Band Tours to Belgium
Belgium continues to display its unique charm with chocolateries adorning cobbled streets, exuberant architecture and flower rimmed canals which once stretched to Paris and beyond. Trams, bicycles and horse-drawn carriages take you from Baroque style churches to stylish shops and market filled squares, allowing you to pause for an ice cream loaded Belgian waffle or a nice cold beer on the way. Belgium is famous for its beer and currently produces over 450 different varieties. It is said that connoisseurs favour Belgian beers for their variety, real flavour and character, so why not take some time to relax in one of the many cafés and decide for yourself?
Alongside the many cultural delights of this country, a visit to the battlefields of World War I combined with the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres is a moving experience for any touring party.
The main towns of Bruges, Ghent, Brussels and Ypres are located within easy travelling distance of each other and all are packed with potential performance venues, meaning you can be sure to experience the rich variety of Belgian culture from wherever you choose to base your group.
Where to Play
Our favourite venue:
Menin Gate Last Post Ceremony, Ypres
Taking part in the unique Last Post Ceremony under the Menin Gate will be an emotional and memorable experience for any musical group. Traffic through the gate is stopped at 20.00hrs and, following members of the local fire service playing the haunting Last Post, your band is invited to perform a small selection of hymns and the National Anthem at an extended ceremony. Many of our groups list this as one of the highlights of their tour.
The Grand Market Square, Ypres
Play beneath the shadow of the traditional cloth hall on the grand market square in Ypres. Once a place for local merchants to express their wealth, the hall now houses the famous In Flanders Fields Museum. Performances take place under the arches of the hall’s east elevation, surrounded by many shops and cafes on the busy square.
Burg Square, Bruges
This charming square is at the heart of the town. Your group can perform in front of some of the most beautiful buildings in Bruges, including the Gothic town hall, the Baroque style Deanery the Renaissance Old Civil Registry as well as Basilius Church and the Chapel of the Holy Blood. Why not enjoy the local speciality of mussels and chips at one of the restaurants after your performance?
Ostend, De Panne and Blankenberge
If you prefer a more informal performance experience, seaside resorts such as Ostend, De Panne and Blankenberge are ideal for bands performing in the summer months. The bandstand at Ostend is particularly beautiful and ornate and enjoys fantastic audiences due to the busy nature of this historic coastal town.
Vrijdagmarkt Square, Ghent
Literally meaning Friday Market, this busy square is host to regular concert series as locals and tourists alike flock to visit the café lined square. An all weather temporary stage will be constructed for your performance amid the spectacular and typically Belgian architecture styles.
The colourful Christmas markets taking place all over Belgium create the perfect opportunity to combine performances with pleasure. With festively decorated stalls, open-air skating rinks and busy shoppers all around, your performances are sure to be well attended and appreciated.
What to Do
Steeped in culture and history, Bruges offers its visitors a well-rounded Belgian experience. Watch Belgian chocolate being hand-made and visit one of the many engaging museums. Enjoy a guided tour of the city on a canal cruise before trying your hand at a little beer tasting on a brewery tour. This historic town is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, and was the European Capital of Culture in 2002.
Ghent and the Castle of the Counts
Ghent combines historical canals, statues, squares and beautiful old architecture with a cutting edge university scene. Modern art collections are a delightful contrast to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites whilst the gentle canals pulse with a festival atmosphere during the annual Ghent Festival. The Castle of the Counts houses a museum illustrating the history of prison life, along with a collection of medieval torture instruments.
The story of Belgian Beer told before your very eyes…with over 450 different varieties available, Belgium has become a Mecca for beer tasting and tours.
Ypres, Poperinge and Ostend
Great days out with shopping and sightseeing combined with history and culture.
Battlefields of World War I
A visit to the Battlefields of World War I is an unforgettable and thought-provoking experience for anyone visiting Belgium. Combine a performance at Menin Gate, with a visit to In Flanders Field Museum, to see the moving tributes and history of WWI
What they Did - Lougher Town Band
All of our tours are bespoke, therefore the itinerary below is simply an example; the duration, concert venues, leisure excursions and accommodation centre used will be selected to match the requirements of your group. Please contact us to discuss your bespoke itinerary.
Travelled by coach to Dixmuide. Arrived at midday and spent the afternoon at leisure in resort followed by a rehearsal and evening meal at the hotel.
The group performed a midday concert at De Panne Market Place before departing by coach to spend the afternoon shopping and sightseeing in Bruges. The group then took a canal cruise from Katelijnstraat to see the sights of Bruges.
The group took the coach to Ypres and visited the In Flanders Fields Museum to see the moving tributes to World War I. After lunch, they had their first performance of the day at the Grote Market in Ypres and at 20.00, the group attended the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate performing to the crowd of onlookers. They ended the day with an evening meal in Ypres.
Travelled back to the UK by coach.
Where to Stay
Hotel Pax, Dixmuide
The 4-star Hotel Pax is located in the centre of the small town of Dixmuide. All rooms are equipped with en suite facilities, TV, radio, telephone and hairdryer; some also have a balcony. The hotel is within walking distance of the historic town centre complete with a large market place and many bars and restaurants.
Prices from £325*
Price Based On...
- 4 day 3 night tour
- Bed and breakfast accommodation at the Pax Hotel
- Coach travel with trailer for instruments
- The services of a courier
- 2-3 publicised concerts
- Full itinerary planning service
- 45 paying passengers travelling in August 2014
We will work with you to create a completely tailor made itinerary. Departure dates, travel, duration, excursions and concerts will be planned to meet the individual requirements of your group.
*Priced at January 2013 and dependant on exchange rates at time of booking.