KidsOdeGand transforms Ghent into musical playground
KidsOdeGand transforms Ghent into musical playground17 Sep 2014
In 2009 Ghent was awarded the prestigious title of ‘Creative City of Music’ by UNESCO, so when you come to Ghent you’ll want to partake in the musical smorgasbord that this beautiful city has to offer. One way to do this is to attend the annual cultural musical event OdeGand, the opening of the cultural season. With one ticket you can spend a whole day listening to incredible music in stunning locations that will nourish your soul and enrich your cultural senses.
But what about the kids? Do they have the patience to sit through Elektra’s soprano drama? Can they last two hours through an experimental jazz set without asking fifty times for a drink? I know mine can’t. But I really want my children to be exposed to the rich musical diversity that Ghent has to offer. Luckily, the organisers of the annual Gent Festival devised KidsOdeGand specifically for your musically inclined kids. This music feast for kids takes place the day after OdeGand, this year on September 14th.
Children over the age of four are welcome to take a Musical Boat Tour. Upon boarding your pre-designated boat, you and your kids will be taken up the Lys River past a myriad of musical acts who wait on the shores of the river to entertain and delight. Boatloads of the musically curious were enraptured by the many quirky characters, choirs, string outfits, desert island composers and swinging bands.
My kids are still quite young, so we spent our time at the activities centre at the Graslei and Korenlei. There a stage spanned the width of the water on which two didgeridoo players filled the air with ambient music. My youngest son Jack bopped in time with the music, while other kids danced along, swinging their hands in the air, balloons tied to their wrists. The Korenlei boasted two jumping castles, a huge hit with my son. There was also an area for face painting, free balloons, percussion workshops and colouring in. The most spectacular thing I saw was the carousel that looked like it had been put together by an eccentric Victorian inventor. An accordionist played along as the eerie contraption made its rounds.
KidsOdeGand blends high culture with fun in a whimsical, laid back atmosphere which will enchant your whole family. KidsOdeGand will come back next year and it’s a good idea to sign up for the email list because tickets sell out fast. Tickets are €9 for children under 14 or €12 for everyone else. They can be found at http://www.kidsodegand.be/en/welcome