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What’s on this week: 10-16 February

12:14 09/02/2023
There’s plenty of cultural events to illuminate the week ahead, from festivals of all stripes to art exhibits and kids’ activities

Get ready for a light show like never before with this year’s Bright Festival. The event boasts 30 installations and 15 nocturnal activities centred around Art Nouveau. It includes an installation at the foot of the Cathedral of Saint Michael and Saint Gudula, where visitors can replace their broken lamps. A collection point has also been set up at the Info point on Place Albertine where people can donate their working torches for the people of Ukraine. A new fringe programme promises a unique experience… several museums and venues, including Autoworld, open their doors at night so that you can experience their interiors in a different light. It’s a fantastic opportunity to see Brussels lit up in a creative fashion; a welcome sight during this dark winter period. 16-19 February, multiple locations

Love Bugs Parade Autoworld

Autoworld has something special planned for its 14th Love Bugs Parade. The museum also marks the 75th anniversary since Volkswagen beetles first appeared in Belgium, thanks to D’letere. More than 300 beetles and buses are making their way to Parc Cinquantenaire this Saturday. Varying in colour, size and coming from countries all over Europe, the cars will be on display at the Esplanade before driving off at 14.00 for a head-turning tour. They will make their way to the Africa Museum in Tervuren, Vossem and D’leteren in Erps-Kwerps, before returning on smaller roads via Sterrebeek and Avenue de Tervuren. Autoworld also stages a temporary exhibition, VW Love Bugs, for a closer look at some automobile classics. 12 February, Autoworld, Esplanade du Cinquantenaire 11

Schiev festival

Brussels-based electronic Schiev festival is on a mission to make avant-garde pop music as accessible as possible. For its 8th edition at Beursschouwburg, it showcases an eclectic line-up of innovative Belgian and international projects in a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere. The Brussels event is part of a network of 13 European festivals, Shape+. It offers emerging artists the opportunity to become more visible in the electronic music industry. Interestingly, the event also has an educational side with talks by people from the music industry, discussing new and upcoming genres around the world. 10-12 February, Beursschouwburg, Rue Auguste Orts 11-13


Enjoy a journey of discovery into Baroque music with the Brussels Early Music Festival FestiVita! The Cercle Royal Gaullois is the magnificent setting for the event, evoking the theme of the Grand European Tour as practised by composers from this period. It’s not only a musical feast but a culinary voyage with gastronomic concerts - interspersed with 18th-century musical morsels. The rich programme also includes a Renaissance ball, a concert for children and a premiere among its activities. 16-19 February, Rue de la Loi 5


For anyone wanting to admire new or rarely seen pieces of art from the turn of the century, then this new temporary exhibition should pique their interest. Back to Nature 1900 features interesting Art Nouveau pieces in the city’s collection. Paintings, embroideries, fashion and architecture focused on nature, provide a look into how artists continued to develop their art during this, by taking everything the planet offered as inspiration. 14 February to 10 June, Musée de la Ville de Bruxelles, Grand Place

Sculptura, work by Arne Quinze, photo by Dave Bruel 

Find contemporary sculpture and striking installations at Sculptura #1, the first in an annual event. The works, both human size and monumental, use the unique historical space provided by Gare Maritime to their best advantage, placed by more than 20 artists from around Europe. The organisers want to convince the capital’s policymakers to commission more public sculpture, which serve as cultural landmarks and contribute to civic pride. Take a stroll around this free event to see which you could imagine finding a home in your local square. 10 February to 12 March, Rue Picard 11

Kids Festival (c)Karolina Maruszak

Fun shows and free workshops abound at the Kids Festival in Berchem-Sainte-Agathe. Help a modern-day Sinbad put together his first birthday present, see balloons dance to David Bowie or discover the magical world under the dining room table. Languages vary, and some performances are soundless. Reserve in advance. 12, 19 & 26 February, CC Archipel 19 & GC De Kroon

AKA Moon (c)Alexander Popelier

It’s a match made in heaven when AKA Moon (pictured) meet the Brussels Jazz Orchestra. The former play avant-garde jazz, the latter big band jazz, and they combine their forces to create new sounds. Despite both Belgian bands turning 30 years old, they have never performed together before, so this is a unique event. Shows in Charleroi and Ghent follow this performance in Bozar. 16 February 20.30, Rue Ravenstein 23


“Sustainability is not just a trend, it’s a must if we want our children and future generations to inherit a healthy planet on which to live,” says Recupel president and EU lobbyist Bruno Vermoesen. He provides insight into how a major manufacturer of consumer goods deals with this issue in his talk Sustainable solutions for consumerism. The event is organised by the International Study Group (ISG), which regularly visits exhibitions a well as hosting talks on a range of topics. Free for members, €10 for guests. 13 February, 10.30 (welcome 10.00), Rue Du Vieux Moulin 103 (Auderghem)

Weird Al

Book now: Weird Al Yankovic  “How come you’re always such a fussy young man? Don't want no Captain Crunch, don’t want no Raisin Bran. Well, don’t you know that other kids are starving in Japan? So eat it, just eat it.” The aptly named Weird Al Yankovic rose to international stardom in the 1980s with hilarious send-ups of the biggest hits of the decade, such as “Beat It” and “Like a Virgin” – complete with videos on the then-young MTV. He also writes original satirical songs, which make up this intimate live show. 18 February 20.00, Cirque Royal, Rue de l’Enseignement 81

Outside Brussels 

SATYAGRAHA ©Rahi Rezvani

Opera and dance come together in Satyagraha, the emotionally charged opera by world-renowned American composer Philip Glass. Belgium’s own Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui choreographed and directed a new version, which Opera Ballet Vlaanderen performed in Ghent in 2019, but the Antwerp performances had to be cancelled because of Covid. The port city now gets its chance to enjoy this visually remarkable stage piece chronicling the life of Mahatma Gandhi. According to Klara radio, it is a “production that makes you a better person”. 15 February to 4 March, Opera Antwerp, Frankrijklei 3

JEF Festival

Taking part before and during the February school holiday, the JEF Festival is dedicated to film for children and young people. It also appeals to adults, with some wonderful programming of award-winning feature films and shorts from around the world. There are also workshops, virtual reality cinema and special guests. 11-26 February, across Flanders

Art au centre Liège

Enjoy an art walk around the vibrant city of Liège over the next two months. The 11th edition of Art au centre invites visitors to wander around the city centre and discover a series of exhibitions in empty shop windows. Some 27 contemporary artists from Belgium and abroad participate in the initiative. A map of the 30 sites is available for visitors and guided tours are also available. Until 30 April, city centre (Liège)


A poetic dialogue between two contemporary artists forms the premise of the exhibition Elsewhere at the refurbished Anciens Abattoirs in Bomel. Dinant artist Lucile Bertrand sparks a meditative experience in her light and colour-filled painting. Brussels-based French artist Elise Leboutte creates drawings, sculpture (pictured above), installations and video that are subtle, elegant, timeless and equally infused with light. 9 February-2 April, Le CNN, Trav. Des Muses 18 (Namur)

Check out more upcoming activities in Belgium at The Bulletin's events page

Photos: Bright Brussels Festival 2022 © - Eric Danhier; Schiev festival, nkisi © may meyer; Ausonia, Festivita!; Broodhuis-wandtapijt © DieterTelemans; Sculptura, work by Arne Quinze, photo by Dave Bruel; Kids Festival ©  Karolina Maruszak; AKA Moon © Alexander Popelier; SATYAGRAHA ©Rahi Rezvani; Elsewhere - Sac vert forêt © Lucile Bertrand

Written by Sarah Crew, Lisa Bradshaw, Louis Kernoa-Pascoe