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Fire is Gold and Vaag Outdoor invade Spoor Oost for the weekend and attract 15,500 visitors (Antwerp)

© Nattida-Jayne Kanyachalao

Previously Fire is Gold took place in Middenvijver on the Left Bank, but this year it moved to Spoor Oost. Ronnie Flex & The Fam, Bryan MG, Faisal and Ckay, a Nigerian sensation with a whopping 1 billion streams to his name, may be the household names on the lineup. In total, more than forty artists played on different stages. Furthermore, a skate ramp, a make-up stand and a barbershop and not even an exhibition on sneakers.

Chariffe and Tijl got to know each other at the Erotica fair — © Nattida-Jayne Kanyachalao

burlesque

On the concrete ‘meadow’ of Spoor Oost we meet Chariffe (24) from Stabroek and Tijl (23) from Sint-Niklaas. The friends got to know each other at the Erotica fair, where they both gave a burlesque performance. “This seemed to be a great party with a lot of afrobeat, which we are both fans of. The CKay concert is a must, but otherwise we don’t know which artists are coming. We are actually very ill-prepared. Oh well, as long as we can party and dance a lot. And the location, with all those cranes and industrial background, is really worth it. And the festival is very nicely dressed. It’s just a shame that the stages are so close to each other. Sometimes it’s a bit of a cacophony.”

Girlfriends Graciella, Blue and Vimonh are huge fans of Nigerian superstar CKay

Girlfriends Graciella, Blue and Vimonh are huge fans of Nigerian superstar CKay — © Nattida-Jayne Kanyachalao

A little bit crazy

This is confirmed by friends Graciella (22), Blue (26) and Vimonh (25) from the Sint-Andrieswijk, Borgerhout and the center of Antwerp. “Sometimes the music gets mixed up. We expected the festival site to be slightly larger. After all, Spoor Oost has enough space, so it’s a bit strange that they have put the stages so close together. And the previous location on Linkeroever in greenery was also more beautiful. Anyway, the line-up is again great – we should definitely not miss the performances by Delany and of course CKay.”

Dylan and Salaam are making an Antwerp podcast

Dylan and Salaam are making an Antwerp podcast — © Nattida-Jayne Kanyachalao

podcast

Dylan (26) from Grimbergen and Salaam (30), who lives in the university area, are here professionally. “We make the podcast ‘Behaved’ together in Antwerp and come here to interview a few artists. After all, this is a local highlight for afro beat and hip hop lovers with top artists and DJs. We are coming to Fire is Gold for the third time and the vibe is always great, with a unique mix of music and pop culture.”

Dj René Opsedee does revolve around the pot

Dj René Opsedee does revolve around the pot — © Patrick De Roo

Toilet DJ

On Sunday it was Vaag Outdoor’s turn. Club Vaag’s first festival on the Rijnkaai was set up around house, techno and drum & bass. While the decoration on Fire is Gold was very colorful, they kept it more sober, with a focus on black. The fringe entertainment was also modest, although there was a real toilet DJ present: René Opsedee. His slogan: “The only DJ who does run around the pot.”

Glenn and Valerie were the first to arrive on Sunday.

Glenn and Valerie were the first to arrive on Sunday. — © Patrick De Roo

The very first visitors

The gates – well, nadar gates – swung open at 12 o’clock just like Saturday. Glenn from Tremelo and Valerie from Baal (both 29) were among the very first visitors. “We decided to make it a weekend in Antwerp. Yesterday we visited the city, with a nice dinner, and today we are going to party. We are here very early indeed, but we want the full experience experience. After all, a ticket is not cheap. We are especially looking forward to the performances by Joyhauser, Nico Moreno and Charlie Sparks.” The couple is a fan of Club Vaag: “We’ve been there a few times. A great place, but rather hot. But that’s what it is here today.”

The DJs also puff in the heat

The DJs also puff in the heat — © Patrick De Roo

Exciting

Dj Mycelia (Nadjet Zeghdani according to the registry office) was allowed to open Vaag Outdoor as the winner of their DJ contest. The 30-year-old with Dutch roots has been living in Belgium for 13 years, currently in Merksem. A year and a half ago she moved to Thailand and got a taste of DJing there. “Once I got home I wanted to continue that, but I wasn’t sure how to start. So I just took part in DJ contests.”

Just before the DJ set of Mycelia, her installation still has to be connected quickly

Just before the DJ set of Mycelia, her installation still has to be connected quickly — © Patrick De Roo

And then she left

And then she left — © Patrick De Roo

And with success: she won matches against Rampage and Sugar Rock and stood on their podium. And now she opens on Vaag Outdoor. “All doors now open very easily. I honestly don’t know if it’s pure luck, but I go with the flow without expectations. I am currently following a course producing at Ampere. I like to play other people’s records, whether it’s deep house or minimal techno, but I’d like to see what I can make myself. The result will come straight from my heart anyway because music is my passion. But now I’m going to DJ. It’s going to be exciting!”

From left: Wim and Ariane celebrated a reunion with their American friends Aaron and Madeleine at Vaag Outdoor

From left: Wim and Ariane celebrated a reunion with their American friends Aaron and Madeleine at Vaag Outdoor — © Patrick De Roo

stunner

In the afternoon we meet Aaron (34) and Madeleine (28). They come from Los Angeles, play in the band Dingbat Superminx and a few years ago they toured with the Flemish group King Dick. “We became friends and now there is a kind of reunion. We absolutely don’t play techno – rather a kind of mix of performance art and pop – but we wanted to experience this anyway. After all, techno is a European specialty.”

Wim (40) from Turnhout and the frontman of King Dick is here with his girlfriend Ariane (28) from Deurne-Noord. “My band is specialized in garage rock, but I recently started an acid techno project with Ariane under the name Knallertje. The first single is already out and we hope to perform live soon.” Ariane adds: “Here for example! I’ve been coming to Club Vaag since the beginning and it’s still my place to be. I would like to be part of that ‘club’.” (mibl)

© Patrick De Roo

© Patrick De Roo

© Patrick De Roo

© Nattida-Jayne Kanyachalao

The article is in Dutch

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