Raising the roof! Rolling Stones, Ed Sheeran and Coldplay rock King Baudouin stadium this summer
With the Rolling Stones on 11 July, Ed Sheeran on 22 and 23 July and Coldplay playing 5, 6, 8 and 9 August, the King Baudouin stadium in Brussels hosts a record seven concerts this summer, reports RTBF.
The schedule for the Heysel stadium, home to the Red Devils football team, has never been so busy. For Benoît Hellings, sports alderman at the city of Brussels, which owns the stadium, there’s a simple explanation for this multitude of concerts. "After three years of inactivity due to the health crisis and Covid, inevitably, there’s a recovery."
Pre-pandemic, the venue hosted on average two concerts over the summer. For example in 2019, Rammstein and Metallica both played. Previous performers include U2, Robbie Williams, Madonna, Bon Jovi, Genesis and Bruce Springsteen. Céline Dion inaugurated the era of musical concerts at the sports arena in 1997.
International stars all require a large open-air stadium to perform, explained Pascal Van de Velde of Greenhouse Talent, organiser of the Stones upcoming Brussels concert.
"The Stones' current tour, for example, which started on 1 June in Madrid, is a stadium tour. They prefer to play in stadiums because their audience is a bit older and a stadium offers quite a lot of seating. The production and the show are also intended for stadiums."
The capacity they offer is another draw with King Baudouin boasting 50,000 standing and seated places. "The Rolling Stones are a legendary group, among the best known in the world. It takes great capacity to be able to stage the members of the group and their big production."
Their appearance at Heysel on Monday is a first, a deliberate choice by Van de Velde. "This may be the last concert of the Stones in Belgium. And I told myself that it had to be in the King Baudouin stadium."
But the record seven concerts this season is unlikely to be repeated in 2023, according to Hellings. "In the years to come, there will not be such a catch-up of concerts." For next year, only French singer Mylène Farmer is scheduled to perform at the stadium.
For information, final tickets are on sale for the Rolling Stones, tickets are still available for Sheeran on 23 July and its final tickets only for Coldplay.
Mannekin-Pis tribute to the Stones
The city of Brussels is honouring the first Brussels concert by the Rolling Stones in 46 years by dressing up its favourite kid. A black costume emblazoned with the hot lips logo was donated by promoter Greenhouse Talent. It’s on display until 20.00 on Sunday.
It was a tall order for stylist Esmeralda Ammoun, who had to confection the outfit in a record time, explains RTBF. With only a few days to make the costume, she gave the t-shirt a tighter fit to give him a sexier look.
The main challenge when creating any apparel for the Mannekin-Pis is that his feet are stuck to the ground and his hands are close to his body. A complex pattern is required and fitting shoes is also difficult.
But Ammoun is proud of the finished job and hopes Mick Jagger and his friends will admire it during their stay in the capital.