Music and machines
With over sixty years of operation as a mine, 4.8 million tonnes of coal brought up to the surface, and two and a half thousand employees at the peak of its activity, the 9-9bis is one of the major mining heritage sites in the region. It is well worth visiting, both for its fascinating history and for its unexpectedly abundant nature and wildlife.
After mining operations came to an end in 1990 the site could well have been abandoned, but that was without counting on the remarkable work of local associations who have turned 9-9bis into a place now undergoing complete regeneration.
The 9-9bis is a wonderful combination of cultural heritage conservation and live music promotion with its own venue, the Métaphone®.
The Métaphone®, both a concert hall and a musical instrument
This building with its architecture that seems to come straight from another planet blends in perfectly with the environment at 9-9bis. It is a unique performance venue in the world, being wrapped in an "acoustic" skin made up of sheets of various materials including wood, transparent and frosted glass, and weathering steel, together with twenty-four musical instruments (organs, percussion instruments, xylophones, cymbals, rain sticks, and so on) sited on the outer walls of the entrance porch and linked up to a sound system.
The acts that perform inside this original instrument are on a par with the quality of the building. Though only a recent concert hall the Métaphone® already has a varied and eclectic programme of music, and looks like becoming one of the emblematic places in the region.
For guided visits, concerts, and all the latest news, visit the 9-9bis website.
- By car: Take the A1 motorway, exit 17.1 (signposted Plate-forme multimodale), and then take the final exit from the roundabout.
- By bus: Route 29 on the TADAO network – alighting at “Oignies 9-9bis”
- By train: Libercourt railway station (3km away) + Route 29 on the TADAO network – alighting at “Oignies 9-9bis”