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What’s on this week: 12-18 April

14:14 11/04/2019
Our top picks of cultural events and activities in and around Brussels

The second week of the Easter school holiday is taken over by Hopla!, Brussels’ annual free festival of all things circus, acrobatic and street theatre. The range is immense, from open-air jugglers to indoor shows featuring some of the most intriguing artists in the field. Every day the festival sets up in a different Brussels neighbourhood, with performances in public squares in the afternoon and in local cultural centres in the evening. The whole thing moving to the city centre at the weekend. Highlights include the interactive Boate, in which a migrant’s journey is played out with a wooden box and a whole bunch of jerrycans, and Clos, in which hilarious absurdity mixes with enchanting live music. 15-21 April, across Brussels

Help keep record stores from going the way of video shops by dropping in during Record Store Day. It’s a celebration of vinyl and of exploring music with like-minded customers and knowledgeable staff. Several Brussels shops are taking part, with new releases, DJ sets and live music all day long. The day takes place in record shops all over the country. 13 April, across Brussels

While Brussels’ Spanish and Italian peeps are at the heart of cultural group Antitapas, everyone is invited to their lively parties, which feature free food, live music, artistic installations and DJs to get you moving into the wee hours. El derecho de ser felices! 13 April from 21.00, Studio Citygate, Rue des Goujons 152 (Anderlecht)

Zombie Run

One of the highlights of the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival used to be the Zombie Parade. But spectators got off much too easy, just showing up to gawk at the shuffling undead. They’re, erm, people, too, you know, and they have to eat. Guess what’s on the menu? The new Zombie Run finds hapless residents fleeing the (frighteningly convincing) zombies along a four-kilometre course. You better hope you can run that far. In the dark. 13 April from 20.00, heart (brain, entrails) of Brussels

Don’t let the weekend rain put you off visiting the super fun Festival l’Afrique en Couleurs at Osseghem Park this weekend, much of which is undercover. Entry is free, but the food alone will have you pulling out your wallet. There are also concerts, workshops, kids’ activities, a fashion show, DJs and a market of artisanal African crafts and jewellery. 13-14 April, Parc d’Osseghem, Avenue de l’Atomium

Ahead of the upcoming region, federal and European elections, Europe’s green parties hope to inspire citizens at The Green Wave. Political figures, activists and engaged residents take part in discussions and debates, with concerts by Jaune Tourjours and Tom Barman. 13 April 17.00-midnight, Wild Gallery, Rue du Charroi 11, Forest

Tony Allen

Now in its fourth edition, the Listen! festival is a study of electronic music in its endless varieties. While this event is heralded among DJs, musicians, producers and everyone else working in the electronic music industry as a way to learn and share experiences, it also packs a wealth of concerts into numerous venues across the capital, from VK to the Horta Gallery. The opening concert features Afrobeat drumming legend Tony Allen (pictured). After that, one ticket gets you into a full night of concerts, DJ sets and general partying, but you can pop in and out of the daytime sets for free. 17-21 April, across Brussels

Look at all that sun in the forecast! If you are itching to plant something, whether on a terrace, garden or windowsill, check out the Flower and Plant Market at ViaVia Café. They team up for the bi-monthly market with the Van Malder plant centre, which used to offer the sorely missed flower market in Grand Place. 14 April 14.00-20.00, Quai aux Briques 74

It’s the 10th anniversary edition of Stoemp!, the months-long series of free live concerts in Brussels cafes, which calls for special events. That means that along with the regular programme you’ll find park concerts and a new vinyl release featuring local bands and musicians, like Angele, Arno and Refugees for Refugees. Check out the album release party on 2 May at Beursschouwburg. Until 22 June, across Brussels

Looking ahead: The performance arts festival Kunstenfestivaldesarts is around the corner, so avoid disappointment by nailing down a spot now to anything you really want to see. Tickets go on sale on 12 April. The biggest names – Faustin Linyekula, say, or Trajal Harrell – sell out well in advance. 10 May to 1 June, across Brussels

Pascale Marthine Tyou (detail)


Brussels-based artist Pascale Marthine Tayou takes no prisoners, challenging museums to change the very way they display works, a system he calls “frustrated”. The solo exhibition Tornado follows a prologue in which his works were systematically placed among other exhibitions at Mu.Zee. As a whole, Tornado’s paintings, sculpture, photography and multi-media installations take on a great number of social issues – gender, migration, colonial wounds, peace, fear and violence. Until 1 September, Mu.Zee, Romestraat 11, Ostend

Photo: Hopla!/©L Mazalrey, Zombie Run/©Amandine Belotte, Pascale Marthine Tayou (detail) courtesy the artist, Mu.ZEE and Galleria Continua, San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins / Habana


Written by Lisa Bradshaw