"The Warmest Week" has kicked off!

The VRT's radio station Studio Brussels has started "Music for Life", the annual charity event, this year also labelled "The Warmest Week". The flame was lit on top of the VRT Tower at 8 o'clock this morning. The non-stop marathon radio programme, which is at its 11th edition, will only come to a finish next Saturday evening.

This year, it's two ladies and one man doing the presentation, each one in turn to be able to cover the 24-hour span every day: Bram Willems, Eva De Roo and Linde Merckpoel.

The event takes place at De Schorre in Boom (between Antwerp and Brussels) at the same venue where Tomorrowland takes place in summer. Contrary to the first editions, Music for Life now boasts hundreds of good causes, 1,293 to be precise, covering a whole range of categories from sick children, the battle against lethal or other diseases, music, education, animal care, the environment, human rights etc.

Warmathons, your own event, or just a song

Members of the public can make their own choice from a long list of good causes and next decide how they raise money.

One of the options it to organise your own event, e.g. making soup and selling it on the local market place. Others simply donate money by bank transfer, or take part in one of the many Music For Life events, such as the Warmathon, or just go to a concert (see below). 

Most of them will be lucky enough to be live on air on Studio Brussels to explain what kind of good cause they have chosen, why, how they collected the money, and how much they are donating. They next have the opportunity to ask for a certain song to be played in return for their effort.

Running for a good cause

Many events have already been set up in the weeks preceding the Warmest Week, but more are to follow in the coming 6 days.

There are the so-called Warmathons, where people can simply put on their running shoes and go jogging to raise money, covering any distance they want.

This event will take place in each capital of a Flemish province and in Brussels. In fact, Brussels kicks off today, and will be followed by Hasselt (Monday), Bruges (Tuesday), Antwerp (Wednesday), Leuven (Thursday) and Ghent (Friday).

Jamie Lidell in first of 6 concerts

Last year, 5.1 million euros were raised. It will be clear next Saturday evening how successful this edition will be. The event also boasts 6 benefit concerts, which will take place in the venue The Flame at De Schorre. The concerts were a sell-out in no time. Artists are playing for free to raise cash.

Jamie Lidell is the first one to play, for Make-a-Wish, an organisation to cheer up children with a life-threatening illness, today. Next will be Goose, Tom Odell, Lost Frequencies, Bazart and Dua Lipa. Each concert only had 750 tickets on offer.

Presenters sleep in a tent

The symbol of The Warmest Week is a little flame, and the general idea is that everybody tries to take care of everybody in a warmer world, in the days before Christmas. For the occasion, the 3 presenters will be going out of their comfort zone to give the right example, sleeping in a tent when they are not live on air, and subsisting on fruit juices only.

On Twitter, you can follow the event via the hashtags #MFL16 and #DeWarmsteWeek