Coming Up: Borgerwood
On Saturday July 25th and Sunday July 26th the Antwerp site on everybody's lips, Spoor Oost, is transforming into music festival Borgerwood. Branded “a festival 2.0” it is the first of its kind and the first event besides the annual Sinksenfoor-fair to happen on the Spoor Oost site. I visited organizer Bert Vanlommel and his creative team on site during the very first construction and got the low-down on what to expect.
Meet the Borgerhout team. Organising the festival are Bert Vanlommel, crowned the King of Borgerhout for hotspot Bar Leon and his many parties (Noord, SPEK, Kelly Splinter etc.) and Bertrand Lekeux, event director in the City of Mechelen and involved in countless projects and events. Both guys live and love Borgerhout. The shared love for the Antwerp district was the inspiration for the freshest festival in town. Also on board are Kasper Smets and Frederic Marnef, the creative directors of the festival team. When I visited them in the backstage area of the TRIX-complex, they were finishing up their “BORGERWOOD” sign, made completely out of recycled wood. I knew right away the interior of Borgerwood is going to look amazing, along with the abandoned train site and cranes.
Borgerwood is the very first festival to happen on the grounds of Spoor Oost. It's also the second ever event on the site, the first one being the City of Antwerp's very own fair, Sinksenfoor, just ended a few days ago. The grounds are special to Bertrand and his team. “This is our neighborhood and I'm very happy that we're the first ones who got our hands on this amazing location. We've had to fight for it and loads of others have their eye on the site but we pulled it off first. I am very pleased.” When asked to describe Borgerwood, he replied: “a festival 2.0”. Borgerwood places a lot of emphasis on the ecological aspect of their project. The Borgerwood eco-charter makes sure that Borgerwood and all of its partners are doing everything to minimize the ecological footprint. “We want this to be a sustainable festival. We focussed a lot on ecological materials, from the DJ booth to the band stage. You'll be able to find good food trucks, some even vegan, a market with vintage clothing, a photoboot, temporary tattoos, CTRL COPY's silkscreen stand and vinyl. Besides that, we strongly encourage everyone to come by bike or by foot.”
As for the music? There'll be a band stage and a DJ-stage, inspired by the 360° Boilerroom stages, right in the middle of the crowd. Bert and the rest of the team have their finger right on the pulse and booked every band who's on the brink of a breakthrough. sixsixsixties, Faisal, Guy-Ohm, Joy Wellboy, Soldier’s Heart, Kenji Minogue, STUFF, Melbourne's based Andras Fox, The Germans, Oaktree & Avondlicht, national radio station StuBru's House-godfather Kong and a lot of others, you'll find them next week at Borgerwood. After the festival it's time for the obligatory after-party, thrown in TRIX, right beside Spoor Oost. Hercules and Love Affair's Kim Ann Foxman is playing a set so start looking for your dancing shoes. Keep it hood.
An A+ location, an incredible line-up, eco-settings, premium food trucks, hosted by the hood for the hood and very good vibes. How could it go wrong? With some nice weather, Borgerwood is expecting 5k people on both days. This Is Antwerp will happily report back to you.
Info & tickets
BORGERWOOD – Spoor Oost
Saturday July 25th – 2 PM till midnight
Sunday July 26th – Noon till 10 PM
Borgerwood Night @ Trix – 11 PM until 6 AMDay Tickets: presale €8 – €12 ATD
Night Tickets: presale €13 – €15 ATD
Event link: win.gs/1EPBClx
Borgerwood FB: win.gs/1fnnDPj
Text by Laurent James
Pics by Laurent James