The Horst Music Lab 2020 is now open for applications

Pictures by Jeroen Verrecht


In the first week of August, Lab participants will get a chance to work closely with some of the leading voices in the changing music industry.

As announced last week, the outlook of Horst Festival's 2020 edition (usually taking place on September 11-13) is still unclear. However, the team has a couple of other tricks up its sleeve. Other than a 'Restaurant Club' and sleeping concerts, the Vilvoorde-based alternative arts and music event has announced it will continue its Labs programme in close collaboration with KU Leuven. Today, they have given more details on what you can expect and how you can apply.

There are three 'Labs': one for art, one architecture and one for music. "The Labs are a platform for experimentation, co-creation, and creative talent development", says co-promoter Jochem Daelman. "It's a setting where influential creatives inspire the next generation of young wolves to unlock new frontiers and unravel their talent". 75 young creatives from different backgrounds will be selected to work together with experts in the field. What's in it for me? The Lab has the ambition to be a portfolio enriching and life-changing experience for every participant. Who can apply? Anyone with a passion for learning, sharing, and a desire to be involved in the artistic and creative industries is welcome.

75 young creatives from different backgrounds will work together to answer the question: how do we push music culture forward?

So what can you expect from the Music Lab specifically? Under the motto "how do we push music culture forward?", Horst is hosting a full week of lectures and workshops with some of the industry's leading voices. Guests will range from DeForrest Brown Jr (Make Techno Black Again), Matt Schulz (Unsound Festival), Carin Abdulá (Outer Agency), Gabriel Szatan (Boiler Room), Nadine Artois (Pxssy Palace, Lesbiennale), DTM Funk, Shawn Reynaldo (Resident Advisor) and many more.

Amongst other things, these are some of the topics that will be covered:

  • Dance music in the 2020s: navigating a crisis and building a better future.
  • Let's talk about cultural appropriation and whitewashing of music.
  • The complexities of brand patronage in the arts.
  • Diversification is key: how to be financially independent in a niche music scene.
  • A critical look at media partnerships and the importance of independent journalism.
  • The importance of (deep) listening and training your ear.

Does that sound like something you want to be a part of? All applicants need to fill out a questionnaire, ranging from personal philosophies to motivation and personal experience. The enrollment fee (€ 350) covers the program cost, transportation during the Labs, food (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and the basic sanitation and other mandatory stuff to keep the Lab running for eight days. The fee also includes a weekend ticket for the festival. Participants are offered a spacious and clean warehouse to set up their tent.