To be honest: we don’t really want to dwell on this f#cked up year for too long. When we began 2020 in January, you were still visiting our venue in hoards. Nice and close to each other. Those were scenes we can now only dream about. Who could have suspected that we would close our doors on Thursday 12 March and only open them again briefly in autumn with a limited capacity?
If anyone had told me then that my first months in AB would involve seated audiences, social distancing, face masks during the concert, a closed bar, disinfectant gels and circulation plans as the norm... I would definitely have suspected them of wanting to discourage me before I even began.
Discouraged, that we are certainly not: I encountered a resilient team behind the scenes on my first days at work. Musicians received additional residences and technical support. We launched steaming streams, backstage spaces were tackled and renewed, new projects took shape, and soon we will be releasing a new house style upon you.
So, there you have it, our view back over the year. We prefer to look ahead! 2021 will certainly still start out ABnormal, but you can make note of these plans on your pristine white quarantine calendar. AB is going all out for the week of Belgian music (from 8 to 14 February), we participate in Black History Month (March), and BRDCST – our festival for adventurous ears – returns too.
All we need now is… you. Because we’re missing concerts and artists here, but most of all we miss you, our audience. And, if we rightly understood all those fantastic words of love and support that we received, the longing is mutual. Fortunately, even annoying songs come to an end and we’ll then be ready and waiting, arms opened wide, to welcome you back to the world of wonderful songs. Hang in there! See you soon!
Tom Bonte (General Manager)