Hit The City 2024 Opening Night: The Haunted Youth + Ão


The Hit The City opening show is in Belgian hands this year. The popular psych pop band The Haunted Youth around Joachim Liebens, was already an up-and-coming talent at Hit The City two years ago. Since then, he has played at all major festivals such as Pinkpop, Lowlands, Werchter, Sziget, Pukkelpop and Best Kept Secret. His Dutch club tour in 2023 was completely sold out.


The night will be opened by support act Ão. This Belgian quartet mixes Portuguese saudade with indie rock and subtle electronica.

Info & details

Hit The City Opening Night
Line-up: The Haunted Youth + Ão
Date: 29 August 2024
Location: Effenaar Grote Zaal
Doors: 19:30 / 7.30 P.M
Free entrance, no ticket or registration needed

The Haunted Youth

The Haunted Youth, the band of 29-year-old Joachim Liebens, has become a Belgian indie sensation in no time. The songs, often about the struggle of life coated in gloriously dreamy guitars and synths, are therapy to Liebens and strike a chord with indie lovers all over Europe and even the US. Every single is a hit and debut album Dawn Of The Freak is enthusiastically received by the critics and adored by the fans. With a red-hot live reputation to boot, The Haunted Youth are here to stay.

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Ão is a young and exciting Belgian four-piece blending saudade, indie and subtle electronica, topped off with the phenomenal voice of frontwoman Brenda Corijn. Drawing on her Mozambican-Portuguese roots, Corijn sings in Portuguese and English, her lyrics entwining with Siebe Chau’s southern guitar, the ambient sounds and production of Jolan Decaestecker and the eclectic percussion of Bert Peyffers. Their intoxicating sound is now evolving into something deeper and danceable, much like FKA Twigs, Lhasa de Sela, Arooj Aftab, Çeu and James Blake. Expect nothing short of a mind-blowing, unique and exhilarating live-experience.

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These are the 10 major acts you could've discovered at Hit The City


Behind the scenes, preparations for the new edition of the annual festival Hit The City are already in full swing. From 19 to 21 October, you can once again enjoy countless up-and-coming artists at the coolest locations in the city. Make sure to block these days, cause here you will discover new sounds and acts that are on the verge of making it big. In other words, a must visit for the true music lover.

At Hit The City you can submerge yourself into new music for a whole weekend. From gritty guitars and danceable electropop to experimental hip-hop, obscure black metal and everything in between. Over the years, visitors have been able to spot a lot of cool acts in the most intimate settings of Eindhoven. A show from Glass Animals on the second stage of Effenaar? Phoebe Bridgers at De Oude Rechtbank? Or S10’s very first gig? For sure! Check here which ten major names you could’ve discovered during previous editions of Hit The City.

2013: Glass Animals

“Sometimes, all I think about is you. Late nights in the middle of June. Heat waves been fakin’ me out”, sings the British indie rock band in their megahit ‘Heat Waves’. With this one track alone, Glass Animals has already reached over 2.4 billion streams on Spotify. The song is on the third studio album ‘Dreamland’, which was released in the summer of 2020 and contains many more catchy gems. How did ‘Heat Waves’ suddenly become such a big hit? The song went viral on the popular platform TikTok.

The hit single has been out for a while when it is picked up by TikTok-users. It takes about 60 weeks for ‘Heat Waves’ to finally reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in March 2022. The same year, Glass Animals defeats the acts Imagine Dragons, Machine Gun Kelly, Måneskin and twenty one pilots at the Billboard Music Awards for the title of Best Rock Artist. The band also receives nominations at the Grammys for Best New Artist and at the Brit Awards for Best British Rock Act and Best British Single.

What once started as a hobby project of frontman Dave Bayley and his childhood friends Joe Seaward, Ed Irwin-Singer and Drew MacFarlane, has now grown into a serious act. And that potential was already there in 2013. With a handful of indie tracks, including the nifty songs ‘Psylla’, ‘Black Mambo’ and ‘Woozy’, the Brits conquer Effenaar during the second edition of Hit The City. A year after the performance, the men release their debut album ‘ZABA’, which is the official start of their successful career.

2013: Wolf Alice

During the second edition there was also a nice other find; the alternative rock band Wolf Alice from London. The band is founded in 2010 as an acoustic duo, consisting of singer Ellie Rowsell and guitarist Joff Oddie. Two years later, bassist Theo Ellis and drummer Joel Amey join the group to complete the formation. During their show on Hit The City, the act is still at the start of their career, as the first official EP ‘Blush’ has not yet seen the light of day. Of course, they have already released some material at this time, including this demo version of the track ‘Bro’s’:

In 2015, the band releases the final version of the song as a single of their debut album ‘My Love Is Cool’. The album is quite well received and is nominated for a Mercury Prize, a music award for best album released in the U.K. by a British or Irish act. Wolf Alice is one of the few acts of which all albums have ever been nominated for a Mercury Prize. With their second album ‘Visions of a Life’ they manage to claim the prestigious award.

The band often faces a sea of people at various major festivals. Over the years, Wolf Alice has become a familiar face on the stages of Best Kept Secret, Glastonbury and Reading/Leeds festival. And with the show they put on every time, the band earns the NME-title Best Festival Headliner in 2022.

Photo: Patrick Spruytenburg | Loyle Carner at Hit The City

After the second edition, Hit The City continued under the name DDW Music for several years. The concept remained exactly the same; discovering endless new music in different cool locations. And in 2016, one of those artists you can discover is British rapper Loyle Carner. Together with the American Kweku Collins, he plays in FIFTH, located on the industrial NRE site.
By then, the young artist is already well on his way. In 2014 he sets the tone with his debut EP ‘A Little Late’, a record with which he introduces his classic hip hop sound. And that sound is appreciated. The Fader magazine calls him ‘Britain’s most recent new hope in hip-hop’ and the rapper is the support act for Joey Bada$$ and the legendary Nas.

A few months after his gig in Eindhoven, his debut album ‘Yesterday’s Gone’ (2017) is released. But it is not till his follow-up ‘Not Waving, But Drowning’ (2019) that he really takes off. With the album he reaches the third position of the British Album Chart. In 2022 Carner releases his third studio album ‘hugo’ and has made quite a name for himself, which is evident when he sells-out three shows in a row in Paradiso at the beginning of this year.

2016+2018: Khruangbin

You were able to admire the American band Khruangbin not just once, but twice during the festival. Armed with their debut album ‘The Universe Smiles Upon You’, the Texan trio travels to the Netherlands for the very first time in 2016, to fill the venue FIFTH with their laidback and mostly instrumental songs. It takes a bit of time, but their success sets in with the release of the second studio album ‘Con Todo del Mundo’ in 2018.

In the summer of 2018, they hit the stage of Best Kept Secret with their mix of psychedelic, surf-rock, folk, soul and Thai funk, and the singing guitar of Mark Speer that ties is all together. With more experience under their belt, the band returns to the festival in the autumn of 2018. This time they take the stage in the completely packed the main hall at Effenaar.

Photo’s: Patrick Spruytenburg | Khruangbin at Hit The City

Unfortunately, you won’t experience the trio in such an intimate setting anymore. In 2022 they play their biggest show in The Netherlands thus far; a completely sold-out AFAS Live. With their most recent and acclaimed album ‘Mordechai’ (2020) as a preview for what’s more to come, the future looks promising for Khruangbin.

2017: Alex G.

The American Alex G. reaches more than 5 million monthly listeners on Spotify with his lo-fi indie folk and experimental songs, but six years ago you could still spot him in the cosy Café Wilhelmina. Compared to many other up-and-coming talents, the singer-songwriter already had seven albums on the shelf, including a number of DIY releases via Bandcamp, his official debut ‘DSU’, ‘Beach Music’ and ‘Rocket’.

And we haven’t listed his work on the albums ‘Endless’ and ‘Blonde’ by Frank Ocean yet, which were released in 2016. In the songs ‘Rushes’, ‘Slide on Me’, ‘Wither’, ‘White Ferrari’ and ‘Self Control’ you can hear the guitar work of none other than Alex G. himself.

Photo: Willem Wouterse | Alex G. at Hit The City

In 2014 The Fader magazine called him ’the Internet’s Secret Best Songwriter’, but by now he is anything but a secret. With his eighth studio album ‘House Of Sugar’ he has won the hearts of a larger audience, and continues this line with his most recent album ‘God Save the Animals’ (2022). In the same year, he makes his TV debut on the Tonight Show and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where he played his latest singles to an audience of millions.

2017: Phoebe Bridgers

The dreamy singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers has risen rapidly in the musical landscape. The American singer was nominated for no less than four Grammys with her second album Punisher (2020), has collaborations with Taylor Swift, SZA and The Killers, and moved thousands of people in AFAS Live last year. All that while you could still cuddle up at her gig in the intimate venue of De Oude Rechtbank in 2017.

That year, Bridgers packs her debut album ‘Stranger in the Alps’ fresh from the press, before she travels to Eindhoven for a touching set. Amidst dozens of atmospheric lights, she enchants the audience with her fine, emotional folky songs. She has not played many small performances in The Netherlands, since she gained popularity unimaginably fast during the corona period. As soon as she is able to tour, she already has the opportunity to take on some bigger shows. Not only did she play a solo show at AFAS Live, she also steps on the stages of major festivals such as Coachella, Glastonbury, Rock Werchter and Lollapalooza.

In addition to her solo albums, the singer also releases music with a group called ‘boygenius’. The indie superband consists of Julian Baker, Lucy Dacus and Bridgers. Extra fun fact: the American singer-songwriter Lucy Dacus played at Altstadt during Hit The City in 2016.

Photo: Almicheal Fraay | Phoebe Bridgers at Hit The City

2018: Fontaines D.C.

The 2018 edition features a number of names that have built up quite a reputation, including dublin-based post-punk band Fontaines D.C. The five-piece band is formed in 2017 and one year later the acclaimed and rock-solid debut album ‘Dogrel’ is already in the works. Effenaar-programmer Robert Schaeffer is allowed to listen to four songs before the release of the album, and is completely sold. He has to have the band for the festival and books the Irish men for their very first show in the Netherlands.

Photo’s: Roos Pierson | Fontaines D.C. at Hit The City

In a packed Stroomhuis, Fontaines D.C. gives a taste of the poetic lyrics and gritty sound that you find on the album, which comes out six months after the gig. Not only Schaeffer is impressed, the record is named Album Of The Year by the hosts of BBC Radio 6 Music, and nominated for the Mercury Prize and the Choice Music Prize. That’s quite a start!

During the tour around their debut album, the gentlemen write their second album ‘A Hero’s Death’ (2020), which results in a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Album. In 2022, the album is followed by the worthy ‘Skinty Fia’, which lands them a spot at the top of the U.K. and Irish Album Chart for the first time. Clearly, they are also at the top of the list among festival programmers, cause the band tours Europe throughout the whole summer. This year, it’s time for the next step and is Fontaines D.C. ready to cross the ocean and conquer the United States.

2018: Viagra Boys

Another band that went wild in Stroomhuis in 2018, is the Swedish Viagra Boys. The pictures tell it all; it was raw, warm and completely uninhibited. With a cigarette between his fingers and a beer, frontman Sebastian Murphy does what he does best. Rolling across the stage, they play the fresh tracks from their debut album ‘Street Worms’, which was released a month earlier.

Photo: Patrick Spruytenburg | Viagra Boys at Hit The City

In just a few years, the band has become one of the most beloved bands of the scene. Unfortunately, Viagra Boys had to deal with quite a dark period, the loss of core member and guitarist Benjamin Vallé. The 47-year-old musician passed away in the fall of 2021. The album ‘Wellfare Jazz’ is the last album on which his contribution can be heard. “It was strange to work on new music without him, but we honored him as best we could”, Murphy tells 3Voor12 about the proces of the third studio album ‘Cave World’.

Despite their heavy loss, the band is still going full throttle. From performing in Stroomhuis for up to 200 people, they are now owning the stages at well-known festivals such as Primavera, Pukkelpop, Down The Rabbit Hole and Sziget. And this year they will add Lowlands to this ever growing list.

Photo: Max Kneefel | Joost Klein at Hit The City

When the Frisian rapper Joost Klein pursues his passion for music in 2016, he has already made a name for himself as YouTuber EenhoornJoost. As an internet phenomenon with no less than 200,000 subscribers, he changes course with his first EP ‘Homeless’, which he self-releases. A year later, he has a contract with hip hop label Top Notch and his second studio album ‘Scandinavian Boy’ is released. The album also features a collaboration with rapper Donnie, and in 2018 join forces again for the album ‘M Van Marketing’.

A few months after the release, Joost shows what he is made of. The main hall of Effenaar is jampacked, there are moshpits happening and the young musician comes in full force. As expected, he takes the stage at almost every major festival in The Nederlands a year later. After the corona period, he picks up right where he left off and gives sensational shows at Pinkpop, Rock Werchter and Pukkelpop.

In 2022 he added the studio album ‘Fryslân’ to his oeuvre, a record full of deep and honest lyrics, humor, creative twists and undeniable energy. This year, he takes the leap and will play one of his biggest shows to date; on 2 November Joost will take on AFAS Live with his show ‘Joost Klein, Droom Groot’.

2018: S10

This is as early as it gets; Stien den Hollander’s performance on Hit The City was her very first performance as S10 ever. At only 18 years old, with her EP’s ‘Antipsychotica’ and ‘Lithium’ already released, she treats the audience to het honest hip hop. Through singing, rap and spoken word, S10 tells her most personal stories with her music and doesn’t shy away from heavy subject such as mental health.

Photo: Almicheal Fraay | S10 at Hit The City

In 2019 she releases her first full-length album ‘Snowsniper’, for which she is awarded with an Edison in the category ‘Alternative’. De Volkskrant names S10 “the most original voice in contemporary Dutch hip hop”. And she proves this again with her album ‘Vlinder’, which is released a year later.

With her participation in Eurovision Songfestival 2022, she breaks through in every layer of the Netherlands. With her song ‘De Diepte’ she represents the country, and for the first time in eleven years a Dutch song can be heard on the stage of the annual music battle. S10 finishes in eleventh place, but can ultimately count herself the big winner. In recent years she has played countless sold-out shows, shined on the stages of the coolest festivals and in the beginning of 2023 she played her biggest solo show ever in AFAS Live.

Curious about who will be on the line-up this year? Follow Hit The City on Instagram and Facebook to make sure you don't miss a thing.

Hit The City is an annual free festival organized by Effenaar and Friendly Fire.

This was Hit The City 2022: Prins S. en de Geit, The Haunted Youth, Ares and many more

Photo: Dick Rennings | Prins. S en de Geit at Hit The City 2022


This was 3 days of music, 78 artists and 10 venues in Eindhoven. See you at next year’s festival!


Ares – Byron Yeates – Cero Ismael – Coloray – Doodswens – Dreya Mac – Ferdous – Hallan – Ikraaan – Jeshi – Jiri11 – Lime Garden – Mazey Haze – Nagasaki Swim – Néomi – Pitou – Pol – Prins S. en De Geit – The Haunted Youth – Willy Organ – Wodan Boys – Woodie Smalls – Yín Yín

Bat Eyes – Buunshin – ChelseaBoy – Cloudsurfers – Cucamaras – De Toegift – Doevoe – Dorpsstraat 3 – Eades – Elephant – Elijah Waters – Ella John – Hatoon – ITUA – Maya Mae – MEYY – Nathan Kalish – Neema Nekesa – Oscar Browne – Poolde – Pxrple Jazz – Q’n – Ramses3000 – SilverLake – T-Shawn + more


Altstadt – Café Wilhelmina – De Rozenknop – Dynamo – Effenaar – Haven – Stroomhuis – Student Hotel – KEVN – Muziekgebouw Eindhoven

Effenaar x Friendly Fire

This was Hit The City 2021: Hang Youth, Sophie Straat, Personal Trainer and many more

Photo: Davy de Lepper | Sophie Straat at Hit The City 2021


This was 3 days of music, 50+ acts and 8 venues. A massive thank you to all artists, collectives, and staff that made Hit The City 2021 happen. See you at next year’s festival!


Alora – Arno Loriaux – Baby’s Berserk – Boolin’ DJ Team – Bokoedro – Bnnyhunna – Bent Beukelaer – Charlie & The Lesbians – Chibi Ichigo – Commander Spoon – DADA – De Gevreesde Ziekte – Destructo – Don Melody Club – EMY – Feng Suave – FFlean – Gita Buhari – Global Charming – Hang Youth – Illnoledge – Josephine Odhil – Joya Mooi – Juan Juan – Kids With Buns – Le Motat – Lena Hessels – Magnetic Spacemen – Max Frimout – Max Poolman – Nambyar – Nelson – Personal Trainer – Philippine – Pip Blom – POM – Prestcold Molly – Remme – Rites – Sophie Straat – Tramhaus – Veras – Vitamin B12 – WIES – Witchfukker + more


Altstadt – Café Wilhelmina – De Rozenknop – Dynamo – Effenaar – Fifth – Stroomhuis – Subbar


Effenaar x Friendly Fire