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Shine on: Extra-long Bright Brussels festival brings light to the city this autumn

05:10 30/09/2021

Delayed for eight months due to the pandemic, the fifth edition of Bright Brussels festival of light has been confirmed for 28 October to 6 November. This extra long special edition, entitled Follow the Light, will take place in the Royal Quarter and the European Quarter comprising a total of 16 luminous and immersive outdoor works of art.

"Bright Brussels has been a big tourist attraction in recent years," said Brussels minister-president Rudi Vervoort. "This event, produced by, has grown with every edition.

"For 10 days, instead of the usual four, the people of Brussels and visitors to our region can wander through two iconic neighborhoods and admire works by artists from Brussels and abroad, most of which have never been exhibited before. I wish everyone a wonderful journey through the streets of our capital as they discover the latest installment of the Bright Brussels festival."

Light creators from Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, South Korea, Spain and Switzerland will be dazzling us with their brilliance. Here are some of this year's projects:

Collaborating for the first time in the event, the European Parliament will host one of the installations on Esplanade Solidarnosc 1980. Created by Venividimultiplex, from the Netherlands, Lightbattle III is an installation involving a dozen visitor powered bicycles controlling three interactive light arches.

Dirty Monitor, the internationally renowned Belgian video mappers, who have created amazing visual worlds across the surfaces of such buildings as Brussels City Hall and the Place Royale as well as at locations from Anderlecht to Harbin, in all over 100 installations around the world, will be taking on the Royal Palace for a visual trip through its history.

Magic Monkey, another world-renowned Belgian sound and light creator will be turning the Mont des Arts gardens into an ethereal, hazy aerial experience.

Vertigo will be presenting The Wave, an 80-metre-long immersive exhibit made of 40 doors that are sensitive to movement. Visitors walk through and around the installation and influence its auditory and visual output.

Studio Toer from the Netherlands is presenting Firefly Field on Square de Meeûs, a hypnotic installation of flying light spots.

Based on the teachings of Alphonse Balat ("Simplify, simplify some more and simplify again"), who was the architect of the Royal Greenhouses as well as being Victor Horta’s teacher, Cube³ at Cinquantenaire Park, the work of Ofer Smilansky and Antoine Goldschmidt, is a monumental cube with mirrored faces.

Even the Stib is getting into the action with LiminaLight putting on a show along the tunnel between Arts-Loi and Parc.

There will a fringe programme including various museums participating in the event. Hungry visitors will be able to stop at several great spots along the way to pick up a bite to eat and inveterate shoppers will be able to take advantage of late evening openings in a number of shops.

Most of the events are outdoors but the enclosed areas of the routes will only be accessible on presentation of a valid Covid Safe Ticket. Health measures will be applied for the rest of the event area.

Written by Richard Harris