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International Regional and Local Music Scenes
Local Brussels, Belgium Music Scene

The local music scene of Brussels, Belgium is important to the UK because it's not that far from London. Driving by car requires a car transport over the English Channel, but it's only a four and a half hour drive. Many musicians from Brussels visit London frequently to expand their music industry contacts. Some of the top regional talent of Brussels include Front 242, metal band Stream of Passion, alternative acts Hush Hush and Michael Schack, folk artist Les Caricoles and rockers Hitherside. Brussels is also connected with the vibrant music scene in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, which is about a two hour drive north.

The beauty of language is that it does not have to be understood by visitors from around the world. Foreign visitors can still communicate with people who do not understand each other through language by showing emotion for music. No other form of communication is more readily able to unify complete strangers than music or art. That's why it's important for the Brussels government to embrace music and art as part of education. It's the language that connects all languages and it's time that officials realize that the world is a better place because of music. One of the nicest songs ever written about Brussels was "Bruxelles" by Jacques Brel. Other notable tributes have included "Just Like Belgium" by Elton John and "Brussels Blues" by Benny Goodman.

If radio did what it was originally intended to do, which was to give a voice to the community, it would play a high percentage of local music. But radio programmers will always point to everything they do being justified by statistics and they will insist that there is no market for local music. An important radio station in Brussels is Radio Air Libre at 87.7 FM, broadcasting in French. It's a station that promotes free expression.

Statistics only tell us what has happened in the past but they don't tell us what will happen in the future. Since radio does not have much of a history experimenting with local music in a meaningful way, it's difficult to tell what the reaction would be. What's interesting is that radio stations in Brussels scramble to embrace bands who do get signed and go on to have national success so that they can get them to headline their festivals.

The night life in Brussels is happening at places such as Les Ateliers Claus and Botanique. These venues are friendly to up and coming local bands. Goose is an electronic band who gained attention after playing the summer festival Rock Werchter. Ultimately Front 242 is one of the most legendary bands from Brussels because they helped pioneer the harder edge sound of electronic music. Many bands have tried to follow in their footsteps.

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