Are you driven to distraction by decibels? Have an insatiable desire to move your feet to a frenzied beat? Or do you simply want to see passionate virtuosos at work? Charleroi and its Metropolitan Area have so much to offer to those who prefer to experience their music live.
In the centre of Charleroi
Opera, classical music, contemporary music, jazz, variety… We dare you not to find at least ONE show on the programme of the Palais des Beaux-Arts (the behemoth on the Upper Town’s horizon) to pique your curiosity. The main auditorium is where the larger shows take place, and in particular the programming of the Pôle Lyrique, entrusted by the Wallonia-Brussels Federation and the City of Charleroi in 2008: operettas, musicals, opera buffa, comic operas, etc. In the basement, the former nightclub La Réserve, which was very popular in the 1980s and 1990s and which reopened in 2016, hosts music groups in a cosier and more intimate atmosphere.
The Charleroi Cultural Centre is also a very lively concert venue, a paradise for wild parties and slam discoveries. Here, we find a balance between well-established groups appearing, and supporting young up-and-comers. Eden devotes a lot of energy to supporting amateur artistic practices and boosting expression and creativity.
Located in the lower part of the city, Le Vecteur is Eden’s hyperactive and avant-garde little brother. A platform for the arts and staunchly “counter-cultural”, its mission is to decompartmentalise artistic practices. Here you can listen to Peruvian feminist punk or Latvian eco-friendly minimal techno. Don’t be put off by the arty tone, there’s plenty to discover here.
The expression “rising from the ashes” is sometimes overused, but for these old forges that have become a post-industrial temple for all kinds of music (rock, punk, techno, industrial, etc.), now with international renown, it is perfectly fitting. A heart that still beats amid rusty factories, a cathedral of iron and glass whose pulses thrill thousands of people every year. The venue has put Charleroi back on the map of the cities that matter in music. The venue has its own label and will soon have a recording studio.
Outside the City Centre
The Ferme de Martinrou, directed by Bernard Tirtiaux (a multi-faceted artist), is best known for its theatre performances. All year round, however, it plays host to musical artists for adults and children in this very special setting in Fleurus. This former family farm, transformed into a cultural venue in 1980, favours eclecticism and quality in the shows it puts on.
In the west of the Metropolitan Area, those who like their rock a tad more distorted and just a little darker should head for the MCP-Apache, which for a few years now has been offering a resolutely doom, stoner and black metal-oriented programme. This micro-concert hall, housed in a biker’s garage, will have you headbanging along to its roaring riffs.
At the southernmost point of the Metropolitan Area, the Christian Colle Cultural Centre in Couvin has a 100-seat venue that regularly hosts music groups from all walks of life (rock, acoustic, jazz, world music, etc.). Located in the city centre, it also puts on other types of live performances as well as workshops.
This is obviously a non-exhaustive list and whatever your musical affinities, the Charleroi Metropolitan Area offers you a wide range of outings with friends or family looking to enjoy a live experience.