The atmosphere was incredibly welcoming and open-minded.

Coalescaremonium Etterbeek Belgium
Coalescaremonium in Etterbeek, Belgium, March 29 (Hilde Heyvaert)

On Saturday, March 29, the second edition of Belgium’s large scale Gothic event: Coalescaremonium, Radiant Darkness.

Coalescaremonium is a nearly 24 hours long Gothic themed happening spread over two locations.

From 3 PM to 2 AM, the main event takes place in the converted monastery in Etterbeek (next to Brussels) known as La Bouche à Oreille. Followed by an afterparty at La Porte Noire in the heart of Brussels itself, lasting ‘till 6 AM.

Now because there are now two large-scale Gothic events in Belgium people tend to draw comparisons. Don’t. Other than that both are largely part of the Gothic subculture, comparing them would be like comparing apples to oranges.

Coalescaremonium profiles itself as a Grandioso Gothic Happening, but at the same time it is incredibly welcoming to styles either affiliated with Goth, such as SteamGoth and gothic lolita, Aristocrat and others, or equally underground such as lolita, punk, dieselpunk and steampunk full stop. No matter whether you wear any style from within the Goth scene or the fashions from any of those other subcultures, you’re still welcome and no one will look at you funny. We saw several styles of Goths, Cybers, steampunks, a dieselpunk, a punk, people wearing different styles of lolita and even shironuri. The event is very welcoming, and while there is a dresscode it’s definitely not the kind that asks for grand gestures when it comes to your outfit. Showing that you did the effort to fit in is all that the organization asks, and it makes for a very diverse audience which is always great to see.

The atmosphere was incredibly welcoming and open-minded, causing people to spontaneously starting to socialise, even if they had never met each other before. Not only did several groups of friends meet up, I’m sure that many that went to Coalescaremonium made some new friends along the way.

The weather gods definitely smiled upon the organization because the event was blessed with beautiful spring weather. Not too warm, not too cold, so the majority of those that had arrived early on at the event spend time enjoying the sunshine at one of the many tables outside. For those that preferred sitting inside several seating areas spread over several rooms both upstairs and downstairs had been arranged.

The bars had also been spread over the inside, with two of them in the main hall, serving the regular soft drinks, a variety of beer, cocktails and even absinthe, as well as several organic fruit juices. For those preferring tea or coffee, there was a downstairs tea corner, where you could also get themed cupcakes. For those preferring something more hardy food wise, there was the outside bar serving hamburgers, cheeseburgers and veggie burgers.

All at very affordable prices with a great system. You would buy a €10 card, on which people would mark off the little roses when you would order a drink or a burger. So basically for that amount of money you could get a fruit juice, a burger, a cup of tea and a cupcake, to give but one example.

Of course this isn’t just a social event: the organising duo Discipulus and Nocturne had made sure of that.

You could enjoy art on several locations in the building, by several artists, such as Frank Wiersema, Coline Clerbois and Myriel Achalot. Fashion designer Rachael Forbes had several models walking around in some of her spectacular creations, who were later on the evening doing a stage performance during the set of DJ Alchemy.

Aside from 14 DJs, among which the legendary DJ SiSeN, in two rooms they also had two bands performing: Star Industry and for the very first time in Belgium: Lord of the Lost.

From 9 PM on the dance crew joined the main hall, where the dancers showed their very best moves, joined by the audience that felt like dancing as well to the DJ performances.

And if that wasn’t enough, there was the photo corner where Erika Althreya was taking photos of guests, to be turned into the famous Coalescaremonium “photobooth” shots, making beautiful and fun souvenirs of a great day out in the underground scene of the Belgian capital.

While Coalescaremonium is an event that could very well be labelled as being on the expensive side, it is most definitely worth every cent of the ticket price as you get an amazing amount of value for your money. Definitely an event to look forward to next year!

More photos can be found in this Flickr set and on the Coalescaremonium Facebook page.

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