Werchter Re-Invents Again

Leading Belgian daily De Standaard says Flanders doesn’t realize how "spoiled" it is to have a festival that "re-invents itself every year," leading a deluge of positive media reports suggesting the award-winning Rock Werchter has become a national treasure.

Live Nation Belgium chief and Vlaamse Liberalen en Democraten MP Herman Schueremans may wish some of the music writers could be moved to the political desk, especially those waxing lyrical about the event’s success being due to his "many years of experience and the not to be underestimated urge for perfection" and saying the festival is "an example of efficiency."

"The W in Rock Werchter stands for World Class," claimed regional daily Het Belang van Limburg, as the ILMC award-winning festival missed a four-day 320,000 sellout by fewer than 1,000 tickets.

LN Belgium press chief Nele Bigare said the 2008 fest was "a big social gathering with music as the greatest common denominator," pointing out that fans came from 60 different countries with one-third of the crowd from outside of Belgium.

A disappointment but surely not a surprise was another no-show from Babyshambles, although the act did make France’s Les Eurockeennes de Belfort over the same weekend.

The acts helping to turn the Belgian national papers into Rock Werchter fanzines July 3-6 included Radiohead, R.E.M, dEUS, Lenny Kravitz, Kings Of Leon, The Chemical Brothers, Mika, Kaiser Chiefs, Counting Crows, The Hives, Neil Young, Moby, Beck, The Verve and Panic At The Disco.