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Festival fun! Summer rolls on in Belgium with vibrant arts and family events

Chassepierre street-theatre festival, Belgium (Drache national)
14:14 22/07/2023
From kid-friendly to culture, street art to contemporary performance, literary to gourmet, here’s our round up of cultural events for all ages over the coming months.

Amazing Asia Festival

Give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the Amazing Asia Festival, which brings together music, dance, a market, workshops, Thai massage, street food and tropical drinks designed to inspire you to travel to one of many eastern destinations. This lively traveling festival lands in several cities this summer and continues into September. Don’t be afraid to click on “tickets”; it’s super cheap. Until 24 September, across Belgium

Zomer van Antwerpen

Drop by the daily parties at Antwerp’s biggest graffiti space, drink cocktails under trees, catch some “circus tango” or head to the docks for a bit of theatre. Everything is possible at Zomer van Antwerpen, a summer-long festival of endless activities. Some things require a ticket, but most of it is free of charge, so just set out whenever you want and start exploring. Until 3 September, across Antwerp

Chefs on wheels

If your favourite part of summer festivals is the food trucks, we have good news for you. Chefs on Wheels is a dedicated food truck festival! Well, there’s music, too, but its secondary compared to the grazing that is at the heart of this nomadic event. You’ll find everything here, from Asian to Mexican to Belgian frites. Until 23 September, across Flanders


The Watou Arts Festival is in a far-flung corner of West Flanders but worth the trip. The annual event combines visual arts with poetry in offbeat locations like abandoned houses, old farms or brewery cellars. Besides the walking art trail, there is a poetry cycle route where you can hear contemporary poetry inspired by the region’s wartime history (in Dutch). The walking trail can be done in one long day, but spending the night in this cute district of Poperinge surrounding by rolling hills is no bad thing. Until 3 September, across Watou (Poperinge)

Sand Sculpture Festival 2

Visit all your favourite fairy tale characters at this year’s Sand Sculpture Festival at the Belgian coast. Artists the world over fly in to create these massive sculptures every summer, with Puss in Boots, the Little Mermaid, Tom Thumb, Snow White, fire-breathing dragons and the castles and forests in which they live all taking centre stage this year. Kids obviously love this event, but adults are also suitably impressed at the level of skill involved in the tiniest of details. Until 10 September, Middelkerke

West Side Story

Bursting back onto the capital’s summer cultural scene with some 25 shows is the annual Bruxellons! festival. Proudly presenting some of the best French-language productions of the past season and celebrating its 25th anniversary, the festival is a city summer favourite, offering a perfect evening out, complete with a pre-show buffet to enjoy in a wonderful water-side setting. Until 24 September, Château du Karreveld, Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, Brussels


Brigittines International Festival is an annual end-of summer contemporary performance celebration in Brussels. Centred on a different theme each year, ‘Flights and vertigo’ is the thread that unites all the shows this season; innovative languages, bizarre universes, strange and original forms that speak to the imagination. The opening production Made of Space (pictured) explores the vortex of energy around us in the final part of a trilogy by Maria Campos and Guy Nader (Sp). Until 2 September, Les Brigittines, Petite Rue des Brigittines, Brussels

Photos: (main image) Drache national, Chassepierre festival; Het Groot Verlof ©Zomerfilms; Watou (c) Alexandra Dementieva; Stavelot Fritland ©Debbie Termonia; Gentse Feesten ©Martin Corlazzoli, City of Ghent; TAZ ©Clara Hermans; Retro Sur Mer ©Radar Events; Antwerp pride ©Antwerpen Toerisme en Congres; Paulusfeesten ©Natalie Luys; Reiefestival, Dit is geen appel. Marieke De Maré, Ilke De Vries & Larf!; Brigittines ©Max Sloboddac

Written by Lisa Bradshaw, Sarah Crew