Belgian Beer and Bandstand Tour

Discussion in 'Classifieds' started by Ray Burn, Nov 7, 2008.

  1. Ray Burn

    Ray Burn New Member

    Rayburn Tours are delighted to announce the launch of their Belgian Beer and Bandstand Tour! Whilst travelling through Belgium and performing at any one of the numerous traditional townsquare bandstands, why not let us take your band on a guided tour through some of the carefully selected breweries to wet your palette and partake in a little beer tasting? With over 450 different varieties, each with its own flavour and character, this small lowland country has become a Mecca for beer lovers. Perfect for a long weekend or summer tour, contact us for information on prices and dates.

    For more information on brass band tours to Belgium or other destinations, please contact us at
  2. Dave1

    Dave1 Member

    I can't see this being of any interest to brass bands at all ???????????????????????
  3. bellboy

    bellboy New Member

    Haha yeh, coz none of the bands I've played in have enjoyed a beer......:biggrin:
  4. Martin

    Martin Member

    Does it mean we have to play, 'Force of Destiny', for EVERY glass of Stella we order?:)
  5. bellboy

    bellboy New Member

    Not really sure how Giuseppe would feel about that! It could also result in too much of a break between beers!! I want to organise my band to go on a tour like this one, does anyone have any ideas where to go to play a bit, but enjoy a few 'quiet' ones on the side?
  6. Martin

    Martin Member

    Excellent point!!!!!!!!:)
  7. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    You could always cut it down to the bits in the advert and call it La Stella Del Destino...;)

    I'd think Belgium is ideal if you want a few beers and some good concerts. Its not too far away, the beer is great, they like their bands over there and there's plenty to see and do.

    We "did" Belgium this Easter (and it was blimmin' cold) and coach company and driver aside (better not go there!) we had a great time, and performed two well-attended concerts in decent venues.

    Incidentally if you do choose Belgium, there are a lot better beers to drink over there than Stella :)
  8. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    ... and you might get a to meet a certain moderator of this forum ;)
    (as long as your concert is somewhere east of the line Brussels/Antwerp :) )

  9. bellboy

    bellboy New Member

    I take it you work in Belgium? Where would you suggest as a good base for the tour?
  10. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    We, Killamarsh have toured Belgium twice, each time for 7 days. The first year we stayed near Lille, France - don't ask. The second time we stayed 3 days in Namur (to access the southern towns) and 4 days in Brussels.

    Best venues - Grande Place, Brussels, main Square in Brugges, Leuven (go on the Stella Brewery tour), Gent, Ypres (be there for the dusk last post at the Menin Gate) all good venues. Not so good venues Ostende bandstand, Charleroi.

    If you plan to go in summer, Brussels has some superb deals on accomodation during August - basically all the hotels are pretty full throughout the year with all the politians and staff working at the EU - the EU closes down for a month and there are loads of vacant hotel rooms at substantially discounted rates - we stayed in the Tulip Hotel which is now called the Thon - 2nd largest in Brussels and we got rooms for £20 a night were the "standard" rate in their busy perion was over £120.00 basically they need to keep the hotel ticking over in what to them is a relatively quite period (that was 2003 prices).
  11. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    I live here, I'm Belgian ;)
    If you want the visit the Western part (including the Ypres area with all the WOI monuments), Bruges or Ghent would be good starting points. Otherwise I can recommend Antwerp or Leuven. Perhaps Mechelen too. The rest of the country (including Brussels) can easily be reached from these locations.
    In recent years, I know that the Harrogate Band stayed in Leuven (ask Straightmute) and Wigston Band stayed in Antwerp (ask Woodenflugel)
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2008
  12. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Hope this doesnt hit any political nerves Jan but we found the Northern bit of Belgium to be the best area, we would not be contemplating going back to the mainly French speaking area. We enjoyed the Flemmish area best to the point that we assumed that Holland would be even better to visit and went for a week in 2004. On a balance Belgium was the best.

    Although we did have a slight problem with language in Gent, we managed to get our coach stuck on a one-way street into the Market Square, it was market day and there are some serious stainless steel bollards which prevented the coach from turning. No option but to reverse the coach back up the single lane street with a cue of cars behind - fatal mistake was to speak to people in French to explain the problem. Got no where - spoke in English and it was absolutely fine, the people couldnt be more helpful.
  13. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    certainly not with me ;)
    In the Netherlands, there is a big distinction between the (Catholic) South(/East) and the (Protestant) North(/West). The South is much more like Flanders (although the beer is not as good :tongue:). The North on the other hand has more of a brass band tradition. The South is more into wind- and fanfare bands (like Flanders).

    The extreme south-east of the Netherlands (Province Limburg, area of Maastricht and Kerkrade) is a very nice area for a band tour as well. It's a bit the "Yorkshire" of the Netherlands: a former mining area with at least one (wind/fanfare) band in every town or village, and it's also close to Hasselt or Tongeren in Belgium and Aachen in Germany (and you don' t need to change currencies when visiting the different countries ;) )
  14. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Yes we spent a day in Maasticht when we went to Holland (stayed in Rotterdam and Nijimegen) and it was the day of the Pruvenemint festival with the main square full of local food suppliers, restaurants, beer etc and live enterainment all day. Unfortunately it persisted it down all day and we all got very soaked but it was a good excuse to stay in a number of pubs.
  15. bellboy

    bellboy New Member

    Thanks heaps guys, some great tips here!

    ...Gent, Ypres (be there for the dusk last post at the Menin Gate) all good venues. Not so good venues Ostende bandstand, Charleroi.

    I've heard somewhere that you can actually perform at this ceremony? Would anybody recommend this?

    (P.S. Sorry tubafran, I didn't know how exactly to directly quote your quote!)
  16. Rayburn Tours

    Rayburn Tours New Member

    Just to let you know bellboy,

    We can organise a performance at the Last Post Ceremony under the Menin Gate as part of the Belgian Tour. You can choose to perform a small selection of hymns and/or the National Anthem during the ceremony. Without trying to sound too "salesy", many of the bands that have reported back to us after the ceremony said that it was a very memorable experience.

    Hope this helps.
  17. andywooler

    andywooler Supporting Member

    For anyone passing through Oostende, check out Flanagan's irish bar - it is owned by John Eldridge, former Principal Cornet with Eatsbourne Silver Band.
  18. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    A bit like this? - Press the "Quote post" button at the bottom of the post. You can even reference more than one using the "multiple quote" button

    It should be somewhere about .....DOWN
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2008

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