Dour: Portrait of a Festival

Article published on Sept. 20, 2016
Article published on Sept. 20, 2016

This article has not been vetted by an editor at Paris HQ

Cafebabel Brussels was all ears this year at Dour Festival. We wanted to hear all about the festivalgoers who scream "Dourreeuuh!" together. Where do they come from, and what do they think about Europe? It was a morning-after experience, in the best possible way.

For those of you who are still learning about the world of Belgian festivals, you should know that Dour has been around for almost 30 years. Dour Festival was started by Carlo di Antonio in 1989. Since then, it has grown to become the biggest musical event and tourism draw in French-speaking Belgium.

The secret of its success is the subtle alchemy performed by its organizers. Its unique, sought-after line-up is alternative and powerful. Dour manages to blend legendary artists and rising stars, creating authentic musical diversity.

So who are the people who yell Doureuh?

Every year, Dour's fan base grows. Last week, around 235,000 people traipsed into the Borinage region. This meant that Dour was pretty crowded, but hey, nothing beats a jubilant crowd.

We noticed a lot of Belgians, both French and Flemish-speaking, and a lot of French people, but also Germans, Spaniards, Americans, and others. Eavesdropping probably wasn't the most effective way to identify all the nationalities at the festival.


We dared. Cafebabel's mission was to wake up a few festivalgoers and ask them one main question: What does Europe mean to you?

Inspiration didn't strike for everyone. But we were left with the understanding that, for most of our fellow festivalgoers, Europe means:

·         Greater mobility

·         Freedom of movement and action

·         Greater cultural diversity

·         An economy that needs to be questioned

After a few false starts, we also discovered several interesting points of view, some wackier than others, about what the European project means to a group of festivalgoers who are just rubbing the sleep from their eyes. We leave you with these photos of their thoughts.