Band Tour to Belgium

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Bungle, Jun 5, 2006.

  1. Bungle

    Bungle Member

    Cranbrook Town Band are planning a tour to Belgium in May 2008. I am looking for suggestions on places to visit and play over a long weekend. We have already done Bruges, Mons, Ypres and, not exactly Belgium, but we have done Valkenburg. I quite like the look of Gent when I visited, but have heard it's difficult to transport all your band gear into the center.

    If there any bands from Belgium who would like to do a joint concert on a Saturday night and assist in finding a venue for an outdoor concert on the following Sunday please can you PM me.
  2. andywooler

    andywooler Supporting Member

    Don't forget Flanagan's Bar in Ostende - mein host there is former Eastbourne Silver Band member, John Eldridge.
  3. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Killamarsh have been to Belgium twice and one of the best venues is definately Brugge, with a lot of effort you can get permission to play in the Grande Place in Brussels which is fantastic. We've also played in Gent/Ghent twice and yes it is difficult to get a coach in there you just need to get the right route in.

    We've played outside the large theatre and the Market place (on market day) and went in the wrong road getting the coach stuck at the end of a one way street and unable to get in to the centre due to a ridiculously tight turn and some stainless steel bollards.

    Leuven is a good venue to play with a nice square surrounded by cafes etc - also home of Stella which is well worth a visit to the brewery - we went once but when I asked them if we could come again the following year they said they were closed - I said "I havn't said when we are coming" to which they replied they were closed whenever we wanted to go - I think we may have been a little over-indulgent on our first visit (seriously though they were refurbishing the visitors centre the following year)

    I'd say stick to North of Brussels as we found the more French areas to be less inviting - I'm also told that Antwerp is worth a visit. If you're staying in the East I'd also suggest Maastricht - look out for their Pruevenement festival which takes place over 4 days in August.

    Oh and if you need a EEb put me down.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2006
  4. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Hopefully Jan will see this thread and will be able to provide you with some additional information.
  5. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    I can put your request for a joint concert with a Belgian band on our Belgian (Flemish) brassband forum ( ). Do you have some more information about your band? (like e-mail, website, section, ...)

    Leuven, Ghent and Antwerp are indeed very nice cities for tourists to visit, and both them have lots of bars too (if you would be intrested in that kind of thing ;-) ).

    If you want to exchange with a Belgian brass band, most of them are in the region bewteen Brussels and antwerp (the Mechelen / Willebroek region), but there are brass band sin the rest of Flanders as well, and of course also many wind and fanfare bands.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2006
  6. Bungle

    Bungle Member

    Thanks for replying Jan,
    Well we don't do the nationals, but I would say we are about 2nd section standard. We came second in the second section at the last SCABA Hove contest, playing Philip Sparke's Triptych. Our website is Have a look at the band photos section for details on our tour last year. Best contact email for me is As we would be taking wives, husbands and partners, we would prefer to be near, or in, a tourist friendly town.

    Just had a look at a web site for Leuven, looks quite nice :D

    Sorry if this is not of interest to the others, but I am hoping some bands from Belgium might stumble across this thread.
  7. pantarheipaul

    pantarheipaul Member

    we can do something.
    BB Panta Rhei from Ghent.
    please contact me by e-mail
  8. derekdawson

    derekdawson Member

    I played with Dodworth Colliery Band in Belgium for a long weekend in 1981,( I know, a long time ago) but we stayed with the locals at Izegem, not far from Bruge and they were brilliant, they also had a concert band,( military band style) worth a look at.
  9. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    I think there are several bands (wind/fanfare) in Izegem, but v=could it have been this one: (the "Koninklijke Stadsfanfaren"). They are a fanfare band that is ranked in our top section. They recorded a nice CDm last year, full of entertaining pieces that will be known to most brass banders here (Call of the Cossacks, Aranjuez, and so on)
  10. Bungle

    Bungle Member

    Thanks for that. Are there two Izegems? The one I have found is closer to Kortrijk than Brugge. The national shoe museum and national brushmaking museum sound interesting, at least it will give the girls something to visit (only joking).

    Just looking into Purrs at the moment, the home of the Duvel brewery, and they do brewery trips :guiness
  11. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    No, that's the same Izegem. But it's not that far from Bruges either (it's a small country ;-) )

    The Duvel Brewery is along the A12, one of the two high ways between Brussels and Antwerp. It is also very close to the cities of Mechelen (nice historic centre as well) and Willebroek.

    A lot of breweries do tours. e.g. in Leuven you can visit the main Stella Brewery, if I'm correct.

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