6 Reasons to go to Doel Festival

…the festival that put an almost-abandoned Belgian village on the map

  • Kate Pasola, Content Editor
  • pá 8. 9. 2023

Doel festival wants you to know, first and foremost, that it does not take place in a ‘ghost town’. And it’s true – the village of Doel still had 18 inhabitants on the last count.

What’s more, the inaugural Doel Festival of 2022 put the near-deserted streets of Doel firmly back on the map as a jewel in the crown of the Belgian electronic music scene, with nearly 6000 visitors. The festival returns for another year this September, and frankly, you should consider booking your ticket ASAP, as the chance to be part of Doel 2.0 is evaporating fast – it’s already sold out 80% of its tickets. Here’s 6 reasons to make it across to Doel this month.

Doel Festival 2023

so 16. 9. 2023 12:00 • Oostlangeweg 11-13 Beveren, Belgium

An actually unique festival location

Where else can you party in a Bungalow? Doel’s got five stages, all characterised by their location in the village. Look out for street raves at the The Pastorij stage, an ‘inside-out club’ called Hooghuis, and techno sets in graffitied garages. There’s also exhibitions, bespoke structures and other installations studded across the site, likely to keep you awestruck as you make your way from one spot to another.

Be among the first wave of fans experiencing Doel

Did we mention this is only the second ever edition of Doel Festival that has taken place? Since Doel kicked off last year, interest in the festival and its host village has surged. This village and its festival and is building serious notoriety within the scene. Heading along to this second edition is very likely to feel like part of making – and shaping – music festival history.

Visit a historically significant place

In the late 80s, the small town of Doel was facing demolition. Today, just over a dozen people live in the town, refusing to leave their homes. The future of Doel depends on reviving the village, with more visitors and inhabitants. “Doel has a rich and tumultuous history that involves economic shifts, political battles, and a fight for its survival,” says the festival of its host town. “Attending the Doel Festival gives you the chance to connect with this history and be part of the village's revival story.”

It’s the perfect people-watching spot

Along with its stages, installations and pop-up stages, Doel has plenty of ‘nooks and crannies’, and newly constructed spots, dedicated to encouraging festival-goers to relax and watch the world go by. As revellers walk between stages they’ll tread past these central congregation areas, meaning it’s the perfect plot to make new friends, people-watch and become part of the festival community.

Oh, and it's a 14 hour rave – need we say more?

Get a taste of local Belgian electronic talent with Nosedrip, Lola Haro and Dana Montana, plus international heavyweights like SPFDJ, Calibre, DVS1 and DJ Gigola. Proceedings kick off at midday, so rest up and hydrate – you’ll be dancing your heart out until the early morn, and then some.

You’ll be directly supporting the village

Though most visit this festival for its impeccable lineup and gorgeous stage design, attending Doel isn’t just about having the best time… it's also about making a contribution, in some small way, to the town's rebuilding efforts.

It’s all taken care of with your ticket – a percentage of the festival's earnings is donated to a non-profit organization that’s dedicated to the restoration of Doel. “Buying a ticket will directly impact its future,” the festival explains on its website.

Grab your tickets to Doel Festival 2023 now.

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