Archipel: poppin' up at Bruxelles les Bains

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Brussels gets to be the home of a new pop-up at Bruxelles les Bains! Archipel will cater your every clubbing need from July 7 till August 13, inviting numerous A-list artists and concepts. Dorian Meeus - one of the fine minds behind the project - sat down with us to have a chat on the amazing looking venue. Prepare to see Seth Troxler, Funkineven, Objekt, Sadar Bahar, Joachim Pastor, Onra and a whole lot more at this awesome location!

Hi Dorian! How are things going these days? 

"Quite well, it’s a long summer ahead! Archipel is priority number one at the moment. We also have our open air series ‘Le Garage Cosmic’ till September and we're preparing ‘Les Garages Numériques Festival 02’  at Horta Gallery in Brussels on September 14. But, now it’s Archipel time! And, as with every other project, the first days must be perfect so that people can go home with a positive vibe and experience. There is no better marketing tool available than word-of-mouth advertising by happy attendees, right ? So, yeah, this first weekend is very important for the rest of the Archipel season!"

People might know you from Under My Garage and Under My Label. How are these different from Archipel? 

"I’d say that today Under My Label is just stuffed into a desk drawer. Hopefully, we’ll have time to re-open it soon! Today, we are focusing mainly on Les Garages Numériques and Under My Garage. Archipel is an ambitious project spearheaded by Bruxelles les Bains, it has nothing to do with UMG or GN. Arthur Tixhon (my all time partner!) and I have been approached by Bruxelles les Bains in order to develop a new nightlife concept during the period of BLB. After four years of floating boat club parties on the canal, BLB wanted to go bigger and better in 2017. Of course, we wouldn't be able to handle this major Archipel project without our experience through UMG and GN."

How did you get a hold of the location? 

"This year, Bruxelles les Bains is based on both sides of Brussels Canal. It surrounds the ex K-Nal club - which was renovated recently -, so it was the perfect occasion to occupy the venue and invite Belgium’s hottest collectives. Quay 01 (new name of K-Nal) is now destined to receive corporate events and similar events like that. But with Archipel, we have the pleasure to relive the past and re-experience the golden years of this magnificent club, because it really is a beautiful place for clubbing! The recent renovation is perfect, we just had to install a top-notch sound and light system, as well as DJ booths and decorations like plants, seatings etc."

Can you tell us something more about the the building?

"Archipel will be reopening a Brussels’s hotspot, which closed five years ago (K-Nal club). Libertine Supersport used to organize some of the greatest Brussels clubbing events back in the days in that place. The club is spread over two floors, and equipped with a brand new Funktion-One sound system. Now, fully renovated, it can accommodate up to 1250 people. 800 Will be able to party on the ground floor, which will feature a green wall and patio with views over the canal, and 450 more can enjoy a glass-panelled area upstairs, offering spectacular sunsets and sunrises as well as exceptional views over The Bridge that we installed for Bruxelles les Bains. Over 13,000 people are expected to visit the legendary nightclub during Archipel."

What distinguishes Archipel from other venues in Brussels? 

"It is very rare that a nightclub opens just for summer. Usually, nightclubs are closed during summer, and Festivals take over. That is the crazy challenge with Archipel: this all-new clubbing concept is opening its doors Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights till mid-august with 18 parties in total. Another important detail is that Archipel is not 'just a club'. The journey will start at The Bay, an open-air stage on the right bank, and continue on the left bank at The Club. It will be an experience like no other as the two venues will be connected by The Bridge, a temporary 60-metre walkway. Archipel will be short-lived but action-packed."

You’ve got an amazing bill ready for the summer. Even Libertine Supersport is at long last showing its face again at Archipel. What else can we expect? 

"Indeed, 18 Belgian collectives, concepts and clubs will take turns to run the show like Fuse, Forma.T and Libertine Supersport, the open-air kings Brüxsel Jardin and Play Label, and those bright young things Deep In House, We Bring You and Under My Garage. Each one will have its own style and focus. Electronic music will be represented in all its forms: techno, house, dub, bass, ... You can also expect beatmakers and rappers with a little help from Back in the Dayz, Slice of Pie and Radio Soleil. In total, 90 (!!!) artists will perform at Archipel, making the eclectic all-night parties an unmissable summer spot for clubbers from all backgrounds."

Any particular night you’re looking forward to yourself? 

"I’m really looking forward to the Deep In House night on August 12 with Objekt and Simo Cell. they are both talented producers and amazing DJs. Of course, I would lie if I didn’t mention the two Under My Garage nights. I’m really excited about our opening night with Libertine Supersport. For this occasion we invite two amazing label bosses, Ron Morelli [L.I.E.S.] and Funkineven / Steven Julien [Apron]. They can deliver stunning DJ sets in clubs. The second UMG is with Mentality on August 11. We will also throw a proper UK underground night with J:Kenzo (jungle set!) and Djrum, an excellent young producer. I’m also looking forward to the We Bring You night with Sadar Bahar and Philou Louzolo (african viiibez!). Anyway, I will have to attend all 18 events, and I’m sure there will be lots of surprises to discover!"

Join Archipel on its inauguration July 7. You can find all the info you need here. Follow its Facebook page to stay up to date! 

Archipel will be open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Tickets are 8euros for early birds, 10euros presale and 12euros at the door.