WECANDANCE: Desert Dreams on the beach

Pictures by Nachtschaduw, Daniil Lavrovski, Dimitri Bekaert & Leyla Hesna (all taken at the 2016 edition)

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WECANDANCE blows out five candles this summer. Since 2013, the festival is known for its heart for fashion, impressive visual themes and top notch cuisine. And, let’s not forget, an A-list of international DJs of course! All presented by partners Crevette Records, Bloody Louis, The Gardens Of Babylon, Kelly Palmer, Labyrinth, Netwigs, Roots of Minimal and Souq. For this festive fifth anniversary edition, the ‘Desert Dreams’ theme will turn Zeebrugge’s beautiful beach into an oasis of colorful fabrics, henna, lamps and veils. On August 12 and 13, you can dance away your worries to the rhythm of the desert, One Thousand and One Nights style. The message? Peace, love and happiness. The outfit? Just be yourself, according to organizer Bart Roman.

Hi Bart. It’s the fifth edition since you started out in 2013. How did the festival evolve?

"I don’t have the feeling a lot has changed since the start. We are still on the same path where we started: four different music styles with leading nightlife concepts as stage partners, a premium food market and an annually changing theme. So, while we’re happy to see more and more people discover the festival and while our production has gotten bigger and better, the foundations are still the same."

What can we expect from the ‘Desert Dreams’ theme this year?

"To make things clear: the theme and dress code are not obligatory. People should come however they want to come - just be yourself! If you do get inspired by our theme, even better. We just want everyone to have a positive mindset towards the festival and all the visitors. Fun fact: at WECANDANCE, the girls outnumber the boys. Our typical visitors are around twenty-nine years old and luckily for us, they are all quality seekers who want to have fun in a mature and safe way."

Which artists played at WECANDANCE the most? Any personal favourites?

"DJ Harvey is the only international act that is booked for the second time in five years. My personal favourites were Tale Of Us (2014), Lee Burridge (2015), Pillowtalk (2013), TLP (2016). This year you’ll find me mostly at The Gardens Of Babylon stage on Saturday and at Souq on Sunday, as a lot of close friends are playing. This family vibe is one of the foundations of the festival. We try to work with like-minded promoters who are extremely professional in what they do so they can help us tell the WECANDANCE story."

Congratulations on reaching this fifth anniversary milestone. Do you remember any particular difficult moments throughout the years?

"In 2014, the entire team experienced the power of mother nature as we needed to close down three stages because of a big storm. Running a festival takes twelve months a year and is extremely intense during the last two months. It made us realize we needed to invest in a skilled team that gives us maximum support."

What’s on offer for the hungry this year?

"Like every year, we serve an extended menu curated by seventeen chefs and one super deluxe experience by Sergio Herman and Syrco Bakker of Pure C*. It would not be fair to pick just one because we would dishonour the rest. Better come early to discover it yourself!"

You’re running the festival as eco-friendly as possible. Can you tell us a bit more about the ecopoint?

"We introduced reusable cups two years ago, which was a big risk and investment. But since we are on the beach, it was the best way to keep the area clean. We also signed an eco-charter and offer guidelines for suppliers and partners of the festival: we use natural tableware that provides biodegradable disposables, we re-use decoration from the past editions, we have toilets that need less water to flush, run bio-diesel generators... Apart from that, we invite people to carpool (and to keep the transport of our team as low as possible) and each food partner has one vegetarian or vegan dish one the menu."

WECANDANCE takes place on August 12 & 13, starring Âme, DJ Harvey, José Noventa, Jeremy Underground, Matthew Herbert, Midland, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Stavroz, Robag Wruhme, Smallpeople and plenty more.

Have a look at the the full programme here: www.wecandance.be

Tickets are limited.