Hassling Hasselaar – Ice-cream Music. We Scream Music. 


by Virginia Lui and Gina Meyers

“Hassling Hasselaar – Ice-cream Music.  We Scream Music.” explores the polemics of music in public space through the lens of street musicians from diverse backgrounds. Music, as a cultural expression, adds to the public life of cities. By irritating the existing functions of public spaces (inviting a diversity of musicians to busk), we try to show a happy city alternative to Hasselaars.

Music plays an important role in bringing life to public spaces and its people together. This is something that is missing in Hasselt. Under the framework of the Pop-up Cinema Festival, Hassling Hasselaar will invite a diversity of musicians to play music in an allocated spot of the city centre and show film interviews of these musicians.Public space, as a highly contested space, entails that rules and regulations are implemented to control it. For a musician to busk in Hasselt, he/she needs to apply for a permit and run an audition. Rules and regulations regarding busking differ from city to city. Our films depict interviews of street musicians sharing their experience and knowledge on the polemics of music in public space. Interviews reveal the complex and multifaceted laws that are in place while questioning their legitimacy.

Our Goals for the Film Festival:

  • Show the potential of the city’s public areas as a place for culture and exchange
  • Celebrate diversity through common ground (music)
  • Bring Hasselaars together
  • Initiate a discourse on the rights to music in public space

Why this project?

Hassling Hasselaar tries to create positive visibility of migrants through common ground in the public/semi-public spaces of Hasselt. Through co-developed initiatives, the project aims to initiate a discourse on the politics of music in public space and the role of music in generating public life, celebrating diversity and fostering exchange.

Film editor
Clara Braeckman

Film producers
Federica Sosta
Virginia Lui
Clara Braeckman

Music expert
Wannes Cuypers

Stephane Geulleaume
Alina Gerbatovschi
Ibrahim Amoud
Michael Houston
Basel Khalil
Liselotte Sels
Aster Froyen
Sohrab Jabbari
Gina Meyers

Jana Alaraj

Emad Dawwd
Reem Abudawoud