British culture on show at Everything UK festival in Ghent
British culture takes centre-stage at the new festival Everything UK in Ghent from 10 to 21 May.
Organised by the city’s music club Democrazy and journalist Ben Van Alboom, seven British bands and 18 films have been invited to the inaugural event, designed to showcase some of the country’s best indie culture.
Headlining the musical programme is former Libertines frontman Pete Doherty, while the festival also promotes diverse talents such as Gold Panda, Alabaster dePlume and Lime Garden. Concerts will be staged in Handelsbeurs, Charlatan and Theresia music venues.
All the films are screening at independent cinema Sphinx, with Van Alboom’s personal and eclectic selection designed to please a wide audience. The festival opener Boiling Point is a one-shot thriller set in a restaurant kitchen and starring Stephen Graham.
Other films include an afternoon tea screening of Joe Wright’s spirited adaptation of Pride & Prejudice, while Never Give In is a documentary about Manchester United legend Alex Ferguson’s recovery from a life-threatening brain haemorrhage.
Says Van Alboom: “For the first edition, we really only selected films and musicians that we are really excited about - mostly recent stuff, some classics. There are no super big names in the programme, but every single film and musician truly deserves to be in there.”
It was the dearth of independent British films being released in Belgium that spurred Van Alboom to launch the festival. “I felt it was a shame because I grew up on Danny Boyle, Mike Leigh and, well, Hugh Grant, and I knew British directors were still making highly acclaimed films.”
Reading about UK bands having difficulty touring in Europe because of Brexit was another prompt. “So I guess now was a good time to start working on a festival to remind everyone what we all loved about the UK in the first place.”
The festival also features talks and a presentation of British books by Ghent bookstore Paard van Troje.
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