Cactus Festival is a three day live music event that takes place in Bruges, Belgium.
Taking place since 1982, recent editions of the festival have attracted audiences sizes of 25,000 and 28,000 people.
2012 line-up, news, rumours and our predictions
So far the first band to be confirmed is American slowcore band Low.
Judging by past events we predict acts like Lianne La Havas or Dry The River to be booked for the 2012 event.
2011 line-up and past line-up highlights
The 2011 lineup featured Kate Nash, Janelle Monae, Bryan Ferry, Cold War Kids and Mogwai. For details of the full line up click here
For details of past line-ups, click here
With a mixture of Reggae, Rock 'n' Roll , Roots, R&B and many other genres attracts a varied crowd.
As well as the confirmed headlining acts there are also plenty of buskers, street performers and children's entertainment to be found.
History and Facts
The Cactus Festival had it's 30th anniversary in 2011 and it has changed a lot in that time. From local bands and stalls to the likes of Mogwai, Brian Ferry and KT Tunstall. It does still have the open spaces used by local performers and the food stalls now range from local tastes to the world foods you'd expect at a festival of its current size.
Music Stages and Entertainment
There is one stage with no overlaps, so if you like all the acts you can see all the acts.
On the Friday the doors open in the early evening but Saturday and Sunday are a full 12 hours of music.
If you don't like any of the acts on stage there is plenty of space outside in the festival, where local acts and less known acts from further afield will be playing for no more than recognition and some loose change. Watching these guys is a great way to spend any spare time or to keep you entertained while you eat some of the amazing food on offer.
On site Information
Being set in the most famous park in Bruges and next to the "Love Lake" the site has stunning scenery and space for all the services you need at a festival.
For anyone with a disability looking to experience Cactus Festival, they have made some adjustments recently to make that easier. - There is easy access for wheel chairs - Special toilets - Separate car parking - Viewing platform for people with a physical handicap
Camping and Accommodation
The bus is every 20 mins apart from Sunday morning when it slows to hourly.
You can also reserve a pitch on the site when buying your tickets. In 2011 it was €8 - €2 reservation, well worth it for the peace of mind.
A really cool hotel overlooking the canal on the outskirts of Brugge, closer to the festival than the city centre: Hotel Ter Reien - Bruges Langestraat 1 - Bruges It is an old building that looks great and the average price is £43 a night.
A hotel in the central station with a Japanese style simplicity: Etap Hotel Brugge Centrum Station - Bruges Marie Popelinplantsoen 4 - Bruges Is again an average price of £43 but it is very different. Small rooms with a shower stall and a sink freestanding in the room. If you want somewhere to sleep and freshen up this is perfect. The rooms are very clean and look like the hotel of the future, and obviously very handy on arrival and departure from the train station.
And finally, if you fancy a bit of luxury with your festival try the Calis Bed & Breakfast - Bruges Hoogstraat 10 - Bruges. At €108 a night on average it is expensive but it has a lot of great reviews and the interior design is exactly what I like, a mix of modern and old brought together to make something beautiful. Only a little further than the official campsite.
Food and Drink
As you would expect with a festival of such varied musical aspects there is almost any type of food you could want for; Fries (as you'd expect in Bruges), Sandwiches, Turkish dishes, Moroccan and African food, Italian ice scream stalls. The Cactus Festival will not leave you hungry.
As for drinks, you're in Europe so, there is an excellent range of locally brewed beers and wine as well as the typical festival drinks.
According to the Cactus Festival Website "The police inform you that the use of (soft)drugs in public areas is illegal."
Location and Travel
Based in the Minnewater park of Bruges this festival is walking distance from the city centre. But if it's raining or you don't fancy it there are regular buses from the city out to the park and further on the the recommended camp site of the festival.
Of all the forms of transport bus is the most reliable in the area but if you are feeling flush a taxi isn't out of the question.