Horst unveils 2021 festival plans and announces Jeff Mills as first headliner

Pictures by Illias Teirlinck, Maxim Verbueken, Olmo Peters


Vilvoorde’s alternative arts and music festival is set to take place on September 10 to 12.

A global pandemic didn’t stop Horst from offering a wide range of activities in 2020. When the main festival was cancelled, the team successfully set up a Restaurant Club running for 23 evenings over the summer, hosting 2800 people. Now, the team shares their plans for this year.

In a press statement, the Horst organization acknowledges the difficulties of planning and communicating a festival in today’s circumstances. “We realize that Covid-19 continues to affect our everyday lives. However, we remain hopeful and therefore decided to communicate the first round of festival names”, says co-founder Jochem Daelman. “Just like in 2020, our approach will be creative if needed. We take our patrons safety seriously, and will always make decisions in line with the applicable measures and regulations”.

In 2019, the Horst organization held its first edition at the ASIAT location in Vilvoorde after hosting five editions at Horst castle near Leuven. The former military site with a post-industrial look will also be the scene for this year's big ambitions. Between September 10 and 12 2021, over 80 established and upcoming artists will be invited. Amongst these will be Jeff Mills, one of the founding fathers of techno. "Booking Jeff Mills has been a dream since we started”, explains booker Simon Nowak. “In an era where DJs have become rockstars and social media experts, Jeff Mills stands out as being one of the few who lets his music speak for itself. I believe that our dark hangar filled with smoke, strobing lights, sweaty, moving bodies is the perfect place for his dry kicks and snappy hi-hats”. 

Other announced artists include:

AceMoMa, Aïsha Devi, AliA b2b DTM Funk, CC:DISCO!, Cherry B, Darwin, Dee Diggs, Gabriola, Gene On Earth, Grand River (live), Juliana Huxtable, Mafalda, Mézigue, Danilo Plessow (MCDE) fka Motor City Drum Ensemble, OK Williams and Suze Ijo.

Other than the festival, Horst also announces the third edition of their Labs programme - a workshop series created in partnership with KU Leuven - where influential creatives inspire the next generation. A series of four workshops will be open to over 100 young (inter)national creatives from all backgrounds: The Music Lab, the Art Lab, and two Architecture Labs, all held in the second week of July. More details will follow in March.