Brussels Electronic Marathon (BEM) is a 3-day urban electronic music festival which takes place in Brussels every year. The festival celebrates the diversity of the local underground music scene; homegrown talents, collectives, labels and venues which make the Sound of Brussels on a daily basis since 40 years.
It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon, so keep your pace to discover the sound of Brussels during an entire weekend: 3 days, 37 venues, 229 artists, 66 collectives, 65 events.
The festival is kids and family friendly but also offers non-stop clubbing experience for Party animals. From Techno to House to Noise to Ambient. Events include showcases, concerts, club nights, activities for kids, talks, music workshops and audiovisual installations under Brussels vestiges. Needless to say, there is a BEM for everyone!
Just a year ago in 2016, two friends challenged themselves to think outside the box and created Brussels premiere electronic marathon. It was just after Brussels first terrorist attack. The city was still recovering from its losses and had a heavy heart. To change the mood, the city proposed a challenge to its citizens: Make Brussels. Hundreds of enthusiasts and collectives submitted culturel projects to the city in hope of being selected and receive fundings to make their project happen, participating to change.
Brice DeLoose and Andri Halfidson were part of them. They submitted “Brussels Electronic Marathon” as part of a FTRSND (Future-Sound) initiative, a music collective they co-founded with some friends. The idea was simple: create an event which celebrates electronic music across the capital for an entire weekend and is accessible to all. Just like popular Jazz Marathon, Amsterdam Dance Event in The Netherlands or Airwaves in Iceland. The crazy duo didn’t win the Make Brussels contest, nor did they receive fundings, but decided to run the marathon anyway!
Last year, in just 3 months, together with the help of friends, volunteers and the whole damn underground scene, BEM turned the city upside down for a massive three-day non-stop rave. After the success of its first edition, Brussels Electronic Marathon is running again. Now with the full support of the city and lots of partners, the festival is growing and it is beautiful. It shows the magic of what locals call ”Bruxelles Village”. The unique friendliness and character of Brussels; a place where promoters, venue-owners, DJs, ravers, neighbours, and everyone-else just knows each other.
Brussels sure has its own rhythm, just like a soul-sister or distant cousin to Berlin. But could this be the birth of a new crossroad of musical tourism and discoveries? Electronic music is so much more than it used to be. And Brussels Electronic Marathon shows just that; take grandma out for brunch at the Ambient Odyssey at MIMA museum, your loved one to the Opening Concert of Terry Riley in C at Flagey and your youngest brother to DJ classes during day-time. There will always be room at night for your hard techno nights with industrial and hypnotic sounds!
Will you make it to the end of the marathon? See you on the other side!
KEY LOCATIONS & EVENTS
Opening Concert: Fennesz & Lillevan a/v performance. Flagey, Fri 13/10 20:00 - 23:00 (Concert)
Apéro by FTRSND, La Vallée, Fri 13/10 17:00 - 22:00 (Showcase)
Initiate Form and Function, The Lodge, Fri 13/10 20:00 - 08:00 (Club night)
Contemporary & Blue Cheese, Epicerie Moderne, Fri 13/10 22:00 - 06:00 (Club night)
An Ambient Odyssey, MIMA Museum, Sat 14/10 10:00 - 12:00 (Performance)
Fuse United, Fuse, Sat 14/10 23:00 -07:00 (Club night)
Move it forward - Women in Music, Bozar, Sat 14/10 & Sun 15/10 8:00 - 23:00 (Workshops Music, & Talks)
Zodiak x Brussels Electronic Marathon, Sat 14/10 23:55 - 07:00 (Club night)
Followed by NPE/ Red Neon, Zodiak, Sun 15/10 07:00 - 11:00 (After-party)
Musical Brunch, Airplane Mode at Aloft Hotel, Sun 15/10 11:30 - 16:00 (Electronic Brunch)
Synthetics Sounds and Visual Art, Coudenberg Palace, Fri 13/10, Sat 14/10, Sun 15/10 all-day (Installation)
Touching Sound Playground & Acousmatic Concerts, La Vallée, Fri 13/10, Sat 14/10, Sun 15/10 all-day (Installation, Concerts)
Full line-up and practical info: www.bem.brussels