Music at Vooruit is a multitude of things. It’s the first concert in Belgium by a Ghanaian rapper who made one lost album in the early nineties that has now been rediscovered and become a cult classic. It's an instrumental post-doom metal band that has written a new score for a forgotten Japanese animation movie about witchcraft. It's a five-hour-long minimalist piano piece performed for people to listen to lying down on the floor, the curtains of the Balzaal open and traffic noises floating in and blending with the music. It's working with a Congolese-Belgian electronic musician who wants to decolonise the dance floor and challenge the going conventions of club music. And that's not even half of it.
Within the curated programme at Vooruit we present a wide range of unconventional music. This means we might go merrily from feminist avant-pop to minimalist composition, to electronic music from the African diaspora, to abstract underground hip hop. We might present artists who have one leg in the underground and one toe in the mainstream but – despite any superficial differences in genre – all have a few key things in common: an exploratory bent, a need for challenging the status quo both musically and politically, a sense of urgency, a unique and inspiring voice, and a love for experimentation.
Vooruit presents and supports artists who – because of these qualities – don't find themselves on the more conventional music festival stages and club spaces yet. Our goal is to provide a platform for artists that would be considered outsiders in the music industry. We do so not only by giving them the stage, but also by supporting residencies and creating a brand-new record label.
We embrace cultural diversity and gender equality at our festivals and in our regular programme. One of the ways we do this is that we never put together a programme just on our own; we involve organisations, artists and guest curators and build programmes in partnership. That way we keep things fresh and interesting. To name some of our fine partners: KRAAK, All Eyes On Hip Hop, Gouvernement, Democrazy, Stroom.tv, Subbacultcha, Courtisane, Europalia, Film Festival Gent, KASK, Springstof and many more.
Music in Vooruit also means four returning festivals. VIDEODROOM is the new banner under which we present a series of cinematic concerts during and in collaboration with the International Film Festival of Ghent. EASTERN DAZE is a festival curated with the Ghent-based record label KRAAK, exploring the overlaps between so-called ‘ethnic music’ and so-called contemporary experimental music. OUT THE FRAME is a one-day event that focuses on the ever-expanding universe of hip hop. UNCANNY VALLEY focuses on the crossover between visual art and music.