Flanders to host ‘Olympic Games for choirs’ in 2020

Summary

The largest choir competition in the world will be staged in Antwerp and Ghent two years from now, bringing 30,000 people to Flanders

 
The World Choir Games are coming to Flanders

World Choir Games

Flanders will host the “Olympic Games for choirs” in 2020, according to several Flemish ministers who have released a joint statement. Flanders beat out the other finalist, South Korea’s Gangwon province, in the bid to host the World Choir Games.

The World Choir Games has been staged every two years since 2000 and is the largest choir event in the world. Any choir – amateur or professional – can take part in one of nearly 30 categories. It hosts any kind of choir and draws some 500 choirs from 80 countries to every edition.

“We are working to bring more top global events like this to Flanders,” said tourism minister Ben Weyts. “Events like the World Choir Games are invaluable to our international image and economy. The conservative estimate for the boost to the economy from this event is €21 million.”

‘A dream backdrop’

The World Choir Games were founded on Olympic ideals. “Music is the common language of the world and serves as a link between cultures and nations,” according to a statement. Participants in the Games often bring along family members or friends, and total tourists attached to the event number up to 30,000.

The event will take place from 5-15 July 2020 in Antwerp and Ghent. “Flanders is a dream backdrop for top events like the World Choir Games,” said sport minister Philippe Muyters. “It’s outstanding that we can bring an international event that attracts so many people to Flanders.”

Two years ago, the Flemish government established EventFlanders as part of tourist agency VisitFlanders. Its goal is to bring major international events such as the World Choir Games to the region. It is supported by the tourist and sport ministries, as well as foreign affairs and culture.

Photo courtesy World Choir Games