Discover Benelux, Issue 30, June 2016

Page 43

Discover Benelux | Entertainment | Best Festivals in Belgium and Luxembourg

The only prison in the world you will not want to escape from TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: TIM TRONCKOE

Get ready for the ultimate hard rock and metal open-air experience. On 13 and 14 August, the Alcatraz prison will once again set up camp in Kortrijk at the centre of Flanders Fields, where loud guitars replace poppies. From its roots as a small one-day indoor hard rock and metal event, the Alcatraz Metal Festival (AMF) has grown into an amazing two-day metal experience with over 14,000 visitors from across Europe. While it is not the world’s biggest metal fest (and nor does it proclaim to be), AMF is the ideal escape for those who are yearning for cosiness and ambiance topped off with an excellent line-up. The Alcatraz prison area includes a 50-metre ‘Real Prison Stage’, with bands lining up one after the other, giving visitors (or, rather ‘inmates’) unspoilt views of each act. Unlike the original Alcatraz in the USA, just 30 minutes from San

Francisco, this Belgian version knows how to treat their inmates: the original water tower has been reinvented as a beer tower; the prison watchtowers now house an incredible light and pyro show with searchlights; and the main building has been transformed into the main stage. Instead of hunger, thirst and violent prison guards, Alcatraz prides itself on friendly hosts, a complete absence of violence and misbehaviour, as well as a mass of like-minded head bangers (‘inmates’) and visitors that want to party. Visitors? Yes, not exclusively for metal heads, the uninitiated, young and old, come in their throngs from across Europe, garnering Alcatraz an unrivalled sense of brother and sisterhood in the only prison in the world you will not want to escape from. Quality over quantity, AMF intentionally opts for a carefully selected bill of bands with enough breaks in between so that

every visitor can catch their breath. The cherry-picked line-up covers the whole range of subgenres in the hard rock and metal scene, with heavy guitar solos seamlessly combining with melodious and symphonic sounds. In previous editions, AMF showcased roaring names such as Marilyn Manson, Twisted Sister and Nightwish, with 2016 already looking sharp. While two more main acts are still to be announced, the line-up is already a who’s who of the scene: Within Temptation, Whitesnake, Soulfly, and Avantasia. With an on-site metal market, campsite, signing tent for meet-and-greets, practical shuttle buses as well as special VIP experience packages, the team behind AMF are even more committed to delivering the inmates an unforgettable weekend full of music and good vibes. @AlcatrazMusic Issue 30 | June 2016 | 43