Preview Alcatraz 2023

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Alcatraz Metal and Hard Rock Festival in Kortrijk, Belgium has quickly grown out to become one of the biggest festivals for the lovers of heavy music in the country. We heard people say more than once that they are going to Alcatraz now yearly instead of Graspop because of the nicer atmosphere where it feels like coming home every time. Since its humble beginnings as a 1 stage, 1-day, indoors festival, it has grown out to become an impressive 3-day festival with 4 stages and over 100 bands to choose from over your stay. And this year marks the 15th anniversary already of an event that is marked in a whole lot of peoples calendars.

Name : Alcatraz Hard Rock & Metal Festival
Country : Belgium
Amount of Days : 3
Outdoors / Indoors : Outdoors
Amount of Stages : 4
Genres : Alternative Metal, Experimental metal, Extreme metal, Black Metal, Death Metal, Melodic Death Metal, Doom Metal, Sludge Metal, Thrash Metal, Crossover, Folk Metal, Groove Metal, Heavy Metal, Melodic Metal, Metalcore, Modern Metal, Post-metal, Power Metal, Symphonic Metal, Hard Rock, Heavy Rock, Punk, Hardcore Punk

The Bands

The 108 bands line-up is yet again absolutely stacked with something for everyone’s taste. An impressive collection of legendary names like Dismember, Possessed, Biohazard, Obituary, Exciter, Sodom, The Exploited, Killswitch Engage, Blind Guardian, Holy Moses…, growing talents like Vomitory, Frozen Soul, Wind Rose, Eleine, Gaerea, Brand Of Sacrifice…, and more underground acts from as good as all the genres  you can think of: heavy metal, power metal, hardcore, punk, metalcore, black metal, death metal, thrash metal, sludge metal, doom metal, post-metal,…

Alcatraz is also known for often some experimentation with their headliners, and this year definitely brings that again. Where a lot of people might have expected some huge established names as headliners since it’s the 15th anniversary, the organization went for a future headliner with Powerwolf on the Friday, a rebranded legend with KK’s Priest on Saturday, and some young upstarts with Electric Callboy on the Sunday.

One huge thing that we commend Alcatraz for greatly, is the attention they have for local talent. Belgium has grown into a treasure trove of talented and promising metal bands, and the organization is showcasing a healthy dose of that talent again this year with bands like La Muerte, Kludde, Serial Butcher, Predatory Void, Schizophrenia, Aeveris, Serpents Oath, Slaughter The Giant, Mantah, Hexa Mera, Psychonaut, Reject The Sickness, Brutal Sphincter, Stake, and Brutus.

The Timing

As always, Alcatraz takes place the 2nd full weekend of August, which in this case means Friday August 11 till Sunday August 13. Every day the gates open at 10:00 AM, one hour before the first band starts on the Prison Stage (main stage). On most days the headliners continue until a bit before 1:00 AM, with still 2 bands playing on the Swamp and Helldorado stages until 1:30 AM. The gates will be closed shortly after that.

There is an Alcatraz pre-party to get things warmed up for the main event, with 4 tribute bands and some local punk legends playing on the Swamp Stage. It’s basically free for everyone, but if you don’t have a camping ticket, you’ll need to pay €6 for a ticket, for which you’ll get drink tokens with that value, so it’s essentially free.


The Grounds

The festival grounds are located in Kortrijk on the fields of a sport center on the edge of the city, and you’ll find 4 stages with each their own character:

  • Prison Stage: the main stage of the festival where you’ll find the biggest bands with the biggest shows.
  • Swamp Stage: a tent stage where you’ll find many more extreme metal acts with a darker vibe (death metal, black metal, thrash metal, deathcore,…), fitting the name of the stage perfectly.
  • Helldorado Stage: a tent stage where every day has a different theme going with on the Friday a whole list of killer hardcore bands, a more black metal oriented day on Saturday (with a few exceptions), and a very atmospheric day on Sunday with post-metal and sludge.
  • Morgue Stage: a smaller tent stage where you’ll find a nice combination of local Belgian talents and international bands that call for a club atmosphere where there’s no security barrier and all the ingredients for some really intense shows.

For the rest, there are plenty of food places, bars and other activities to be found spread all over the area, so there is never a dull moment. One extra bigger construction that has a specific title is the El Presidio where you’ll be welcome for some Belgian special beers and partying to the tunes played by the DJs scheduled there.

This is the way

The festival terrain is at Sport Campus Lange Munte Bad Godesberglaan 22, 8500 Kortrijk in Belgium. It’s easy to get there by public transport, and even if you want to come by car, there is a great free shuttle service to the festival area from Parking Xpo.

Stop bus station Festival: Kortrijk Lange Munte
Stop bus station Parking Xpo (free shuttle service to the festival area)

If you want to use Taxi Service in Kortrijk:

Bicycles and bikes can be parked at the festival site. There is a non-guarded parking space reserved.

There is no PARK & RIDE zone at the entrance of the festival. The Park & Ride zone is located at Kortrijk Xpo where there is a free shuttle service from the parking to the main entrance of the festival. To access this PARK & RIDE zone, please use the following GPS coordinates:

Kennedylaan 100

In respect of the residents nearby our festival site, you cannot park your car in the surroundings of the festival. If you do so, fines will be issued. The official parking space of Alcatraz festival is located at Kortrijk Xpo / Kinepolis. To access this parking, please use the following GPS coordinates:

Alcatraz Parking:
Kennedylaan 100

There is a free shuttle service from the parking to the main entrance of the festival:

  • Thursday: 8.00 AM – 02.00 AM
  • Friday: 8.00 AM – 3.00 AM
  • Saturday: 8:00 AM – 3.00 AM
  • Sunday: 8.00 AM – 3.00 AM
  • Monday: 8.00 AM – 12.30 PM

The Stay

Alcatraz has several nearby camping options ranging from the basic “Alcatraz Graveyard” camping, camper camping and motor camping, all the way to more luxury “glamping” options like the Eagle Plaza, 2-person “B-and-bee” units to even a truck to sleep in (yes, you read that right).

Quite some of the more fancy options are already sold out, besides some Delta tent options and group tents, so if you want to stay close to the festival and the atmosphere, you’ll just have to bring your own tent and camping gear, and fork out €18 for a camping ticket. There are still some extras available like getting cold beer, breakfast packages and buffet, or the purchase of a friends area to have a guaranteed shared camping space for the group of metalheads you’re going to Alcatraz with (excluding the basic camping tickets you still need to get). Check all the available options out still here.

If you don’t necessarily care for staying close to the atmosphere and want a bit more luxury, there is still good news for you: the city center of Kortrijk is relatively close to the festival area, so getting yourself a hotel room or something similar is definitely a valid option.

Grub and Booze

Every year, the organization tries to offer a wide range of different food and drink options so that everyone can find something that fits their needs and wants. Which is a good thing, since you’re not allowed to bring anything drink or food related into the area yourself. You’ll find plenty of food trucks that offer more than just the standard festival grub, and if the standard beer isn’t your thing, you can always go visit the El Presidio bar where they serve special beers while you enjoy the atmosphere created by the DJs doing their thing.

Food and drinks are bought by coins you need to purchase either in advance or at the festival site. We’d recommend you to already get a healthy amount of them in advance, since you’ll get a discounted pricing through pre-sales (€3 per coin). Once you need to get them at the festival itself, they’ll get more expensive.

Damage and Tickets

    Combi ticket: €199

    Friday ticket: €89

    Saturday ticket: €89

    Sunday ticket: €89

Tickets: Click Here

Good To Know

Can I leave the festival site?
They can’t prohibit people from leaving the festival grounds. They ask, however, to respect the environment, which means: all waste in the trash cans. Respect the homes and gardens of the neighbours.

Can I bring my own drinks/food to the festival site?
At the festival site cans, camel bags, glass, plastic bottles and self-brought food are NOT allowed. (Exceptions are only allowed if you’re in possession of a doctor’s prescription!)

No crowd surfing
No crowd surfing allowed on Alcatraz!

I would like to bring my children, do they also have to buy a ticket?
They cannot prohibit to bring your children, but everyone, even babies, must hold a valid festival ticket and here’s why: they want parents to be aware that bringing children to a crowded festival can put the children at risk. With the purchase of a festival ticket the parents accept full responsibility.

Are animals allowed?
Animals are not allowed on the festival grounds.

Is there a festival market?
There is a festival market where you can find CDs, records, DVDs and merchandise. The bands that play at the festival have a separate area available for the sale of their official merchandise.

Can I bring a camera?
Professional equipment is not permitted. Cameras with detachable lenses are not allowed, just like film cameras and recording equipment. Ordinary digital cameras are allowed.

Is there a volume limitation?
Yes, the standard for this event is set at LA, eq, 60min = 100 dB (A) – LA, eq, 15min = 102 dB (A), to comply with the legal regulations set by the government.

Will there be signing sessions this year?
Yes, these are organized by ROCK TRIBUNE. The time schedule of the signing sessions will be communicated on the video walls.

What’s the minimum age to attend the festival?
Children under 16 are only admitted if they are accompanied by an adult.

The Preparties


Like last year, Alcatraz is organising a warm-up event before the prison gates swing wide on Friday 11 August. Four fantastic tribute bands and Kortrijk punk legends Definitivos will kickstart this year’s festivities. The festival grounds will be partly accessible on Thursday and all five gigs will take place in The Swamp. Campers have free access to the festival grounds upon presentation of their camping wristband.

Entrance tickets for everyone else are €6 but on presentation of your voucher at the entrance you will receive 2 drink tokens with a value of €6, so essentially access to our Thursday evening warm-up event is free for everyone.

Please note this system is being used because only 3,000 paying tickets will be offered. Tickets went on sale via this link at 6 p.m. on 22 June.

We can’t wait for one of the nicest and cosiest big metal and rock parties of the year in Belgium and hope to see you there!

In the meantime, check out our dedicated Spotify and Youtube playlists!

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