyond those countries.
This was the second time I saw Rudimental live and they did not disappoint me. Performing with a full band of amazing vocalists and instrumentalists, they brought plenty of positive energy with them and quickly had the main stage crowd on their side. With their soulful and energetic combination of House, Drum&Bass, Funk and many other influences they are certainly one of the best live performers I have seen in the last couple of years. They even surprised the crowd with a live cover version of General Levy’s Jungle classic “Incredible”. Booyaka!
While Netsky is still an insider tip in many parts of the world he is a stadium-filling superstar in his home country of Belgium. Performing on the first evening of Dour 2016, Netsky clearly showed why he is playing in the top league of Drum&Bass artists today.
His sound is energetic, positive and appeals to many people who would otherwise probably not listen to Drum&Bass – without taking up too many pop clichés. The live band he had with him gave the performance a lot of additional energy and overall made it very clear that this sound belongs on the main stage.