Founded in 1989 by Carlo Di Antonio, Dour Festival is the biggest music and touristic event in the French-speaking part of Belgium. For the last 29 years, the festival found the perfect formula to become one of the most important events in Europe: a unique, and eclectic line up, filled with impressive headliners and – more importantly – a lot of exciting discoveries, a terrain in the heart of the Borinage Terrils and an unsurpassed organisation.
In 2017 the festival welcomed 242 000 festival goers from all over Europe, for 5 days full of love and music. The next edition will take place from July 11 until 15. It promises to be mind boggling once more: an improved festival area, a gigantic yet cosy camping and improved service for all music lovers.
The origins of Dour Festival
A strong ecological conscience and desire to promote local artists
The history of Dour, a small village in the middle of the Borinage which became a congregation in the 15th century, is strongly connected with that of the coal mines. Since the 18th century, the arrival of the Machine à Feu made it possible to reach even the deepest reserves. In the next century, the region became Europe’s largest coal field and supplied the most important world forces.
The major post-war social and industrial crisis hit Belgium and in particular the Borinage very hard. One by one, the mines were forced to close and nature took over, allowing small natural conservations to flourish. In 1988, the municipality of Boussu bought the mine-dump and sold it to Ryan Europe for exploitation. The former miners and the youth formed a coalition and after long protests the area was finally kept intact.
The stone mountain, which is held dear by many, was preserved and the next year Dour Festival was founded at its foot on La Plaine de la Machine à Feu. The festival had a strong ecological awareness right from the start. To this day it continues this support many local and European projects for environmental conservation and sustainable development.
From the very beginning, the organisers involved all elements of the Dour entity and emphasized, all 29 editions, the Belgian and local acts. Last year, the project Bruxelles Arrive brought together the new Belgian hip-hop generation on the Last Arena.
The will and knowhow of the locals revitalized the region. Today, it gives Belgian artists the opportunity to be discovered by international professionals.