Coalescaremonium, Industrial Decadence

A fantastic Gothic event with many performances.

Coalescaremonium Industrial Decadence Etterbeek Belgium
Coalescaremonium, Industrial Decadence in Etterbeek, Belgium, April 11 (Hilde Heyvaert)

Coalescaremonium is an annual Gothic happening that takes place in a revamped monastery near Brussels. Every year they set a new theme, this year’s was Industrial Decadence, which is the general theme for the event, which the organization does a great job planning around to create a varied and most excellent event.

The strength of Coalescaremonium is that the team behind the event takes a long and hard look at the previous edition, and improves on every single thing they think needs improving, making each edition better than the next year after year. When they think something can be done better, they will do it better the following edition, which makes that many look forward to the next edition even having a fantastic time on the current one.

Their other ace in the hole is the atmosphere. Whist it is an upscale event, it is incredibly open-minded. You’ll see people dressed up in elaborate Gothic designs, people that clearly put something fabulous together for the event, people from all Gothic substyles, but also other subcultures such as steampunk, Japanese fashions, as well as people that simply show up in a suit or dressed in black. Even though there is a dresscode, if you clearly show that you belong to the scene and genuinely want to be there, you’ll be allowed entrance. And it’s utterly fantastic to see such a great mix of people and subcultures together. It immediately creates a wonderful and extremely friendly atmosphere.

But that’s the general gist of it, onto more of the event review!

This year they had changed the entrance from the one side of the venue to the other, and it worked much better!
Last year when you got in you had to drag your stuff through the entire venue, which wasn’t the most practical if you carried a lot of things. This year you went straight into the area with the photo corner, the cloakroom and plenty of tables where you could sit down for a bit. There were also some shops in the room right next to it, and more tables. It was a nice, quiet and cozy area.
To my knowledge nothing got stolen last year, but this year the cloakroom was guarded, which was nice.

The Chapel, a side room upstairs had some art on display and would be used as a little cinema later. There wasn’t loads of room but plenty for the people that wanted to watch things and that’s all that matters.

There was also plenty of seating in the main room (still leaving more than enough of room for dancers) and some in the smaller club room as well as outside. There were also a lot of tables you could simply lean at and two bars inside, which meant people never had to wait ages for a drink as well, and a well-organized food stand outside where you could get hamburgers, cheeseburgers and vegetarian burgers. For the rest there were cupcakes, which looked the same as last year I believe.

The organization also confirmed that it would not be an issue if people brought in their own food because of dietary requirements, the organization is very understanding when it comes to things like that, so people that can’t eat cupcakes or burgers shouldn’t fear going hungry (just pack their own lunch and/or dinner).
And there was so much choice in drinks, omg! Organic juices, non organic juices, sodas, waters, beers, wine, I think cava as well. And then coffee and tea downstairs.
And all at very reasonable prices. You could get a drinks card that was €10 with 10 squares. Sodas, juices and waters were al 2 squares (so €2) and burgers were 4. So for €6 you could buy a meal with a drink. And basically on one card you could get a meal and 3 drinks (if you didn’t take alcohol, which was more expensive).
An added bonus was that per drinks card, you were given a lottery ticket. Each lottery ticket gave you a chance to win a ticket to the upcoming Gothic music festival Eurorock, which was a nice gesture.

Another awesome thing was the general program. There was non-stop DJing going on in the smaller Dance room, they aired a lot of movies, the photo corner was active for the entire duration of the event, and they had several events on the main stage, ranging from Burlesque with the Candy Coated Circus, to bands, tribal dance performance, a fashion show to DJ Alchemy doing an all-star set.

The complete program is also on their website, so people could easily plan their day there beforehand.

And for those that don’t really look at these things beforehand they made sure to put a program up on every table, and they checked to see if they needed replacing in case people took them as a souvenir (which was allowed). Not just that, but the team also made it a point to remind people something was going to happen in the main hall in a timely fashion before it did, so no one missed out on something they wanted to see.

For those that still didn’t get enough at the 3pm to 2am main event, there was an afterparty going ‘till 7am at a secondary location, the Hyperion Esport Bar in the center of Brussels, to which the organization provided free transport to.

Coalescaremonium Industrial Decadence was a fantastic Gothic event, more than well worth the ticket price, and we already look forward to next year’s edition.

More photos can be found in this set.

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