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Legato selects Brussels as next Various Voices host


05 November 2021

Legato’s Board and member choirs overwhelmingly lent their support to Brussels’ application to host the 2026 edition of Various Voices.

The bid process was launched in March 2020, just as the Covid-19 pandemic had just forced our choirs into silence. The very creation of Sing Out Brussels! was driven by the goal of organising an edition of Various Voices, and the choir’s board dived straight into drafting a statement of intent. The statement outlined the festival’s framework and identity: a sustainable, inclusive and participatory event that would be open to the city and would make the most of Brussels’ status as European capital.

An ambitious bid book

Following this initial phase, Legato shortlisted Brussels and Barcelona. It was now time to draft a 40-page bid book with a precise specification comprising details of our artistic projects, partnerships, the economic impact of the festival, the accessibility of the city and even the legacy we wanted to leave behind. The full bid book is available here. This was a huge piece of work and our team worked on it for several months with precious support from our partners at and MCI, who had much more experience than we did with this sort of process.


Beyond the quality of our application, we also needed to win over Legato’s member choirs. How could they resist the sizzling temptation of Barcelona’s beaches? We needed to find other ways and means!

A picture is worth a thousand words

We decided our unique selling point was our faces! Sing Out Brussels! really reflects the diversity of Europe as we have a large number of nationalities in the group. So we decided to address the potential participants of our festival in a range of diverse languages (including Catalan, with a wink to our friends from Barcelona), and we asked each member of our team to introduce one element of the festival at a tourist attraction specifically linked to the festival.

The video was produced by Julie Janssens, a member of the choir and the organising team, and was funded by Without a doubt, it was this video that helped us gain the support of such a large audience. We are honoured by the acknowledgement of our work and it really put the fire in our bellies to make sure we put on a fabulous festival!

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