BIG BANG is an exciting music festival for young audiences for whom several major cultural centres in Europe will transform their venue into an adventurous musical labyrinth. On their journey, the young audience are faced with and will experience a colourful musical program of concerts, installations and workshops. With BIG BANG musicians from different genres and styles explore the best way for kids to present their music. BIG BANG is not just a festival for young audiences but also involves them as participants. For each session, an professional musician opens a dialogue with a group of children and shares the stage with them.
The festival builds on the legacy and achievements of the children's music festival OORSMEER founded by Wouter Van Looy in 1995. With OORSMEER, he created a platform for artistic modern music programming specifically for children, in which contemporary styles of music have a place. The first session at the Arts Centre Vooruit in Ghent, immediately proved the success of the original festival concept. Afterwards OORSMEER enjoyed equal success and popularity in many cities across Europe including Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges, Hasselt (Belgium), Utrecht, Den Bosch, Amersfoort, Leeuwarden (Netherlands), Lille, Angers (France), Zurich, Bern, Winterthur ( Switzerland).
With BIG BANG, OORSMEER began a new chapter in 2010. Zonzo Compagnie, the organization behind OORSMEER, gathered six European partners and in 2010 formed BIG BANG - the European music festival for young and adventurous audiences. With the support of the European Union, the structural cooperation between various cultural centres in different regions of Europe became a reality. Together they defend a joint mission, to present the richness of music in an imaginative and adventurous way that is accessible to children.
In 2018 the project once again obtained the support of the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, this time for 4 years. Zonzo Compagnie is now able to expand the BIG BANG network with loyal partners BOZAR (Brussels, BE), Muziekcentrum De Bijloke (Ghent, BE), deSingel Internationale Kunstcampus (Antwerp, BE), Centro Cultural de Belém (Lisbon, PT), Instituto de la Cultura y las Artes de Sevilla (ES), Onassis Cultural Centre (Athens, GR), Opéra de Lille (FR), Wilminktheater & Muziekcentrum Enschede (NL) and new partners The Ark (Dublin, IE), Eesti Kontsert (Tallinn, EE), City of Reykjavik (IS), Opéra de Rouen (FR) and AAP Media (Antwerp, BE). In February 2019 the festival crosses the ocean for a very first Canadian edition at the National Arts Centre/Centre National des Arts in Ottawa, and in May 2020 Opéra de Rennes (FR) will organize its first festival edition.
The programming of each edition of the festival is led by Zonzo Compagnie duo Wouter Van Looy (artistic director) in close cooperation with local partners. The original festival concept of OORSMEER was thoroughly re-examined, challenged, and used as a springboard of inspiration by the European partners. In the wake of the festival, there will be regular meetings to exchange ideas and projects as well as setting up co-productions.