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Culture beat – August 22

23:00 22/08/2014
Defy the unseasonal chill with outdoor festivals for all the family, tapas in the city, Formula One and a giant flea market

The Royal Park is home to the travelling life this weekend with the Nomad Theatre Festival. Marquees, outdoor stages, Berber tents and caravans host some 50 shows (all free or contributions welcome; booking necessary for some shows). Expect street theatre, story-telling, circus, puppet theatre, fairground acts and performances for children (on Sunday).

Another lively event is Holi Festival at Tour & Taxis on Saturday from midday. Music, dance, acrobats and giant clouds of coloured powder that festival organisers assure us is harmless and environmentally friendly! Tickets €24.99.

Head to Potemkine in Saint-Gilles on Saturday night for Mr Slick’s Record Hop from 21.00 to late. The Saint-Gillbillies guitarist is spinning a vinyl mix of rockabilly, surf and rhythm'n'blues.

Five reputable chefs are serving gourmet tapas treats at the Urban BBQ at Woluwe Park on Sunday from midday. Dine at a giant table d’hôte, peruse the Marché des Saveurs, or simply picnic al fresco. The price is €15, VIP packages available for €75.

There’s outdoor free music at Feeërieën in the Royal Park from August 25 to 29. Hosted by Brussels concert hall Ancienne Belgique, it features emerging artists from all genres and varying nationalities. Each evening the festival follows a different theme in its enchanting fairy-lit woodland setting. It opens with singer-songwriters American Sun Kil Moon (aka Mark Kozelek) and Mauro Pawlowski from the Netherlands. Other artists performing during the week are Icelander Ólöf Arnalds, Leuven-musician Astronaute, and American folk fiddle/banjo player Frank Fairfield.

Outside Brussels

The Formula One caravan rolls into the Ardennes for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Fracorchamps this weekend after a four-week summer break. The 12th leg of the season sees qualification on Saturday, and the tightly-fought race on Sunday. Mercedes is currently leading the competition with its drivers (and fierce rivals) German Nico Rosberg and Briton Lewis Hamilton ahead of the rest of the pack. Spa-Francorchamps is a favourite circuit for fans- and drivers alike. The longest and most demanding track on the racing calendar makes for a high-speed and challenging drive with tricky turns, steep hills, and notorious weather conditions. The forecast is unsettled all weekend, so the Ardennes track may well live up to its reputation of rain on one part of the track while completely dry on another, making tyre choice a real gamble. Warning: spectators need deep pockets to watch the action live. Tickets are no longer available via the website but can be bought at entrance points. Don't forget your umbrella and wrap up warm!

The fourth edition of the music festival Les sentiers de Sart-Risbart offers world, soul and jazz music until Sunday. Taking over the Sart-Risbart area of the village of Incourt, in Walloon-Brabant, the programme promises some unexpected surprises including l’Uzivati Trio, with young Belgian  saxophonist Jennifer El Gamal (Saturday) and Diab Quintet, jazz/classical/world (Sunday). At Ferme Beaulieu.

The biggest flea market in Belgium runs through the village of Temploux (Namur province) Saturday and Sunday (Saturday, 7.00 to midnight ; Sunday, 7.00-18.00). Conveniently situated close to both the E411 and E42 motorways, it draws bargain hunters from all over the country.



Written by Sarah Crew