1. Dunk! redefined the meaning of 'festival', and you're helping
Many Belgian festivals take on the 'Clear-Channel' approach, trying to become as big and expensive as possible. Dunk! doesn't. These guys want to remain what they are: small, with reasonable prices, free camping, free parking, free coffee, free tea, free breakfast. Yet, still they manage to come up with a crystal clear sound and a stunning light show. Last year, we watched an excellent band like Alice In The Cities blast out a brilliant gig, mainly because of the sound and light, but also because of the contagious enthusiasm in the crowd and crew.
Last year we also witnessed a spontaneous after-party. Someone found some speakers and a Bob Marley CD. It worked, crew, artists and audience were dancing the night away. It was just one of the many examples of how nice this festival has become.
It's also one of the cleanest festivals in the world. Our environment could be pleased with these people. No litter, no huges piles of vomit, just green green grass. It surprised Wout too, as you can read in our interview with him after last year's edition.
2. Financial issues.
For the second time in eleven years, the organisation faced some financial problems, resulting in a gap in their income. However, unlike most festivals, Dunk! refused to raise the ticket price. Instead, they made sure there is plenty of room for a few hundred people extra. Yes, Dunk! Festival is the only festival that gets bigger because it has less money. They also put up a load of merchandise and a donate-button on their website.
3. Beautiful surroundings
That little forest next to the festival site is one of the most fairylike areas I've ever seen, certainly when lit at night. Feel free to stroll around anytime and breathe in the fresh air. You don't have that in the city where you live. The experience might even add a few days to your life. You might even spot some squirrels and frogs. Last year, Thisquietarmy played a gig at the forest, a magical experience for a few hundred drone/doom fans who gathered in flocks to see the master at work.
But off course, in the first place, people will visit Dunk! Festival for the music, mainly slow, atmospheric music. True, Dunk! may have started out as a post-rock festival but now there's much more to see, including drones, sludge and modern-classical music. Allow me to guide you through and recommend some bands you certainly don't want to miss on this year's edition. Of course, you'll all be eager to see 65 Days Of Static, Russian Circles, Pelican and This Will Destroy You but there's much more goodness to be found.
Do not miss Spoiwo, you will severely regret it if you do. This Polish act is one of the best that the post-rock genre has to offer today and I'm quite positive that they will be one of the highlights on this edition. 'Salute Solitude' (read our review) was one of the best albums in 2015 and the band is preparing a tour to promote this masterpiece.
A quote from my review for their 'Mount Sinai/Aswan' release: "It doesn't often happen that I start writing a review right after an album comes in. So when I do, something special must be going on.". Now, I'll tell you a little secret. This band from Liege, Belgium sent me a message right after they were announced for Dunk! 2016. They think my review has been partially responsible for getting them on the line-up and I'm quite pleased with that. Post-rock, doom and drone, this gig is going to be awesome, I promise.
Ambient post-rock, dressed as an experimental electronic music outfit, creating elaborate and immersive soundscapes. In my review I said "as if Tangerine Dream and The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble recorded an album together.". I still stand by that and I hope these Romanians put up a nice show, but I'm quite sure they will. Nobody puts up a less than decent show at Dunk.
"Wait, that's not a band, that's a whole stage", you might say. And yes, that's true, but what a stage it is. The Belgian label Consouling Sounds received a carte-blanche for one day and they will put some nice acts on the second stage, including CHVE, Illuminine, IIVII, Barst & Yodok III. Quality guaranteed!!! Hell, every festival should do a Consouling day....
German post-rock at its finest, here and there enhanced by some sludge and metal influences. I can imagine that the people at the Dunk headquarters were extremely pleased with their new album and a spot on this year's festival. This might become one of the darkest gigs on Dunk! this year and I'm very much looking forward to a good slab of gritty darkness.
VENUEJeugdheem De Populier
address: Letterkouter 8 (GPS: Kouterken, 9620 Zottegem)
9620 Zottegem (Velzeke-Ruddershove)
The main stage is located in the biggest tent and is equipped with a highly professional sound and light system. The second stage tent is at the other side of the building that contains the restaurant and ticket office. New this year is a third tent where the merch will be located together with an interview stage and lounge area. Plenty of room to relax and have a chat with fellow post-rockers.
FOOD AND DRINKSLike always we'll have our very own catering team at your service, preparing delicious meal. Sometimes typical Belgian dishes, sometimes more exotic meals such as our famous Paella. Of course the legendary Belgian fries guys will be there again! We have a dedicated chef that knows how to prepare a very tasteful vegan or vegetarian meal. Also this year we will have Potatolicious cooking some potatoes in their food truck at the festival.
Drinks will be available at three bars this year.
TRANSPORTIONPeople driving by car just need to set there gps to Kouterken, 9620 Zottegem. That will guide you to the camping and parking entrance. Zottegem is only 10 minutes driving from the E40 highway. If you're coming from Brussels you can take the Zottegem/Erpe-Mere exit or if you're coming from Ghent you should take the Zottegem/Wetteren exit.
People coming by train or plane will need to take a train to Zottegem. There's good connection with Brussels and Ghent. There will be adunk!shuttle driving from the railway station in Zottegem to the festival. We’ll make sure there is a shuttle waiting at the back entrance (Broedermareslaan) when trains from Brussels and Ghent arrive between 14:00 and 18:00 on Thursday and between 12:00 and 14:00 on Friday and Saturday.
Also check out Flixbus to get to the festival from anywhere in Europe. Their busses look pretty cool (they have wifi!) and they're not expensive at all.
ACCOMMODATIONCamping site is free and right next to the festival area.
There will be breakfast on Friday and Saturday. Coffee is free during the whole festival.
Camping site officially opens on Thursday. We understand that a big amount of visitors are coming from far away so we will allow people setting up their tent on Wednesday as well. Only rules for the camping: no bbq (or fire) and no glass.
Flexotel & Flexotent
New this year is the availability of the Flexotel rooms and Flexotent tents.
A Flexotel is a comfortable event hotel on the site. They offer heated cabins for 2-4 people. The Flexotel opens on Thursday around noon and closes on Sunday around noon. This is only available as a combi package for three nights and includes:
- Double room with boxsprings (bunk bed(s) for 2+ cabins)
- Towels and bed linen
- Table with two chairs
- Storage space for clothes
- Power supply
- Lockable room
- Tent with boxsprings (bunk bed(s) for 2+ cabins)
- Towels and bed linen
- Storage space for clothes