For years, electronic music festivals have tended to grow and grow, no doubt in an attempt to catch up with the unbeatable Tommorowland and its extraordinary gigantism.
However, other festival organizers try to stand out by creating small “boutique” festivals where quantity is replaced by a desire for quality, exclusive services and an XXL experience. GusMen was at Voodoo Village this summer (September 10 and 11) to meet this happy and beautiful team, but above all to live the experience of this festival that everyone is talking about.
The least we can say is that we were conquered, impeccable organization, attention to detail, quality of the musical offer, additional services without forgetting the vast and diverse site.
It’s been more than 5 years since his friends from Brussels embarked on this incredible adventure and built their own oasis of underground music on the outskirts of a pretty little family castle. Maxim Dekegel, Mathias Vlaeminck and Axelle Dekegel totally created the concept of Voodoo Village and they achieved a real feat, by highlighting the remarkable site, by offering a cutting-edge and accessible musical program while making sure to create an “ambience” that fact that Voodoo Village is certainly today, one of the best appointments on the Belgian and international electro scene.
The neo-traditional “Gravenkasteel”, also called “Lundenkasteel“, is located in the far north of the municipality of Grimbergen. We are just a few kilometers from the city center of Brussels. The castle which originally belonged to the lords of Humbeek, is surrounded by a moat, and a park which connects to a pretty forest to the south, covers around 100 hectares. So here is the incredible decor that serves as the setting for this underground electronic music festival.
A totally exotic bucolic setting
This year, the festival was offered over two days and around 6 stages. As i was saying, the site is so vast and varied that you can dance while looking at the castle, in a vast meadow, or in a dense forest… This variety of scenery, this effect of freedom thanks to the space made available, and the quality of the various services offered, offers festival-goers a rare experience that deserves to be highlighted.
A festival with a sharp program, but so accessible
60 artists present this year in the program. There are names like Keinemusik (&ME b2b Rampa b2b Adam Port), Pan-Pot, Monolink, Fjaak, Damian Lazarus, Stavroz, Recondite and Mind Against, G live, Ida Engberg, Fideles…
In addition to the 6 stages, there was a new area called “The Oracle“. It is devoted to balance and mental well-being. The idea we have, reminds our organizers, “Is to allow visitors to relax and refocus on themselves, away from the stimuli of the festival”. Concretely, we discovered “cuddly spaces” with soft cushions placed under a pretty tent. We have seen breathing exercises, yoga sessions or even kizomba, sound healing and mindfulness meditation.
A culture of respect, respect for culture
For its organizers, “Respecting the festival-goer is good, but respecting this natural setting is better“. The festival collaborates with the Belgian label Ecofest, “Every year we aim for a sustainable and waste-free festival, by implementing ecological measures within our organization and our policy” recalls our trio of organizers. To cite just a few examples of the work carried out on site, before, during and after the festival, we can cite the planting of new trees, the use of reusable cups, the distribution of biodegradable straws, decomposable tableware, to cite just a few examples.
Maxim, Mathias and Axelle specify “In this way, we want to maximize our positive impact on the ecological and economic level: targeting of our waste treatment, reduction of CO2 emissions, energy management and other opportunities for environmental profit. This also includes optimizing the deployment of staff and advising the subcontractor”.
And to finish captivating us, Voodoo Village also offers many additional activities, such as a vast Bazaar, many food-trucks with vegetarian options…
But that’s not all, we still have to tell you about this unique culinary experience that we had the chance to experience on Sunday lunchtime. This surprise was made by Belgian Michelin-starred chef Wout Bru, renowned butcher Luc De Laet and chef Jules Koninckx from Maven. This took place in the greenhouse with a view of the castle. A first for us, eating a starred menu, to the sound of a DJ, before returning to a wood, to dance madly, until the end of the night.