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What's on this week: 13-19 October

21:55 13/10/2017
Serbian craft beer, pole dancing for men and electro in the Coudenburg. Here's our pick for the coming week

Spread over three days, the second edition of the Brussels Electronic Marathon will offer more than 60 events at 33 venues by 60 music collectives comprising 229 artists. The venues include Fuse, MIMA, Beursschouwburg, Bonnefooi, Flagey, Café des Halles and Recyclart. There’s a new app this year that will provide you with all the info you need. And beyond all the concerts which highlight the diversity and richness of electronic music in Brussels, and the parties, there is an exhibition of sound and visual art and live performances in the ruins of Coudenberg Palace, and BEM for Kids at La Vallée and the Maison des Musiques.
13-15 October, around Brussels

For its third edition, the Artonov festival is expanding its horizons. Artistic performances taking place in Art Nouveau and Art Deco locations is still the heart of the festival but this year there are a couple of locations in a different architectural style(the Musée Fin de Siècle and the Rubens room of the Old Masters Museum). The performances also include non-musical events such as culinary art (Belgian sherbet master Samuel Droeshaut will be presenting his creations during a performance of L’air du Sorbet at the Max Hallet House) and Ernest Blérot’s Maison Flagey will welcome suspended textile structures. In the Rubens Room, painter Benoit Van Innis and pianist Claire Chevallier will provide a spectacle to Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exposition. There’s even a mime and cello performance at the Fin de Siècle Museum and a dance performance at La Forest Divonne art gallery - in all eight performances at eight venues.
13-15 October, various venues.

Hidden behind the houses fronting the busy and dusty Chaussée de Haecht is the 19th century Château de Eenens-Terlinden, a bucolic oasis with its pleasant garden. For years it has been the Maison des Arts de Schaerbeek, and will be undergoing a major restoration starting in January. In the meantime, and as a sort of lead-in to the refurbishing, the current exhibition reveals the many iterations of the humble building material clay in artistic expression: brick, tiles, glazed earthenware and so on. Ceramicists, photographers, designers, writers, video artists, sculptors, choreographers and musicians will all be represented.
FRArGILE (a play on the words fragile and argile, French for clay), until 2 December, Maison des Arts, Schaerbeek

If you have a hankering for German beer, it’s Oktoberfest Brüssel this weekend. This year it’s at Tour & Taxis (or in German Thurn und Taxis) with brass bands, Bavarian specialities, Hofbräu München beer, and a Nymphenburg champagne bar.
Until 15 October, Tour & Taxis

Balkans Beyond Borders is presenting the eighth edition of its short film festival which travels through the Balkans from city to city to give the next generation of filmmakers the possibility to create and present their films. This year for the first time they are bringing the festival to Brussels - the screenings will take place at Art Base and the theme is Enter/Exit.
13-15 October

For a completely different Balkan event it’s the first Serbian Craft Beer Weekend. Serbian friends living in Brussels have selected what they think are the best of the new Serbian beer scene with a rye IPA, a cream ale, a Baltic porter and an array of stouts, in all 18 beers from seven breweries never before available in Belgium. Food truck on Friday, Serbian foods and Balkan music party on Saturday.
130 Chausée d’Alsemberg, Saint-Gilles

It’s the time of year when many birds decide to head south and non-profit Tournesol-Zonnebloem is holding a migrating birds identification day this Saturday at the Domaine des Silex which is on the edge of the forest in Boitsfort. Ornithological guides will be on hand to help you identify the migrating birds and give you background on the hows and whys of bird migration. Meeting point is the green gate leading to the park. Tours start at 8.30, 9.30 and 10.30. Free, no registration necessary. They suggest comfortable shoes and a folding chair. Additional info by email:

If you would like to help make the winter months a little easier for the homeless in Brussels, What’s Up Brussels has just the urban arts event for you this Saturday. It’s taking place first on the Mont des Arts (12.00-18.00) with a skate competition, dance battles (in the Galerie Ravenstein), a basketball tournament, food trucks, street art and a popup store, then at the nearby La Madeleine (19.OO-23.00) there's a live show, DJ sets, dance performance and fashion show. All of this will raise funds for Operation Thermos which offers meals and warm drinks to the homeless in train and metro stations.

Men: have you always wished you could pole dance? If so there’s a workshop this Saturday for you. Pole Dancing for Men, brought to you by Brussels Art & Pole is 90 minutes of high-energy athletic exercise that will get you moving. The teacher, a woman, says this is no walk in the park. Shorts and tank tops recommended. More info at

On Saturday down in Braine l’Alleud in the park of the Château de Cheneau it will be a “Dark Night”. This event highlights the problems of light pollution, energy waste and their effects on biodiversity. There will be star-watching, music, a vampire hunt in Dracula’s Kingdom, storytelling, puppets, singing and kamishibai workshops, a candlelit tour of the gardens and didactic games about light pollution. Food truck and hot chocolate and warm wine. Starts 19.00, free.

After years of meticulous restoration, Laeken cemetery’s underground funerary galleries are back to their original splendour - 1km of galleries with 4,500 tombs richly decorated in Neoclassical to Art Deco styles. Above ground, the cemetery, often called the Brussels Père Lachaise for its many famous residents, is a cornucopia of statuary with among others, a larger version of Rodin’s Thinker, the choir of the original church (1275) and monuments in Neo-Norman, Neo-Gothic, Neo-Classic and just plain Eclectic styles. The cemetery also contains a number of landmarked trees. In contrast to the crowded, mysterious atmosphere of the Laeken cemetery, the Brussels cemetery (actually in Evere) with a whopping 95 acres is the biggest and the first cemetery laid out with broad avenues and a park-like atmosphere, and also has exceptional monuments such as the English memorial to the soldiers fallen at the Battle of Waterloo. The city has just published three walking tours (the funerary galleries at Laeken, above ground at Laeken, and Brussels). Or you can trust serendipity and direct yourself. Open 8.30-16.30 except 25 December and 1 January.

Written by Richard Harris