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Festival Preview: Sonic City 2019, Kortrijk, Belgium

November is a challenging month as winter approaches, the daylight decreases and the temperature falls. Overall, the weather across Europe is expectedly scrappy and the last thing you’d think of is attending a summer festival. This said you can always prepare yourself for the summer festival season by attending Sonic City festival in Belgium. 

Sonic City in Belgium started as a little niche event which mostly catered to a local audience with local bands. The formula worked well and the success led to organisers opening it up internationally. This year, at its 12th edition and with a new facelift, the festival based on the British format All Tomorrow’s Parties, is curated by Shame and Cate le Bon. As in the previous years, this indie festival is located in Kortrijk, in the Belgian region of Flanders and will run for three days from November 8th. The concerts will be hosted in the concert hall Wilde Westen, in the middle of the city.

Sonic City 2019 Lineup

Föllakzoid – Lust For Youth – Sheer Mag – Ceremony – Maz – Michele Mercure – Mannequin Pussy – Ed Dowie – Eiko Ishibashi – Deerhunter – Group – Listening – Grimm Grimm – Hatis Noit – Vivien Goldman – Cate Le Bon – TIMKOH – Mega Bog – Thurston Moore Group – BITW – Yves Jarvis – Holly Herndon – Jssy – Jessica Pratt – PVA – OMNI – Squid – Jerkcurb – Black Country, New Road – The Murder Capital – Tony Njoku – Scalping – Mykki Blanco -Corridor – Boy Harsher – Priests – Blanck Mass – Velvet Negroni – Shame

Far Out says don’t miss…

Lust For Youth

The Copenhagen band parted ways with Loke Rahbek for their 2019 self-titled album and currently consists of a duo, made of its founding member and Swedish electronic musician Hannes Norrvide and producer Malthe Fischer.  

Lust For Youth feature an impressive maturity in terms of sound sophistication that early works are unrecognisable if compared to their latest tunes. Thanks to continuous determination, they were able to move from noisy darkwave atmosphere to synthpop danceable tracks. We are all waiting for a mesmerising performance.

Cate Le Bon

Welsh songwriter Cate Le Bon, as the co-curator, is the godmother of the festival and it will be more than worth spending a portion of your time to attend her show.

Her sweet and soft voice leaves a trace in the ears of who listen and her songs’ arrangements raise her to the level of a very mature singer-songwriter, offering easy listening pop with distinctive psychedelic traits. Cate Le Bon is also known for many side projects and productions for others (e.g. Eiko Ishibashi performing at Sonic City) in addition to celebrated solo albums.

Thurston Moore Group

Sonic Youth co-founder Thurston Moore deserves a statue in each indie music festival for his contributions to the indie-rock music scene. We left him two years ago as the curator of Sonic City Festival and he’s back as a well-acclaimed guest for his latest tour of the latest Spirit Counsel album.

Thurston Moore’s solo projects encompass refined melodies and polished sounds; his shows are always a pleasure to attend and definitively top-notch performances. Can’t wait to see him battering his guitar chords.

Boy Harsher

Boy Harsher is a darkwave electro-pop duo formed by Jae Matthews on vocals and Augustus Muller on rhythms and synths.

Their latest work is Careful, released for their label, Nude Club Records, and is a candidate for a milestone in the new EBM wave that is lately investing in America and Europe. The band is from Massachusetts, active since 2013 and so far made three EPs and an album released in 2016, Yr Body Is Nothing. Their music can be distinguished from the minimal beats and synth textures which frame Matthews’ dynamic and sensual vocals.


Why Everything Has Not Already Disappeared? is the question Deerhunter choose as the title of their eighth album, released on 4AD earlier this year (co-produced together with Cate Le Bon). The album puts at stake the current and gradual disappearance of the general sense of culture, but also about nature, logic, and emotional irrationality.

In this album, about twenty years after the very first day in the rehearsal room, they are now far from the rough and punk echoes that characterised their first (unforgettable) works. Still, their music strengthens the other dominant connotation of being melancholy and introverted.

Where/When/How Much?

Located in the city of Kortrijk, Sonic City will be located in De Kreun, right across the train station.

The festival lasts three days and runs from Friday 8th November to the 10th. Sonic City day tickets account for €22 for Friday and €37 for Saturday or Sunday.

Weekend and three-day passes account for €61 and €76 respectively. More information on tickets purchasing is here.

What you need to know:

Given the Sonic City festival is an inner-city event, there are no camping options. Here you can find possibilities for accommodation.

If you encounter difficulties, you may also consider sleeping in Roubaix or Tourcoing right across the border with France.

If you only do one thing while you’re there…

Then you need to let yourself go and pop around the different stages and enjoy all the bands playing.

The eclectic side of this festival is that it is curated by two artists, Shame and Cate le Bon who did their best in making you forget you very likely are wearing a raincoat.

For the time being, just lay back and turn up the volume of this playlist: