About us

The Festival of Flanders Mechelen/Kempen grew out of a series of organ and carillon from 1969 onwards. Now it has grown into a celebration of classical music that aims to charm a wide audience, from complete newcomers to dyed-in-the-wool music fanatics, with live classical music of a high quality and the focus on vocal and religious music. The Festival is held in the province of Antwerp. In the spring, the organisation focuses on the city of Mechelen and vocal music; in the autumn, attention shifts to the wider region of the Kempen for MUSICA DIVINA, or heavenly music in abbeys and beguinages. Thanks to the ‘Festival of Flanders’ label and the concerts organised by our counterparts in Antwerp, Brussels, Kortrijk, Ghent and Leuven, Festival of Flanders Mechelen/Kempen is known far beyond the borders of the province.

Lunalia is the Festival of Flanders Mechelen’s new spring festival, the successor to Mechelen Hears Voices. The name refers both to the Mechelen legend of the ‘Maneblussers’ (luna), and to the fascinating universe of the human voice (lia). In times of alleged ‘fake news’, this international festival of voices goes in search of voices that have something genuine to say. It is not just about ‘lovely songs’ - instead it explores every aspect of speaking, singing, hesitant, strident or very soft human voices. Expect a festival of timeless vocal music with the power of the full moon.

Musica Divina is the Festival of Flanders Mechelen/Kempen’s autumn series, with wonderful concerts held in the beautiful religious buildings of the Kempen in the province of Antwerp. Hundreds of visitors enjoy heavenly sounds each year in the splendour and silence of abbeys and beguinages. The locations are carefully selected. Sites of historical importance such as the abbey churches of Averbode, Postel and Tongerlo and the beguinage churches in places like Hoogstraten and Turnhout are the setting for ingenious concerts. Artists who can usually only be admired on the major concert stages like the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, La Cité de la Musique in Paris and Wigmore Hall in London come to perform for us here every autumn.

9 - 13 December 2021 in Mechelen
ZINDERING (Blaze) is a five-day festival held as part of Zinderende Stilte, ‘blazing silence’. Eleven concerts and two films will explore different aspects of silence. From whispering arches to the heartrending silences in Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poetry, or meditative music of Arvo Pärt to lullabies for a Filipino dragon. From Armenian miniatures to the glowing quiver of female voices from Iran. From a game with white noise to an essay in film about the process of becoming silent.
Zindering (Blaze) is organised by the Festival of Flanders Mechelen / Lunalia on the theme of Zinderende Stilte, blazing silence. In partnership with Mechelen Feest, nona arts centre, Mechelen Cultural Centre, DE MAAN, Pastorale Ploeg O.L.V. o/d Dijle, het Filmhuis, Waerbeke and Klara.

Classical music festivals all over Flanders and Brussels
Flanders’ magnificent architectural heritage offers particularly great potential as a setting for musical events. For more than five decades, the Festival of Flanders has been making good use of this heritage to fill people of all ages with enthusiasm for classical music. By supporting young Flemish artists and taking a leading role in pioneering trends, the organisation contributes to Flanders’ reputation as a centre for culture. Eight festivals with an international allure (in Antwerp, Bruges, Brussels, Ghent, Kortrijk, Limburg, Mechelen and Flemish Brabant) have developed their own activities in completely unique ways. With varying emphases in the different regions, the festivals cover the entire classical repertoire from the Middle Ages to the present day, with excursions into traditional world music. Altogether, they offer high-quality music in the form of more than 550 productions and educational projects in more than 80 towns and cities, providing a considerable artistic, tourist and economic impulse for the region. Visitors from Belgium and abroad are welcome to discover the activities of the Festival of Flanders. The exceptionally rich range of concerts on offer has something for everyone!
The non-profit organisation Festival van Vlaanderen vzw is an overarching structure whose members are the eight Festivals of Flanders. The president of this structure is Philippe Vlerick.