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Loud and clear: New Brussels party night Rien à Voir is all about the sound

21:48 23/05/2019

A new party concept is coming to Brussels this weekend - supporting visually impaired people while promising the best possible sound quality.

With the Rien à Voir event he's organising on Saturday, Karl Meesters is determined to prove that high-quality sound and live events can go hand in glove. "We're going to set the bar as high as it can be," he says.

Meesters was diagnosed with an inherited retinal disorder as a teenager and he established the non-profit Rien à Voir with a twofold aim – to create high-quality live music events and to put the visually impaired community in the spotlight. "We really wanted to do something positive for the visually impaired community," he says, adding that anyone is welcome at their events – visually impaired or otherwise.

The proceeds of Saturday's event will go toward funding medical research to cure blindness and financing efforts to improve the employability of young visually impaired people.

For Meesters, a Brussels-based HR professional and career coach, a good sonic experience at concerts and parties comes down to three things. "You've got the acoustics of the venue, the audio equipment and your sound engineer," he says. "All three have to be in sync – that's what makes for a good sound experience."

According to Meesters, all three will be guaranteed at Saturday's "Play & Party" event at the Bronks cultural centre in Brussels.

The concert-cum-party event will kick off with a performance by jazz drummer Lander Gyselinck, of STUFF fame. The party portion of the night will be ascertained with sets by the Belgium-born, Berlin-based DJ San Soda (house and techno), and GE-OLOGY, a Brooklyn-based DJ and music producer (house).

A sound engineer will be on hand for the duration of the entire evening – standard fare for a concert but decidedly rare for a party. "Think of him like a sommelier who'll constantly be tasting the wine you're going to drink," he says. "So we'll have someone who'll constantly be monitoring the sound to make sure that everything's OK."

A dozen more Rien à Voir events are planned for the coming months, including a series of concerts with the Flemish Radio Choir and an event specifically aimed at children in collaboration with dancer and choreographer Lisbeth Gruwez and musician and composer Maarten Van Cauwenberghe. Another Play & Party event is also planned for December.

Written by Linda A. Thompson