Experience the power of the Scheldt Valley at the STROOM festival

Experience the power of the Scheldt Valley at the STROOM festival

With unique performances, interesting discourse and intimate concerts on the banks of the river  

It’s buzzing once again this summer in the Scheldt Valley, where from 21 June to 14 July numerous cultural activities will once again be dropping anchor. STROOM, the festival with a passion for sustainability which was inaugurated last year, is preparing for a second edition full of surprising and inspiring events. With as a common thread: musical and artistic performances which draw attention to the durable and fragile character of the Scheldt Valley. 

From grand outdoor concerts… 

In exactly two months’ time, it will be upon us: then the STROOM festival will commence with a sublime adaptation of Shakespeare’s epic A Midsummer Night’s Dream. During the summer solstice on 21 June, the Donkmeer beside the events hall in Berlare will be transformed for a single night into a romantic love game, performed by the actor couples Tom Van Dyck and Alice Reijs and Koen De Graeve and Ariane van Vliet. Flanders Symphony Orchestra adds lustre to the spectacle with Mendelssohn’s enchanting orchestral music. On 24 June, psychiatrist Dirk De Wachter makes an appearance at Bornem castle, where he takes a deeper look at the relationship between humans and the four seasons. Against the backdrop of this historic setting, BachPlus performs Vivaldi’s eponymous baroque hit. 

With Dender Discover there is an active programme on the festival calendar on 25 June. On the spot where the Dender flows into the Scheldt, there is a cycle ride that takes in three exceptional locations: the building of the Court of First Instance in Dendermonde, the charming little church in Vlassenbroek and the shipping museum in Baasrode serve as the backdrop to a series of bewitching musical tributes, fascinating historical tales and artistic recycling experiments. At the beautiful Wijngoed Rhode [Rhode Vineyard] in Melle on 28 June, there will also be a sensorially stimulating pairing between idiosyncratic clarinet music and sparkling wines. The Nieuw Amsterdam Klarinet Kwartet literally adds flavour to the concert with colourful wines, each with its own story. In the picture-perfect castle garden of the freshly-renovated Wissekerke Castle in Kruibeke, the Gwen Cresens Black River Quartet will be transporting the audience on 29 and 30 June on a voyage through all musical corners of the globe. A jazzy ode to the water with timeless classics from Handel to Joni Mitchell to Bruce Springsteen. 

… to small-scale events 

Alongside the outdoor concerts, a series of discourses will also take place throughout the whole festival period: a range of lectures and debates that focus on contemporary themes such as drinkable rivers, edible nature and the influence of the tides and times on the geology of the Scheldt Valley. During these walks in the Scheldt Valley, experts take a deep dive into their subjects and there is also room for debate.

In addition, the sailing yacht De Vrijbuiter - recently renamed as the CO² neutral STROOMboot - will be sailing along the Scheldt for two weeks between Antwerp and Ghent, in order to moor in a different municipality every day for a free Concert on the Bank. From the banks, the audience can enjoy diverse concerts that will be performed on the deck of the boat. 

Vlaanderen Vakantieland [Staying in Flanders] beside the Scheldt 

In order to tap into the tourist offering in the region, STROOM has entered into a strategic collaboration with Toerisme Scheldeland and Waasland. Creative packages have been devised that offer STROOM ticket holders all manner of discounts and extras from accommodation providers, museums and hospitality venues. With these STROOM deals, the festival plays its role as a lever for tourism in the region. 

A focus on sustainable and local 

In addition to the initiatives with the hospitality industry, STROOM is also carrying through its local anchoring into other domains. For example, it uses exclusively local products for catering, with less meat and more extensive vegetarian options on the menu for the festival team, and with any surplus food being donated to local organisations. Suppliers from the region will be using reusable materials for production and marketing material. Digital solutions will also be used to keep the festival’s environmental footprint to a minimum. What’s more, festival visitors will be encouraged to travel to the events in a sustainable way.  

Sophie Detremmerie, STROOM Festival Manager: “Thanks to the knowledge and experience that we have built up during the first edition, we are looking forward with confidence to an even stronger second edition which is being supported by numerous partners. We are proud that we are once again able to offer a highly diverse programme at absolutely top locations and unspoiled gems in the Scheldt Valley. Moreover, with the candidate Nationaal Rivierpark Scheldevallei [National Scheldt Valley River Park] at our side, we have a grateful partner that is also lending its support to this widespread festival so that together we can make a success of it!”



STROOM Festival will take place from 21 June to 14 July 2023 at various locations beside the Scheldt between Ghent and Antwerp. You will find all the information you need at www.festivalstroom.be 


Take a look at the TV-OOST report about the presentation of STROOM Festival: