Rik's Ramblings

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Leuven's Marktrock Festival

Marktrock - or "Market Rock" I suppose we'd call it in England!

The centre of Leuven is transforming into a stadium the week festival. Unfortunately I won't be here at the weekend when the real festival starts. Shame, Lou Reed is headlining on Sunday night.

Anyway tonight (Tuesday) I went for a little wander around the town (looking for a burger for dinner) and - lo and behold - there was a band player doing covers of 70s and 80s pop (Abba, Buggles, Bee-Gees).

The square was full of people having a bop. I had a couple of beers (a Hoegaarten, a Leffe and a Palm). It was nice atmosphere and looked great. The olde city hall illuminated in the background, with it's ornate 16th(?) Century scuptures and the regional flags unfurled.

The scene seemed very different from England or America. Example, the combination of crowds, music, and alcohol in England would have attracked a hundred police (here I saw 2) and a brawl. In the US, it would just have been illegal to play loud music in the streets after 8pm! Although, I think a British crowd would have sung "Video Killed the Radio Star" with more umpff!

Rather than a burger I was brave and figured I'd try a local delicacy called a "zwarts". It was a sausage affair and I was curious! Turned out to be (basically) black pudding. Imagine, that traditional Yorkshire faire having a Belgian twin! Anyway, I aite it, afterall, I'd already drunk a Hoegaarten, a Leffe and a Palm, I'd have eaten anything at that point!


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