Founder of her own press and PR agency Five Oh, Laetitia Van Hove has helped launch the careers of the likes of Angèle, Charlotte Adigery, Bolis Pupul, Clara Luciani or Lous & The Yakuza, just to name a few. In the meantime she added the well-known Brussels showcase concerts Fifty Sessions and the yearly spin off Fifty Lab Music Festival to her track record, persistently presenting the brightest new stars in music to a Brussels audience.
Born and raised in Brussels, her highlights are the testimony of someone who knows the city inside out. Having worked in the music industry since the start of her professional career, she helped shape the sound of the capital. With her agency and showcases, she focuses on artist development, supporting them on every step of the process, also at the very start when they aren’t established yet. Laetitia: ‘What I love doing most, is working with developing artists. Most of the artists I work with, including someone like Angèle, I have been at their side since the very start. When I first heard Reinel Bakole play at Horst Festival and Listen Festival in 2022, I almost cried. Actually everyone was crying, touched by how she expressed herself through music and dance. I’m very pleased to be working with her now.’
Fifty Sessions was launched in September 2016 as a showcase for emerging bands in the cozy basement of Jam Hotel in St-Gilles. Quickly becoming too small, the concept moved to C12 and evolved into an important series of showcase concerts, offering the first Belgian concerts of emerging acts such as Loyle Carner and many more. Fify Lab Music Festival is an eclectic showcase festival that was born out of the Fifty Sessions and is held yearly during one weekend in autumn in Brussels, at various big and small music venues in the city center. A personal highlight for Laetitia was the concert of Gabriels at the festival in 2021, who performed for ten thousands of people at Rock Werchter this year.
Laetitia recently took a step aside and hired a new head for Five Oh, being able to focus again on what had lured her into the job in the first place: serve public relations and be out in the field. A step rather uncommon in our performance-oriented society, but she is proud of the step she took: ‘I received many positive reactions since I announced my move. It’s important to stay true to yourself. Five Oh is much more than just me, it’s built on a team and in this team it’s important to have everyone at the right position.‘ True that!
MUSIC: Radio Vacarme
Radio Vacarme is a feminist and queer web-radio station located at Brasserie Illegaal in Vorst/Forest. Having built their own radio studio and broadcasting both live and podcasts, the project is an important voice for a community that is reclaiming its place in media. And rightfully so!
Laetitia: ‘Two of my favorite shows on Radio Vacarme are Baleine Sous Caillou, a regular podcast, and She They Sounds, live every Wednesday at 6PM. The first time I went to their studio was for an interview and I immediately fell in love. The brasserie is at a former factory that's become a very convivial place, with a pétanque court and, above all, a big stage where every weekend the most exciting collectives are presenting young bands! I just love initiatives like this. And the Khop Killer beer that is made at the brewery is just delicious!’
FOOD: La Le Longue Vie
This restaurant in Ixelles has delicious food, called Miam Miam, and an interesting selection of drinks, dubbed Glou Glou, available in a lunch and dinner formula. Going well with lots of Bla Bla, this is a place to lose track of time.
Laetitia: ‘Le Longue Vie is a cozy restaurant at the end of my street. It's a delightful spot with delicious food crafted by a talented young chef, focusing on local and seasonal cuisine. This charming place is run by two women, Manon and Stéphanie. The entire decor is built out of recycled elements and the terrace is an absolute gem in the Saint Boniface neighborhood! I absolutely love this spot, it's perfect for hanging out with friends.’
NATURE: Faider Park
Just a stones’ throw from the vivid neighborhood around Rue du Bailli in Ixelles, lies Faider Park. Surrounded by 19th century bourgeois houses built in the eclectic, neoclassical, Art Nouveau or Flemish neo-Renaissance styles, the park is quite a discovery upon first entrance.
Laetitia: ‘This could have also been my hidden gem, because it really is a secret park in Ixelles. You enter through a small door, but you have to know where it is because you can't imagine that there's a hidden park just behind this door. I've had some great times in this park, it’s loaded with pleasant memories. I used to go there for pre-drinks with friends when I was younger and now I go back there with my kids. It's right by our house and replaces the garden we don't have. We go to Faider Park to relax when the weather's nice, after which we usually go for an ice cream at Le Framboisier Doré closeby.’
HIDDEM GEM: Lunch at Clearing Gallery by Jean Fonsny.
Clearing Gallery is an art gallery situated at an impressive premise at the Avenue Van Volxemlaan in Vorst/Forest. The gallery has a canteen where on occasions a delicious lunch is served.
Laetitia: ‘Jean Fonsny is probably one of my favorite chefs in Belgium. He has his own kitchen, called Dindin's, which is located in the back of the contemporary art gallery Clearing Gallery. We recently did a photoshoot in the kitchen, the decor is stunning.
He organizes Dindin's Club dinners in his kitchen , but more open to the public is the occasional lunch at Clearing Gallery. Offered as a starter, a main course and a dessert, this lunch comes at an unbeatable price. It's a real gem. Enter through the gallery and the canteen is on the right, located in the courtyard. It's a special place, send a private message to Dindin's Instagram account to see if the canteen is open!’
works by Javier Barrios