This year’s edition was all about live performances, from bands, DJs, dancers, art on display, to a fashion show.

Coalescaremonium Etterbeek Belgium
Coalescaremonium in Etterbeek, Belgium, April 2 (Hilde Heyveart)

Despite the recent terrorist events in Brussels making it hard (or harder, depending on which transport you were using) for people to get into the city. As well as pretty late timed necessary changes to the program, Coalescaremonium once again established that, at the moment, they are the premiere, family friendly, Gothic event that Belgium has to offer as none of these misfortunes stopped them from putting on a great show.

Coalescaremonium is an event that insists on re-inventing itself, even if it means that the organizers are making things difficult for themselves. This means that every event is a learning curve, and that sometimes things go wrong, but that’s ok, because they’re quick on their feet and even with delays and chaos at the food stand, the event WORKS.
You see smiling faces everywhere, even a couple of kids swarming the crowd, having just as good a time as the adults.

No edition is the same as the year before. Sure some elements keep returning: like the fashion, the photo booth, the ever expanding range of food on offer (also catering to vegetarians and vegans), a wide array of drinks (including organic juices); alcoholic and non-alcoholic alike, shops, the guarantee of a good time and a comfy place to sit and rest for a second. And that’s a good thing, because these are things a great event, like Coalescaremonium, needs. They are the things people count on and keep on coming back for, year after year.

Yet aside from that very successful formula, they go with a theme, and run with it. In such a way that it is clearly present but not overpowering nor mandatory. Something new and surprising each year, combining the parts we all know and love with something completely different, making each edition special and unique in itself.

This year’s Coalescaremonium, Art Nouveau Noise, was all about live performances, from bands, DJs, dancers, art on display, to a fashion show. You name it, they had it. Sure, the switching between the main room and the chapel could have gone better, and on a “normal” event people would have been pretty darned annoyed with how things went, but at Coalescaremonium people mostly took it in their stride because everyone, by now, knows that it won’t happen again. That this too will be treated by the organization as something to learn from and improve on.
As a side note, aside from a few returning guests such as DJ SiSeN and DJ Alchemy, most artists were unique to the event, several even played a Belgian stage for the very first time. This is yet another testament to how serious Coalescaremonium takes their originality, and to their dedication to put up an amazing and unique event.

Sure, Coalescaremonium tickets aren’t cheap at €35 in pre-sale and €40 at the door, but you get a versatile event that lasts from 3 pm to well after midnight for that price. If you look at the sheer run-time of the event, and the program, the price quickly becomes worth it. Because you do get a lot of value for your money.

Added to that, drinks and food don’t cost an arm and leg. And if you, for dietary reasons, would have to bring your own food, it wouldn’t be an issue either.

Unlike many Gothic events, Coalescaremonium is there to cater to the scene in general, to everyone that wants to have an awesome time, hang out with friends and meet new people. And it shows. There’s no business of showing up simply to prance around and be seen, people come dressed in the style they like best, and you end up with with an amazing array of genres within the subculture: ranging from Victoriana, cyber, historical dress, Japanese fashion styles (and not just the evident Gothic lolita!) and even steampunk and dieselpunk. Coalescaremonium welcomes them all equally, making it one of the most open-minded, friendly and warm events to find yourself at. Even perfect strangers will be enjoying themselves together at a section of the event. Rather that just an event, this is rapidly becoming one big, happy, family that keeps on growing every year.

It’s always the question what they’ll do next, and how on Earth they’re going to top themselves in that edition. We definitely are curious to see what they will choose to do for their 2017 edition!

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