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Ghent Festival

Prague, Czech...
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312 posts
81 reviews
54 helpful votes
Ghent Festival

Hi there,

As I 've learned there will be a big festival in Ghent from 13 July until 22 July.

I've some blogs about drunk people during this festival and vomitting in the city center.

Is it safe to be in Ghent during this time? Is it possible to walk in the city centre and visit tourist sights during this time?

Are there any special events worth for non-Dutch and non-French speakers / tourists during this time?

Thank you in advance.

9 replies to this topic
Champlon, Belgium
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10,035 posts
5 reviews
4 helpful votes
1. Re: Ghent Festival

Tourists perhaps, it is very rare to see an obviously drunk Belgian.

Brussels, Belgium
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37,387 posts
3 reviews
2 helpful votes
2. Re: Ghent Festival

Of course tourist sights are open (except on any day when the attraction in question would normally be closed), and the city is fine during festival mornings and at least early afternoons, when a number of events are aimed at children anyway. It's in the evening and especially late at night that the raucous elements tend to come out.

As you don't mention your actual date, you will have to look at the programme on here to check whether there is anything that interests you on the day(s) when you are likely to be there: https://gentsefeesten.stad.gent/en - language is not an issue for most music, dancing (oriental, salsa, Indian), circus/acrobatics, mardi gras parade (yes, really!) or fireworks, for instance, but you probably wouldn't want to listen to stand-up comedy in Flemish (though I notice that Adam Hall, an Australian comic, is on on 17/7). And no there is nothing specifically for tourists - Flemings also follow English-language groups, comedians etc. so their occasional presence is not an indication that they are catering.to anyone but themselves. But of course there are foreigners attending, and quite likely to be the ones behaving badly, if any.

Edited: 3:29 pm, June 10, 2018
Prague, Czech...
Level Contributor
312 posts
81 reviews
54 helpful votes
3. Re: Ghent Festival

Thank you very much for your post.

Brussels, Belgium
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37,387 posts
3 reviews
2 helpful votes
4. Re: Ghent Festival

Ahem. It seems that Adam Hall, while Australian, is a "singer, trumpeter and bandleader": I confused him with Adam HILL, who is an Australian stand-up comedian (and not at the festival..)!

Hertford, United...
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46 posts
21 reviews
36 helpful votes
5. Re: Ghent Festival

I have been to the Festival for the last three years and have alwa us found it to feel very safe and festive. The roads are blocked off and the atmosphere is terrific. You are lucky to be going during the Festival. Enjoy it

Prague, Czech...
Level Contributor
312 posts
81 reviews
54 helpful votes
6. Re: Ghent Festival

Thank you.

Ghent, Belgium
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198 posts
13 reviews
7 helpful votes
7. Re: Ghent Festival

The festival is fantastic! Yep, people get drunk in the evening and party until the early hours on the streets but it's all in good spirit. It's a great time to be in the city. Go out and explore the different area. Each has its ons atmosphere

Hertford, United...
Level Contributor
46 posts
21 reviews
36 helpful votes
8. Re: Ghent Festival

I forgot to mention that one of the loveliest things about the Gent Fest is that there are all ages there from children to pensioners. All having a great time. See you there

Philadelphia...
Level Contributor
245 posts
9. Re: Ghent Festival

The Ghent festival was packed but everyone looked like they were having fun when I was there. I did read in the news however in another year there had been serious violence against a person. This can happen anywhere so just be prudent and don't walk alone in dark places.

I also remember reading about something at the festival that shows the Belgian humor and culture. A man passed out near a pile of garbage. People didn't see him and covered everything but his legs with trash. The next morning police saw his legs sticking out, woke him up and asked if he was ok He said to the effect that yes he was ok and had a good night's sleep! In the US if that happened he might have been charged with public drunkenness or something.

Also, they have open-air urinals for men which is weird by US standards but very practical.

Edited: 6:43 pm, June 24, 2018
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