BRUSSELS — In Belgium, public broadcaster VRT and various commercial stations are teaming up with VI.BE for the first “Week van de Belgische Muziek” (“Belgian Music Week”). VI.BE is a non-profit association, which sets itself up as “the contact point for artists and the music sector in Flanders and Brussels.”
Running from Feb. 8–14, during the special event VRT and commercial radio stations will highlight the country’s music in an effort to support the Belgian music industry.
Radio and TV
On VRT’s Eén TV channel, musician/presenter Bart Peeters will host two music shows, one on Feb. 9 and the other on Feb. 11 in the Brussels Cirque Royale venue. The program will feature live performances and “unexpected musical ‘blind dates.’”
Other programs including the daily “Blokken” (“Block”) quiz, the “Dagelijkse kost” (“Daily Meal”) culinary program and “Iedereen beroemd” (“Everyone Famous”) will feature Belgian musical elements.
VRT’s Radio 1 will include a daily “Belpop” music hour between 9–10 a.m., plus a special tribute to Belgian pop heroes, such as Django Reinhardt.
With “Radio 2 Bene Bene,” VRT’s second channel is setting up a daily early evening radio show, plus special “Radio 2 Bene Bene” Top 15 countdowns on weekday afternoons, cohosted by Flemish singers or musicians.
Then, on Feb 12, MNM hosts Brahim and Astrid Demeure will present the “Bravo België Top 100” show, followed by an exclusive DJ set by Regi.
Studio Brussel is also joining in on the action. Under the hashtag #ikluisterbelgisch, the radio station is inviting five top musicians to share their favorite Belgian tracks.
In addition, classical and jazz music channel Klara is asking the public to unveil their favorite Belgian classical composers. And the program “Late Night” will revive the most recent edition of the Jazz Middelheim festival, focusing on Belgian talent.
Commercial Stations Too
Joining the public broadcaster will be a number of commercial stations. Qmusic’s morning and evening drive hosts are inviting Belgian artists to cover each other’s songs live on the air.
DAB+ only channel Willy will feature a 24/7 Belgian music week, paying attention to upcoming talent.
Meanwhile, Nostalgie is inviting four Belgian musicians to play their favorite pop classics in the studio. Presenter Leen Demaré will switch to Belgian music during her evening show “LenaLena,” while “Viva Vinyl,” hosted by Dominique Crommen features three hours of Belgian vinyl tracks.
Finally, under the theme “Single in the City,” NRJ is giving away three private concerts during Belgian Music Week. The lucky winners will be entitled to a private performance from artists that takes place in one of three empty concert halls located in Antwerp, Ghent or Brussels.
“After one year of being literally ‘unplugged’ it’s about time to highlight our music industry,” said Luc Nowé, VI.BE director. “We have lined up a massive pack of initiatives to support local music, from radio and TV to concert venues, libraries and clubs: We’re all focusing on Belgian music.”