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VRT, NPO Team Up on Cross-Border Simulcast

The public stations hosted a special broadcast from a temporary studio set up in a bar in border town Baarle-Nassau

Belgian public broadcaster VRT Radio 1 and Dutch public NPO Radio 5 simulcast the same radio program on Saturday Oct 15 from 9 a.m–5 p.m.

Under the banner “De Lage Landen” (“The low countries”), the stations’ listeners on either side of the border were invited to pick their favorite song from a Dutch repertoire, featuring Belgian and Dutch artists. More than 30,000 listeners entered their votes.

The list consisted of 60 Dutch and 40 Belgian titles, performed by 70 different artists. The oldest song on the list was Jacques Brel’s “Mijn vlakke land,” dating back to 1965, while the most popular song was “Pastorale” from 1968.

Belgian radio veteran Jan Hautekiet and Dutch DJ Hans Schiffers presented the broadcast from a temporary studio set up in a bar in Baarle-Nassau, a small village situated on the Belgian and Dutch border.

Throughout the day, each station also integrated their respective news bulletins, presented by a Belgian and Dutch presenter.

— Marc Maes