Dranouter FestivalDranouter Festival is one of the eight pilot areas in CUPIDO. Dranouter Festival is a music festival that is held every summer in the village of Dranouter in the Belgian province of West Flanders. In its genre it is the largest festival in Europe. Bavo Vanden Broeck is the Project Manager in CUPIDO for Dranouter Festival and here he describes what their pilot is about.
What is the background?
The organisation has existed for 45 years and during the years it has enlarged its objectives. Coming from a festival organization it has evolved in to a non-profit organization that plays a tourist and cultural role in our region throughout the year. We want to strengthen the cultural and touristic potential of the region by adding a permanent “reason-to-go” and by using artist development as a lever for economy and tourism.
What are you doing in your pilot?
We are developing a new visitor’s attraction where gameplay and music will have a central role. The gameplay is still in full development, but the idea is that we will guide visitors through a course of different games that are all related to music or sound. Each game will have multiple layers. They should be fun to play, have a competetive element and a storyline. The storylines will refer to history, music and regional aspects. After playing all the games vistors will have a fun experience but will also learn some background on traditional music and will be informed on some regional stories.
We are also aiming to create a residence room, where artists can stay for shorter or longer periods while adapting to and getting to know the area. We will invite artists to create within their field of expertise such as music, painting, writing and hope to come to the point where an artistic product can be linked with our region and can be used as a kind of ambassadorship.
Where is your pilot located?
We are located in Dranouter, a small town that is part of the Municipality Heuvelland. Dranouter is in a rural area on the border of France at about a 45-minute drive from the North Sea Coast.
Who are working together in your pilot and your region?
We have a team of about eight people working the year around to realise several aspects and outputs. We also work together with a wide network of volunteers from the region (about 1000 people a year).
Our organisation keeps close lines with several others in the region, such as the local municipality, regional tourist boards and several private initiatives that work in the same fields as ours. This ranges from the local winegrower to an urban museum, from a family pub to an equestrian association.
Within the project we work locally with Heuvelland Municipality and University of applied sciences HOWEST. Of course, we also work with the international CUPIDO partners, with whom we exchange knowledge and expertise. For the concrete realization of our projects, we work together with designers, consultants and contractors.
What are the challenges?
We strive for sustainable investment that can be run with limited operating costs. But we also search for ways to boost the regional potential so that we can strengthen the whole region. Running a visitor centre means paying staff and maintaining the venue over e long time span so we need to raise enough return to make this possible. The only way to make this possible is to collaborate with other stakeholders in the area and to create joined products and develop a joined communication approach to make the region a stronger regional product.
What do you hope to achieve and who will be affected by the result?
We hope to achieve significant growth in visitor numbers through the development of our projects. Based on the DNA of the region and our organization, we want to give our rural region an attractive experience that can also serve as a base for further exploration of the region. In addition, we want to develop a process whereby artists from the region work on creative products that can be a lever for the artist, our activities and the region.
Hopefully there will be some good effects from the results of our pilot and the CUPIDO project in our region. In the first place the organization and the staff of Dranoeter VZW will be affected by the result. But also through cooperation, a wide network of partner organizations in the region will be affected. If the pilot is successful, there should be a measurable increase in economic return in the region within tourism entrepreneurship.
Bavo Vanden Broeck, Dranouter Festival, Project Manager for the CUPIDO pilot
Read more about Dranouter Festival:
University of applied sciences HOWEST
More articles about the pilot
New visitor´s attractions and artist residence hub in Dranouter, Belgium
Kemmel wares bring new business opportunities to Heuvelland, Belgium