What can I experience from the festival?
As a non-participant of the Europa Cantat Junior festival, you are very welcome to attend the choir-to-choir concerts. Choirs from different countries will perform together at various venues in Ghent city centre. No need to buy tickets or reserve seats for this.
Where can I buy a ticket for the closing concert?
As seats at the opera are very limited, there will be no ticket sales. However, participating choirs will have the opportunity to invite their supporters. You can watch the concerts via the livestream, which will be shared on Europa Cantat Junior's social media channels.
Where can I buy a ticket for a choir-to-choir concert?
To come to a choir-to-choir concert, you don't need to buy a ticket or reserve a seat. You can just come to the concert.
Ateliers & study tour
What if my choir does not fit the age range of a certain atelier?
If your choir does not fit the age range, level, or voicing of one atelier, consider dividing your group. That way you can choose the atelier that is most interesting for every singer. For example, the older or more experienced singers can join a more challenging atelier. That way you take home double the repertoire!
All atelier locations are close together, some in the same building, but you will need accompanying adults for every group.
We gave 3 atelier choices, what atelier will we get?
Every atelier has a limited number of places. When allocating choirs to an atelier, the artistic committee considers different things. How well does the choir fit the intended age range, voicing and level of the atelier, the overall balance of voices in the atelier, a mix of nationalities, at least 3 choirs in every atelier. We try to give all participants their first, second or third choice of atelier. The puzzle to fit all registered choirs in the ateliers, is made in March, after the registration deadline. We will notify you in March/April. Do not be disappointed if your choir does not get its first atelier choice. We are sure that all the ateliers will be equally wonderful.
If, in very exceptional cases, it is not possible to fit your choir in your first, second or third choice of atelier, we will propose an alternative and contact you as soon as possible (in that case you can reconsider your registration without costs).
Late registrations, after March 1st, can not give an atelier preference, they are allocated an atelier that still has places.
We have already registered, can extra choir members be added to our group?
Adding extra singers to your group is subject to availability (of festival location, and/or atelier places). Please contact us if the number of participants in your group changes. We will do our best to find a good solution.
Also read the Terms and Conditions in the page Registrations, for info about payments and cancellations.
Can our conductor join the study tour?
It is possible for your conductor to join the study tour. However, the study tour is a full-day program. So your conductor will not always be available to accompany the children. If your conductor is joining the study tour you should have enough other accompanying adults.
I am not participating with my choir, can I join the study tour as an individual?
Yes, it is possible to join the Study Tour as an individual. The participation fee is the same as for conductors who come with their choir.
How strict is the age range for the festival, and for the ateliers ?
One or two exceptions, participants older than 20y or younger than 8y, are possible. Not more. We ask you to respect this age range and provide accurate dates of birth in your detailed participation list.
What is the working language in the ateliers and study tour ?
The working language at the festival is English. And, of course, the universal language of music. So will your singers understand the atelier leader ? We are sure that this will not be a problem. The atelier leaders have been chosen for their international experience. They are used to working with foreign-language groups and lead rehearsals without many words. If something does need to be translated specifically and briefly, it can be done through the choir leaders. And between the young people themselves, google translate can help these days.
Travel & transport
How do we get to Ghent ?
The largest airports in Belgium are Brussels National (BRU) and Brussels South Charleroi (CLR). When booking your plane tickets, keep in mind that you cannot take a train from Charleroi airport. The airport Brussels National does have a train station with direct trains to Ghent.
To get from the airport to Ghent, you can take the train (group tickets available). There are 2 train stations in Ghent. Ghent-Sint-Pieters is the main station, it has bus and tram connection to the center of Ghent en the festival venues. Train station Ghent-Dampoort is the closest to some of the festival venues but you will need to walk, about 1 km.
When you know the address of your accommodation, we can advise you on the most practical way to travel to Ghent.
It is also possible to charter a bus to take you from the airport to Ghent. We can advice you on the costs and suggest a coach company.
Do we need transport during the festival ?
All the festival venues are within walking distance. Also, all the main tourist sites, musea, shopping streets are within walking distance of the festival venues. Some of the festival accommodations require a short walk to reach the rehearsal rooms, 1200m is the furthest. So, you do not need transport to get around during the festival.
If you want to go on a trip outside of Ghent, on the free afternoon/evening, you must arrange transport yourselves.
On the free afternoon/evening we would like to go on a trip outside of Ghent, is that possible?
Ghent itself has many beautiful and interesting things to do! But if you would like a trip outside of Ghent there are also many possibilities. Cities like Brugge, Antwerp, Brussels are easily reached by train, as is the seaside. We will publish tips later on.
We are coming to the festival with our own bus, where can we park the bus ?
info to follow
Accommodation & meals
What can I expect from the 'boarding school accommodation'?
- Basic single person rooms with a wash basin with cold water
- Toilets and showers in the hallways, shared by several groups
- No seperate boys/girls hallways. Seperate boys/girls showers.
- Bring your own sleeping bag, sheets (obligatory), pillow
- In some boarding schools, rooms can not be locked (we will find a safe place for every choir to put valuables, but this is always at your own risk)
- Boarding school rooms are for sleeping only. No meetings, inviting friends to your room etc.
- Children must at all times be supervised when they are in the rooms. Children are not allowed to go to the rooms without supervision.
- The boarding school closes after breakfast until the afternoon
- The boarding school gates close at 22h30
- No one without a festival badge can enter the boarding schools
Can we find our own accommodation?
Yes, you can find your own accommodation. There are many hotels in and around Ghent, but not so many low budget hostels. Do not wait too long to look for accommodation, the summer months are the high season of tourism in Ghent.
What are the meal options if we take festival meals ?
Two school restaurants provide the meals. Meal choices are regular (meat/fish/vegetarian on some days) or vegetarian (vegan on some days). You can also indicate food intolerances: gluten, lactose.
The school restaurants and the menus follow guidelines set by the City of Ghent.
Participants with severe food allergies : please contact us. We will try to find a practical solution.
Ghent has been awarded the title of “veggie capital of Europe” because the city has more vegetarian restaurants compared to cities like Paris or London. “Thursday- veggie day” is a campaign that has its roots in Ghent and has now widely spread. On Thursdays all school restaurants only serve vegetarian meals.
Why must our conductor and accompanying adults also pay the participation fee?
The participation fee is not just for tuition in the ateliers or study tour. It allows you to use festival facilities such as the festival meals and festival accommodation, you can take part in the Open Singing, Choir-to-choir concerts, afternoon activities, enter some of the festival venues etc. To have a festival badge you need to be a festival participant. Even your bus driver, if he/she wishes to take festival meals or stay in festival accommodation, is a participant and pays the participation fee.
What kind of membership does my choir have, and how can I proove this ?
If your choir is a member of a local, regional or national choral association, which in turn is a member of the European Choral Association, you can benefit from the “ECA indirect members” discount. To find out if your association is a member of ECA, click here. If your choir is a member of Friends of the European Choral Association, two of your singers can have the indirect membership reduction.
In March/April, when you send us your detailed participation list, we will ask you send to proof of membership 2023. You must ask your local, regional or national choral association for a document or membership card.
Special needs participants
If you have special-needs singers in your group, you can specify this in the registration form. We will contact you to find the best practical solution so that everyone can enjoy the festival.
There is no participation fee for a necessary one-on-one accompanying adult of a special needs singer. See FAQs for more about special-needs participants.
How many responsible adults do I need to bring ?
Your group must bring its own supervisors. During the day, in the atelier, at concerts, in the evening, at the accommodation, you are responsible for your choir. But how many adults should you bring? This is different for every choir. But do not underestimate going on an international choir trip with a group of children. Bring enough supervisors. Also, if your conductor follows the Study Tour, he/she will not be available during part of the day to supervise the children.
Who can participate in the festival?
Europa Cantat Junior is a festival for children and youth choirs (up to 20 years old). You can come with all or part of your choir. Alternatively, if you are a choir conductor, music teacher or just interested in 'singing with children' and would like to come alone, you are welcome to join our Study Tour.
Wat is a choir-to-choir concert ?
A choir-to-choir concert is a concert where 3 choirs sing their own repertoire. An opportunity to show your choir to the festival, bring some repertoire from your country! Your concert program can be max. 15-17 minutes. A piano will be available. The choir-to-choir concerts are in the evening and on some afternoons. You can not only sing in a choir-to-choir concert but also listen to some of them, go to a concert as a group. Your festival badge allows you entrance.
Do we need to bring our own pianist?
There will be festival pianists who can accompany your choir. But there will not be much rehearsal time with this pianist, only one session of 15 minutes. You must have scores for the pianist ready at the strat of the festival.
Do we have to sing a choir-to-choir concert ?
No, it is your choice whether you would like to do this or not. No obligation.
Going to a choir-to-choir concert as audience can also be a nice evening acitivity.
Can we sing another small concert in Ghent?
More info will follow.