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Join One of the Oldest Jazz Festivals in Europe – Jazz Middelheim


Calling all Jazz fans, aficionados, connoisseurs, or whatever else you may be! The oldest Jazz festival in Europe is taking place again in 2024 in beautiful Belgium, choosing to skip 2023, in order to come back even stronger. If you’re the kind of guy or gal who loves a little shaddap-beep-boom-pap-spillip, then a visit here will be precisely what the doctor ordered (maybe even Doctor Jazz, ol’ Jelly Roll Morton).

It isn’t just the old-timey stuff though, this festival wants to introduce new audiences, as well as audiences that prefer other genres of music, to the wonderful world of jazz. In this article, we are going to go over everything about this festival, either to convince you to visit, or just excite you about it a little bit more.

Before we get going with our exploration of Jazz Middelheim, let’s rap about another important topic: getting from the airport to your accommodation, or even directly to the festival. For the least amount of hassle, we recommend booking a taxi Brussels Airport ride with AtoB airport transfer service, which can get you wherever you need to go, in comfort, and for a great price.

With the added luxury of being able to personalize your ride, you can add useful extras to your Brussels airport taxi such as child seats, additional stops, extra waiting time – you can even include your Spotify playlist to the booking, meaning you can enjoy some jazzy tunes all the way to the festival by airport taxi!

With transport out of the way, let’s get to the festival!

About the Festival

As we said, this is the oldest Jazz festival in Europe, having played the first diminished add-7 chord in 1969! Due to this, they have decades to experiment and perfect their formula, making this the ultimate festival.

The festival is held in the Park den Brandt in central Antwerp, which offers beautiful greenery, as well as countless shady areas to get away from the sun’s hot rays (unless it is cloudy, which is typical for Belgian summers).

The organizers have stated that their main goal is to open up the stage for young and upcoming musicians who wish to show-off their talent. This extends to the audience though, with the event being open to anyone, or any age, with children’s activities being available throughout the festival. It is also accessible for wheelchair users, and there are many benches located on the grounds for you to catch your breath.

Locating the Park

The park where the festival is held is close to the center of Antwerp, around 6 kilometers away in total. From the central station, one could either take the number 17 bus, the 2/6 trams, hire an AtoB airport taxi or even walk if they are in need of a bit of a workout.

Artists from Previous Years

Join One of the Oldest Jazz Festivals in Europe - Jazz Middelheim

Perhaps one of the most notable artists in previous years, albeit not a jazz musician, per se, was Iggy Pop. Due to the festival wanting to blend jazz with other genres, as well as be more accessible to listeners of others styles, this choice was definitely a bold, yet well received one. Other notable mentions are the Kurt Rosenwinkel Trio, the Flight of the Black Zebra, and Philip Catherine, who was in fact joined by Alexandre Cavaliere as a special guest.


Going with the fun tagline “Music is food for the soul”, the festival offers a wide variety of gastronomical choices. With food and snacks coming from a variety of different cultures, as well as offering vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, you are certain to find something yummy to satisfy your hunger when there. Some of the food trucks and stalls that were present in previous years are: Alma Libre, offering Mexican food, Greenway, which specializes in non-meat dishes, WÜRST, which obviously does some pretty awesome hot dogs, and Madam Bakster, with some of the sweetest treats around, just to name a few.

As the event is in Belgium, it is only natural that beer would be in abundance. In 2022, Duvel, a popular Belgian strong ale sponsored the event, meaning that their nectar of the gods was flowing like water during the show. There will also likely be many other offerings with which one may wet their whistle, yet the beer will be star of the show (after the musicians, of course).

With that, we come to the end of our overview of the Jazz Middelheim Festival, one of Europe’s (if not the World’s) oldest, and still-running Jazz Festivals. Come for a little of the doo-wap-bo-diddley, and stay for the fun memories and yummy food you will enjoy there.

Music is much more than just a succession or combination of notes, it is a way for humans to connect on a deeper level, and this festival exemplifies that perfectly. Enjoy!


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