What is Different Class?

Different Class is a platform that makes exploring culture in Belgium easy. Our membership connects you to your new favourite artists, events, promotors or venues.

Good art, music and parties should be accessible to all. That’s what we work towards; for less than € 10 per month, we can provide you with free spots at ticketed events.

We choose to focus on young, diverse, local artists, serving as a stepping stone for many collectives, organisations, and talents.

Different Class is operated by Vzw We Promised.

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a brief history

The story of Different Class begins with siblings Herlinde and Kasper-Jan Raeman. While working for a booking agency in London back in 2011, Kasper-Jan noticed that many of the exciting new bands were going to play in The Netherlands at venues organised by Subbacultcha, who had just started. Kasper-Jan was inspired and motivated to bring these bright acts to Belgium too. The first office opened in the foyer of Herlinde’s house.

'We cleaned out the front room, put our bikes on the street, and we had an office. It was very DIY but it felt good to call it an office, and to take it seriously.
Our first shows were at DOK, a temporary art and music centre in Ghent. That first year and the year after we were able to put together some crazy shows. Bands like Peaking Lights and U.S. Girls played for only 80-100 people. Back then, the focus was more on organising shows ourselves, we didn't have the collaborations with all of the venues and museums that we do now. It was just shows and the magazine'

Now, Different Class not only has a formal office, but also an expansive team of young employees, interns, and contributing writers and photographers. 

'Kasper-Jan and I have gained a lot of experience in the last 15 years working in this industry. I think it's very important to pass all of this on to a new generation. A project that is meant to be for young people needs to be run by young people. Diversity is super important, and for us, since we are always working with young people, being inclusive comes naturally. It is not something that has to be forced, because they already have an adaptable, open mindset'

Aside from the team, the bimonthly magazine almost exclusively highlights young Belgian artists.

'The curated agenda is the main focus of everything we do, all the interviews and other content go back to the agenda. In the beginning, we were mostly interviewing international bands, but we shifted with a 20-something issue, featuring only Belgian or Belgium-based creatives. Everything we shared about this magazine received such great feedback. We realised that it was more logical to focus on young creatives in Belgium as… you know; support your local scene! This approach to publishing more about young interesting people in Belgium is something we are going to keep doing as we go forward. Belgium is still very important in the underground, and it has been for a long time. I'm very happy that we didn't lose the international vibe by focusing on local creatives, and that it is still interesting for people from all over the world to come over'

By consistently promoting new young creatives and events, the demographic of Different Class members has not changed.

'We can see that the audience is still mostly in their early 20s. This group did not move with us as we became older, hehe. A big general goal for the next year is to make it easier for them to test out the membership. Active members who are going to shows and experiencing the community are probably convinced to continue. The obstacle right now is getting people there, going to the first concert or exhibition. We want to make this process easier'

After 10 years of providing a guide and promotional service in Belgium, Different Class has grown in a number of ways.

'To me, hitting the double digits is about becoming more mature and being able to stand on our own feet, to make our own decisions. People are definitely taking us more seriously than they did in the beginning, it feels like we don't have to prove ourselves as much anymore.
There has been a shift in making agenda selections. In the beginning, we knew what kind of vibe to look for, so we created the agendas all by ourselves. Now, there is a new generation of promoters and bookers in the venues, some of whom have been members, so they know what to look for and propose to us. A lot of the work now is being done by the new generation of people spread out over the cultural landscape in Belgium.
It’s also nice that the art section of Different Class is becoming more important and I hope to see a shift there as well, so that museums start empowering more young artists and curators'

Many of the artists Different Class came across in our history, having started off collaborating on events or editorials, have now moved on as they gained more traction.

'If the party, promotor or artist becomes more popular and is able to sell out without our help, then that is totally fine, that just means that they are not emerging and don’t need to be supported by us anymore. We are more like a stepping stone without taking the credits and that gives us a lot of energy'

So what really is Different Class?

'A common misconception is that we operate only for and with hipsters or ‘cool’ people, but that is not true at all. Different Class is a place for people who are open to discovering new artists and art, and also making new friends who have similar interests'

text by Dlisah Lapidus, quotes by Herlinde Raeman

Picture of founder Kasper-Jan
Kasper-Jan Raeman
founder Different Class
Picture of founder Herlinde
Herlinde Raeman
founder Different Class

The perks of being a Different
Class member

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over 250 events a year

Reserve your free spot for concerts, parties, performances, films and exhibitions at more than 50 venues in Belgium

carefully curated

New events and fresh content selected and prepared for you every day

bi-monthly magazine

Get to know some of the most exciting talents through our publications

a dedicated community

Fuel yourself with like-minded people and allow us to invest back into boundary-pushing artists

discounts & more

Receive discounts in our online shop and other great stores in Brussels, Ghent and Antwerp