Each year around the first of May, Neerpelt (in the North of Limburg - Belgium) is the home town of the European Music Festival for Young People. This annual musical feast is alternately organized for choirs and for instrumental ensembles. Each year, four to six thousand young people from Europe and from all over the world render the colourful and flag-brightened streets in an international atmosphere of fraternisation.
Apart from the jury performances evaluated by an international jury, the public can enjoy all kinds of happenings and evening concerts. The absolute peak are the proclamations and the laureate concerts, performed by the best groups of the day. Year after year, the visitors are impressed by the unusually edifying performances of the youthful amateurs. They also learn to appreciate and love music.
Famous conductors, composers and jury members praise the value of this festival. The combination of fraternisation and competition ensures the presence of the best ensembles on stage. The participants know that the spirit of the festival also inspires to solidarity in music and to simple border-crossing human contact.
The efforts of the numerous volunteers of the EMJ are also highly valued by the authorities. The Flemish Government granted the festival the title of "Cultural Ambassador of Flanders" in 1995, 1996 and 1997.