Blog || 10 Bands You Shouldn't Miss At Alcatraz festival 2021

Credit: Dearohwell photography

After a whole year, a semblance of normalcy appears on the horizon. Concerts have timidly started taking place, open air festivals are also picking up. Alcatraz festival is only a few days away and with the running order up and running (bad pun, we tried) clashes are avoided. Still, our mission is to help festival goers with suggestions of bands they shouldn't miss in any way in this year's Alcatraz.  

01. Epica

THE most obvious one. Epica released a phenomenal album earlier this year and rocked our socks at their first ever livestream, where a good portion of "Omega" was performed. We are confident that the Dutch symphonic metal masters will deliver, while singer Simone Simons will continue giving headbanging lessons.

When: Friday, 23:3-00:45
Where: Prison stage

02. Jinjer

The Ukrainian powerhouse is releasing new music later this year and if you've ever seen them playing, you know exactly what's to be expected. Jinjer is undoubtedly one of the best bands of our time, with an incendiary stage presence, slapping bass and contagious hooks. 

When: Sunday, 17:55-18:40
Where: Prison stage

03. Funeral Dress

Street punk at its finest. Funeral Dress has a very long history both in and out of the Belgian border and are considered one of the top European punk bands. Their shows are full of energy and nerve, and they most certainly prove that punk isn't dead.

When: Saturday, 14:25-15:05
Where: Swamp stage

04. Alkerdeel

Another band with a new release in 2021, Alkerdeel's blackened doom with crusty undertones is gritty enough to get both metal and punk fans interested. Of course, in their native Belgium introductions aren't necessary, as the band has almost a decade of shows under their belts.

When: Saturday, 19:35-20:35
Where: La Morgue

05. Emperor

We will always suggest Emperor at festivals, not only because of their history and rank in the Norwegian black metal pantheon but because their shows transcend the live performance. In an almost mystagogical way, Emperor creates a consuming ambience that brings together different generations of metal fans -plus the old songs are the epitome of a legacy.

When: Saturday, 22:30-23:30
Where: Swamp stage

06. Eluveitie

The folk metal masters. Switzerland's Eluveitie proudly sport the motto "Pure Fucking Folk!" and quite rightly. With a discography full of fan-favorite songs, multi-instrumentalists and a singer with lungs of steel, Eluveitie's shows are incendiary through and through. Engaging melodies, big singalongs and stellar stage presence.

When: Sunday, 21:30-22:30
Where: Prison stage

07. Suicidal Angels

It is also impossible to leave our compatriots out of this list. We have been witnessing their growth over the past decade and can vouch for their ability to pump a crowd with their arsenal of thrash metal riffage. 

When: Friday, 17:15-18:00
Where: Swamp stage

08. Doro

The queen of metal. With decades of career and a no-fucks-given attitude, Doro is still as feisty as she was when she began dominating the metal world with Warlock. Her voice is instantly recognizable and her imposing figure, dressed in black leather and dark makeup, commands the stage; Doro hands down remains a captivating performer.

When: Sunday, 19:35-20:35
Where: Prison stage


AMENRA is another band for whom Alcatraz will be a home run. The band's recent album, "De Doorn", written in their native language, received some very impressive reviews and we are eager to be immersed into their obscure world.

When: Sunday, 22:30-23:30
Where: Swamp stage

Honorable mentions:

Destruction: The German titans are proof that thrash metal isn't a mundane genre lacking innovation -plus their shows are insanely good.
Hypocrisy: Our admiration for Peter Tägtgren's musical ingenuity isn't a secret. Hypocrisy is just one of his projects, and getting to witness their amazing shows is always a to-do on our list.
Mayhem: Being brought in at the very last minute to help with some cancellations was a winning move. Mayhem, also with a new EP out, are legends in their field and worth your time.
Tarja: The OG diva has outgrown her time in Nightwish and paved a glorious road of her own.

10. Heilung

The majestic folk act is headlining the second day and with good reason. They use traditional instruments and inscriptions of the Bronze age, Iron age and Viking age creating a mystical atmosphere where, by the end of the show, the audience almost reaches a catharsis.

When: Saturday, 23:30-00:45
Where: Prison stage

Alcatraz festival takes place on August 13-15 in Kortrijk, Belgium
For info and tickets visit

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