Cosmopolitan Antwerp is a major tour stop for international headliners and hosts a vibrant home grown cultural scene. Today on the Radisson Blu blog, we're rounding up the top tickets of 2014.
There's something a little exciting about seeing your favourite act away from the familiar setting of your hometown arena. With its bustling music scene and cool collection of concert venues, Antwerp is sure to hold one of your most anticipated events of 2014.
Best for pop princesses
2014 is shaping up to be a big year for chart-toppers at Antwerp's Sportpaleis. The international line-up of A-listers includes Michael Buble, Depeche Mode and Miley Cyrus. Second only to Madison Square Gardens, the Sportpaleis is one of the most visited event halls in the world, so you'll want to book tickets well in advance. There's already plenty of buzz as Beyoncé (and her alter-ego Sasha Fierce) prepares for her 20th March performance, and heartthrob Justin Timberlake plays here on 1st and 2nd May.
In the predominantly Moroccan suburb of Borgerhout, De Roma is set within a restored classic cinema dating back to 1928 - plush surroundings that offer fabulous ambiance for a classical concert. The upcoming Delfiharmonie series here promises two particular highlights: Elgar's Enigma Variations by Martyn Brabbins on 29th March, and Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto conducted by Edo de Waart on 31st May. Meanwhile, the broad musical programme at AMUZ - an international cultural centre with concerts spanning music from all periods, styles and cultures - includes an exciting night of cello concertos and symphonies on 7th March, presented by the Kolner Akademie with guest of honour Roel Dieltiens handling the bow.
You can dance if you want to
From 22nd-26th April, DeSingel hosts the BOUGE B festival. This must-visit event sees the dance world's latest protégées take over the daring, interdisciplinary arts complex to exhibit what's brewing in emerging dance studios in Antwerp and abroad, deliberately taking risks on previously unseen talent. Belgium's only classical dance company, the Royal Ballet of Flanders, debuts a new production of Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet on 3rd February.
Rock and roll all night
Trix, in Noordersingel Borgerhout, is one of the top rock venues in Antwerp. Indie darlings Of Montreal take the stage on 15th February, best-sellers Black Rebel Motorcycle Club play on 20th February, and catchy tunes from Panic! At the Disco are front and centre on 29th April. Fans of iconic British-American rockers Foreigner should book tickets for their 17th April performance soon, as these crowd pleasers are sure to sell out early. Trix's hard rock nights are among the most impressive in Europe, often combining enough prominent acts to rival the summer festival circuit. Behemoth and Cradle of Filth co-headline in what promises to be an epic night for veteran metalheads.
The stunning 19th century Vlaamse Opera building was restored in 2007 and now hosts regular performances. 2014 sees the return of native Antwerp director Moshe Leiser and his partner Patrice Caurier to Flanders Opera, performing Gioachino Rossini's Othello from 7th-18th February. With the Bel Canto's demanding parts guaranteeing vocal fireworks, this is the one show the music lovers at our Radisson Blu Astrid Hotel, Antwerp advise not to miss.