Rock Werchter is a Belgian annual music festival held in the village of Werchter, near Leuven, since 1976. It is one of the five biggest annual rock music festivals in Europe . The 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2012 and 2014 festivals received the Arthur award for best festival in the world at the International Live Music Conference (ILMC). It can host 88,000 guests daily, of which 67,500 combine all four days, to add up to a total maximum of 149,500 different attendees.
The History Of The Festival
The festival started off in 1974 as a one-day event, became a two-day festival in 1996, a 3-day festival in 2000, and has been a 4-day festival since 2003.Originally it was a double-festival, called “Torhout-Werchter”, with two festival areas at different sites in Belgium: one in Werchter and one in Torhout. In 1999, the festival dropped the Torhout site and since then has taken place only in Werchter.The main organizer of the event is Herman Schueremans.
Until the 1990s the festival attracted mostly Flemish people, but in recent years it has become more and more international with an especially large influx of Dutch, French,Walloon, British and a notable Australian and South African contingent.Belgian alternatives remain in the Pukkelpop and Dour festivals.
The camping sites officially open at 8am on the first day of the festival, but because of guests arriving early and camping on the street, the organizers have traditionally been forced to open the camping sites early – sometimes more than 24 hours. The campsites are located along the three main entrance roads into Werchter (from Haacht, Aarschot and Leuven), most of them within 1 kilometer of the festival site,but some located as far as 3 kilometers away.
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LOCATION AND HISTORY
Werchter is a small village in Belgium which has been part of the municipality of Rotselaar since 1 January 1977. It is the site of Rock Werchter and the birthplace of painter Cornelius Van Leemputten. The origin of the Werchter’s name is unknown, but is thought to be related to water.
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