For those who are in check with Belgium’s alternative music scene, Back in the Dayz should not be a stranger. Belgium’s premier hip hop and bass artist management, booking agency and production company made name for itself by organizing some well-received events. Together with Rockerill, they’re hosting a spring edition of Uzine Festival in their hometown of Charleroi. After selling out their three last editions, Uzine Festival is back with a tasteful lineup full of techno, hip hop and drum&bass featuring a.o. Amelie Lens, Etienne De Crecy, Zion Train, Roméo Elvis & Le Motel and more. Max Meli, one of the founders of Back in The Dayz and Uzine Festival, took the time to answer some of our questions about the festival.
So, Max, what’s the story behind Uzine Festival?
"Basically, we started by throwing drum&bass parties at Rockerill in Charleroi, which was known by the name Providence back then. Afterwards, music made us emigrate to Brussels for about three or four years, because there were possibilities to do FCKNYE and a lot of other events with Back in the Dayz, etc. Anthony, my colleague, who still lived in Charleroi at the time, often went to Rockerill. Together with Globul (of the Rockerill team), he came up with the idea to do something new. We talked about it and we just went for it. It was an opportunity to return to our hometown and to organize an event by taking advantage of our professional experience gained during recent years. I just love to get started on new projects full of challenges."
Programationwise: is there a difference between the spring and summer edition?
"There aren’t any actually. Both editions are quite similar. However, our spring edition has a smaller lineup. Our goal is to make the event vibrant throughout the whole year. The main edition in September and its little sister in April."
Urban music is hot in Belgium right now. How is Uzine Festival hoping to differentiate from other festivals?
"Frankly, we differentiate ourselves from other festivals in a way Dour does too. We like to program all things alternative, which aren’t being played on the radio, but still have the potential to sell out clubs. Besides, it’s thanks to Dour that we’re doing what we do. They made us fall in love with music just like Obelix fell in the jar full of magic potion."
Why Charleroi and not Brussels?
"Anthony and I were born and raised in Charleroi. Everything started right there for us. It’s always a pleasure to return there and to have a ball with the team of Rockerill (Globul, Mika, etc). At the moment, Uzine Festival belongs to Charleroi, but we can imagine the two becoming more dissociated in time."
Since Back in the Days has a broad spectrum of activities, we should ask this: Any crazy plans to offer new music-related competences soon?
"We still have plenty of plans, but for now we’re keeping all of them top secret! (laughs)"
You can find more info about and tickets for Uzine Festival on their Facebook page.
*Pictures by Axel Pics