The House Hundred

Portraits of a scene's past, present and future greats

We’re teaming up with Bulldog to select 100 essential people, places and projects in Belgian house music. From producers and DJs to record labels and festivals, these are the forces driving the homegrown house scene forward, one BPM at a time.

Cirque Magique

Cirque Magique

Dries Claeys, founder

Describe yourself, your background and what you do today.

I’m in charge for several nightlife events in Belgium such as Cirque Magique. Before doing this, I worked in various different sectors and, to be honest, that made me realise how lucky I am to work in the music industry.

In your view, what explains Belgium’s considerable contribution to global house music? What “makes”our sound what it is?

I think Belgium’s rich house music history has shaped the country’s sound into what it is today. The fact that concepts such as Age of Love, for example, are so popular proves that everything depends on that rich history.

What, to you, characterizes the country’s unique nightlife? More specifically, can you talk to us about your home base’s nightlife scene? What makes it special, who are its main players? To you, which place in Belgium best symbolises the country’s way of partying?

Belgium’s rich club and house history have an important influence on today’s nightlife scene. I’m the artistic director at Lagoa, for instance, a club which was founded in 1990 and is still going strong. To me, it is these long-time clubs, who have been around for a long time, places such as Kompass and Café d’Anvers, that truly symbolise Belgium’s nightlife.

Belgium’s rich house music history has shaped the countrys sound into what it is today.

What can politicians do to better support the homegrown scene/nightlife? For instance, what do you make of Amsterdam having a nightlife mayor?

I think that, overall, Belgian nightlife could use some more political support. Politicians in Berlin and Amsterdam for example have a positive view towards the nightlife in their cities, which has positive effects for the nightlife scene.

In your opinion, what are the key ingredients for a good night?

Good music, a good setting, overall quality and an eye for detail.

If you could put together the line-up of your dreams, which top five Belgian acts would you book and why?

Quincy, Yves de Ruyter, DJ GHOST, Youri Parker and Frank Biazzi. Why? Respect the old school and know your roots.

What’s in the pipeline for you in the coming months?

Cirque Magique will again be the festival of the year for underground electronic music! I’m also helping nightclub Lagoa get back into the swing of things after some difficult years.