Europe Day 2024: channelling the power of music to inspire EU voters

Europe Day 2024

This past 9 May we hosted the 10th edition of our annual musical celebration of Europe Day at Ancienne Belgique.

Over 1.000 people joined us for a programme featuring keynote speeches by Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Hadja Lahbib and European Commission’s Director-General Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen, a debate with experts from the music sector, and great gigs with Belgian and European artists.

The event was also an opportunity for us to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Liveurope and toast to another decade of nurturing fresh European talent. 

Inspiring audiences to cast their ballots   

With only one month to go before the European elections, we showed the unique role music venues can take to engage with audiences and inspire them to cast their ballots. As part of a partnership with the European Parliament, AB took on the colours of the “Use your Vote” campaign, transforming into a powerful platform for democracy and civic engagement.  

During their performances, Compact Disk Dummies (BE), Bad Daughter (HR), Chibi Ichigo (BE), Magia Bruta (ES), and Stanislawa (BE/NL) shared powerful reminders of the importance of exercising the right to vote and called the audience to take part in the upcoming elections.

From the stage, Spanish duo Magia Bruta translated the Parliament’s campaign with their own twist, calling the audience to cast their ballot to “change things”. Echoing these words, Croatian indie singer Bad Daughter said: “Just go vote, if not for you, then for the person next to you”. 

Putting Europe centre stage in a concert venue

Since 2015, we have used Europe Day to put Europe, literally, on centre stage of AB, taking audiences on a musical journey throughout the continent.

From captivating performances that showcased the vibrancy of London’s jazz scene amidst the backdrop of Brexit, to delving into the depths of Turkish Psychedelica long before Altin Gun claimed a Grammy for Best Album, AB has continuously pushed boundaries and embraced diversity in its programming. Last year, we stood in solidarity with Ukraine through a fundraising event in collaboration with Music Saves UA, featuring concerts and discussions with prominent figures from the Ukraine music scene.

With Belgium at the helm of the EU Presidency, this edition put a special focus on exceptional Belgian talent with international potential. Electropunk band Compact Disk Dummies and dance act Chibi Ichigo co-headlined the evening of shows, bringing their contagious dance beats to AB’s main hall. 

Putting Europe on centre stage at a music venue like Ancienne Belgique today makes even more sense than it did 10 years ago when the first edition of Europe Day took place.” 

Tom Bonte,
Ancienne Belgique’s General Director

Thank you Ancienne Belgique and Liveurope for their efforts promoting European diversity. I’m really proud that Liveurope, an initiative that started right here in this venue, has now become a successful European cross-border story made in Belgium.

Hadja Lahbib,
Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs

We are very proud to have been working with Liveurope for the past 10 years, who dedicate themselves tirelessly to support European artists all around the continent.

Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen,
European Commission DG EAC’s Director-General