Contenders: who will replace Stromae at Rock Werchter 2023?


You will not have missed it. Unfortunately, Stromae has canceled his tour for health reasons. But the Belgian phenomenon was programmed to close the Thursday of Rock Werchter 2023. What now?

The organization of Rock Werchter 2023 is at a loss. Stromae is no longer coming due to health problems. We previously presented a list of possible replacements for Down The Rabbit Hole 2023. We have also thoroughly searched the tour schedules for Rock Werchter, and we are examining the contenders for a replacement headline show on Thursday.

The disclaimer also applies here: it is absolutely possible that the organization will move an already booked act to the headline spot instead of a new announcement. This list is an overview of artists who have Thursday 29 June free in their tour schedule, are somewhat close by and can therefore be asked by Rock Werchter.

Photo: Neil Krug

Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey could well be the savior in need at Rock Werchter 2023. The singer is scheduled for Glastonbury 2023 a weekend before the festival and she will only perform in Canada a week after RW. The American broke through in 2011 with ‘Video Games’ and over the years has emerged as a major headliner. At Worthy Farm, the singer can close ‘The Other Stage’. The big job in Belgium?

Photo credit: Femke Valks / Festileaks


Måneskin was able to convince at Rock Werchter in the summer of 2022. And since then, the Eurovision winners have not become less popular. The rock band will play a show at Glastonbury 2023 this year, which takes place the weekend before Werchter. A few weeks later, on July 16, the victory tour through the home country of Italy begins. And that is fine via Belgium!

Lewis Capaldi

Lewis Capaldi

Lewis Capaldi

“Who’s this Capaldi fella?” we no longer have to wonder. Last February, Lewis Capaldi was still in a sold-out Ziggo Dome and (coincidentally) played for Stromae at Lowlands 2022. On June 28, the Scot will play in front of a sold-out Hallenstadion in Switzerland and then the singer will have a few days off before he can retire on July 1. must report in Wales. Let Werchter lie exactly on that route!

Sam Smith

Sam Smith is currently on the Gloria tour, which will take them across Europe and cross over to America in mid-July. On June 29, they still have a gap in their tour schedule, in which a performance in Werchter would fit perfectly. They will then perform at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland on July 5, so there is plenty of time to travel on.


Or maybe Lizzo is just the perfect replacement for Stromae. Among other things, the star sings about the positive message of self-acceptance in a poppy and sometimes funky jacket. In 2019, the American singer was still in small print at the bottom of the poster and she had to tolerate De Staat, Lewis Capaldi and Rosalía, among others. But times have changed. So ‘About Damn Time’ that this superstar is at the top of the poster.

On June 28, Lizzo can be found at the Polish Open’er and on June 30 at Lollapalooza Stockholm. Rock Werchter would fit right in if she likes to perform three days in a row.

Kings of Leon

Kings of Leon

Kings of Leon

Rock Werchter and Kings of Leon know each other through and through. Between 2007 and 2017, the Followill gentlemen performed at the Belgian festival no less than seven times. But not since then. Would the American rock band be up for an old friend to help out? Few shows have been announced for 2023. The closest show is a month before Werchter in Germany.

Photo: Ben Houdijk

Bon Iver

No shortage of European tours for Bon Iver. The idiosyncratic band around Justin Vernon did a whole series of shows on our continent last fall, but will be back again in June. The final European show is now scheduled for June 19 in Bonn, Germany. After that, the indie folk group doesn’t have to be in Chicago until July 23. So plenty of time to drop by.


One of the most high-profile shows Coachella 2023 was given by Labrinth. Together with surprise guests Billie Eilish and Zendaya played the Brit songs from the soundtrack of hit series Euphoria, for which he made the music. Shortly after the American festival, the Polish Open’er announced that the singer and rapper can be seen there on July 1. Will Labrinth make a stop in Werchter two days earlier?

Photo: Phil Fisk

Pet Shop Boys

Wow, that would be something. Synthpop legends Pet Shop Boys on Rock Werchter? It is certainly possible. At the end of May, the gentlemen can be admired at Primavera Sound 2023 as the start of their new tour. On June 28, the duo will perform their final UK show and resume the rest of their shows in Cologne on July 1. Go West!

Robbie Williams

Robbie Williams

Robbie Williams

He was there before in 1999, but in 2023 Robbie Williams would be a great replacement at Rock Werchter. The pop star knows like no other how to entertain a festival audience in his own way. This is how the Brit is already programmed for the Saturday of Pinkpop 2023. Logistically, however, it is a thing: June 28, the singer will play another concert in Croatia. Robbie will be back in Greece on July 1, which makes a detour via Belgium inconvenient.

Janelle Monae

Janelle Monae

Photo credits: Festileaks / Kamiel Scholten

Janelle Monae

Janelle Monae can also be found in Europe during the Rock Werchter weekend. On June 30, the singer will make an appearance at the Swiss Montreux Jazz Festival. That is the start of her tour so far, but who knows, the plane ticket can still be rebooked. Does the American stroke her heart and does she delight Werchter with a visit?

Only problem: Janelle Monàe will also be at Dour Festival this summer. The Walloon festival is not sold out yet, so it won’t be fun to share names with Rock Werchter.

Trigger finger

Trigger finger

photo: Kamiel Scholten / Festileaks

Belgian acts

But maybe we don’t have to look that far. If you don’t manage to catch a big international fish, the Belgians themselves have plenty of fantastic bands in house. Perhaps not immediately as an absolute headliner. But then Stormzy can always move on to the vacant spot as a closing. Triggerfinger has already proven itself as an emergency solution in the past after Foo Fighters had to cancel their show at Pinkpop 2015. And dEUS also has a hole in the agenda after Live Is Live 2023, for example.

Are those all the possibilities?

Of course we can speculate for a long time about what is or is not feasible. Summer is already packed for most artists. In addition to the above, we have checked many more schedules. Judging by this, the following artists, who are on tour, seem us not probably: alt-J, Fatboy Slim, Imagine Dragons, Jamie xx, The Killers, Lorde, Macklemore, Mumford & Sons, Royal Blood and Skrillex.

Do you think we are overlooking another contender? Then we are very curious. Have your say on our revamped forum.

Rock Werchter Logo

Rock Werchter Logo

Rock Werchter 2023




Werchter, Belgium

June 29 – July 2, 2023

Day tickets from €127. Combination tickets from €292. To buy

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Contenders replace Stromae Rock Werchter


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