New: the E-rena

UCLL and Pukkelpop proudly present a new stage: the E-rena!

Three days full of gaming, talks, esports, podcasts, AI experiments, Chat GPT and 'e-music'. On Friday, this brand new tent will open with a spectacular live gaming tournament of the popular game Clash Royale.

The line-up came about in collaboration with UCLL. A team of researchers, teachers and students helped develop a photobooth that generates "alpaca photos" via AI, a robot that engages in stand-up comedy and a PKP graphic novel via AI.

Marc Vandewalle, general manager of UCLL, emphasizes the importance of these developments: "Artificial intelligence, ChatGPT, the gaming industry, etc. are revolutionizing society. Our researchers have been working intensively on this for quite some time and are now flooded with questions from the business world. Pukkelpop offers us a unique platform to showcase what we have to offer and present the latest innovations from our research centers. Moreover, we integrate these innovations into our training programs and create new training paths that respond to them. For example, since last year you can take an optional Creative Media Management course in Diepenbeek and Leuven."

"UCLL has been a loyal partner of Pukkelpop since 2015." adds Frederik Luyten of Pukkelpop. "A stellar collaboration where innovative projects have been at the center for years. We had, among others, Alpaca My Tent Back Home, a fun campaign where alpacas play a leading role in a more environmentally conscious approach on campsites ; the Milk & Boobs Bar where (young) moms can retreat from the festival grounds for a while to pump milk and Baraque Futur with Smart Grid Energy and energy-dance floors, a site that in 2015 was already completely dedicated to sustainability. And so now there is the E-rena."

On Friday, August 18, from 11:30 a.m. you can join the Clash Royale BESF Cup in the E-rena tent. Top players from both solo and clan circuits will compete against each other during the offline finals at Pukkelpop.

On Saturday you can compete - on a big screen - against KRC Genk's FIFA pros Gilles Bernard and Stefano Pinna, or just play FIFA with your friends. The AI Comedy Robot will hopefully answer the question of whether stand-up comedians should start fearing for their jobs or whether such an AI Comedy Robot is really just ridiculous instead of funny?

Swedish 8-bit music maestro Goto80 teams up with PET.CORP (Hong Kong). Together they bring an audiovisual cocktail of 8-bit acid rave and animations created with text characters from an old skool C-64 computer. Another world premiere: the Infinite Acid Machine. Jacob Remin and Goto80 taught robots to play the classic 303 synthesizer acid house.

UCLL is also hosting the GPT Academy with tips and tricks on ChatGPT and generative AI. Thanks to Proximus, you can watch the very first virtual PKP headliner in the festival's Roblox world as well as a live performance on the E-rena stage.

On Sunday, August 20, KRC Genk's newest Counter Strike team will perform for the first time in a show match. Pukkelpop and KRC Genk are thus putting esports even more on the map.

Podcasts, the essential companion of modern people, are also a must. VRT MAX is innovating on the spot with two podcasts. If you'd like to attend a live recording of Studio Brussels' "Popcast van de Week" then you should head to E-rena on Sunday. Stijn Van de Voorde, Otto-Jan Ham, Thibault Christiaensen, Lennert Coorevits and Kirsten Lemaire shine their light on four days of Pukkelpop. Also "Snapt ge mij nu?", the popular youth podcast of VRT NWS, will be recorded live in Kiewit. Aurélie talks to Pukkelpoppers who look at life in a different way.

Dago Sondervan, Andrew Claes (BRZZVLL & STUFF) and Kasper Jordaens create beats and visuals during an Algorave by writing code in real time. Gameboyz II Men (Micha Volders and Dijf Sanders) bring an intense set with their beloved gameboys to psychedelic 8-bit visuals by video artist Jaak De Digitale.

E-rena practical

E-rena is located near Food Wood.
Opening hours: open on Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m.