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What’s on this week: 16-23 June

Ommegan Brussels Renaissance Festival (c) Frederic Andrieu
14:17 15/06/2022
Relive Brussels history with the Renaissance festival, get on your bike for a tour of the capital and lap up the sounds of outdoor music fest Fête de la Musique!

You know summer in Brussels has kicked off when the Brussels Renaissance Festival hits town. This three-week party celebrates the capital’s unique place in history and the heyday of Charles V and the Dukes of Burgundy. You can learn all about it at exhibitions, lectures and guided tours or check out period costumes, games and music during Renaissance Day. Take the kids to Family Day at Coudenberg or join the throngs for the highlight of BRF: The Ommegang. This massive open-air event with more than 1,000 participants recreates Charles V’s entrance into Brussels in 1549. Spectators can watch the procession through downtown for free or buy a ticket to see the ensuing entertainment in Grand Place. 18 June to 10 July, across Brussels

Fête de la Musique (c)Olivier Donnet

See pop group Girls in Hawaii (pictured) and eight other bands in a marathon concert night, dance to DJs surrounded by street art or take a musical walk in Etterbeek during Fête de la Musique, the annual festival of free concerts and other musical shenanigans. A highlight of the packed schedule is Singing Brussels Marolles, where choirs take to the neighbourhood, culminating in a concert on the steps of the Justice Palace – where you, too, can sing along. 17-21 June, across Brussels & Wallonia

(c) Bxl Tour

Join one of the capital’s biggest cycling events, the Bxl Tour bicycle ride on Sunday. The annual two-wheel adventure offers an additional 32 km route to the traditional 40 km one. And it’s even more accessible thanks to electric bike now being allowed to participate. The event was created in 2017 to promote bike riding in Brussels and support the city’s bid to host the start of the Tour de France in 2019. It starts at Place des Palais (entrance via the Royal Park) and winds through the Bois de la Cambre and Josaphat Park before ending near the Atomium. Registrations open until 18 June. 19 June 9.00-12.00, Place des Palais

The Boatman

Belgium’s world-renowned choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui explores his Flemish and Moroccan cultural roots in new work Vlaemsch (chez moi). The prolific creator joins forces with three other Flemish artists, Hans Op de Beeck (The Boatman, pictured), Floris De Rycker and Jan-Jan Van Essche, to further examine Flemish identity, while a highly-international group of dancers perform the piece. 15-22 June, KVS Bol, Rue de Laeken 146


It should be a night to remember at Bozar as colourful, energetic conductor Ilan Volkov joins the Brussels Philharmonic and the ever-inventive Ictus Ensemble for the sci-fi inspired programme A Walk into the Future. Contemporary composers are on the bill, as the audience goes from deep cosmic meditation, courtesy Georg Friedrich Haas, to the futuristic kitsch provided by Oyvind Torvund. 18 June 20.00, Bozar, Rue Ravenstein 23

The Best of Portugal

Enjoy some gastronomic specialities from Portugal at the 8th edition of The Best of Portugal this weekend. The festival promoting the Mediterranean country’s agricultural sector showcases Portuguese produce and handicrafts, while also staging musical entertainment. 18 & 19 June, 10.00- 22.00 (Sunday until 21.00) Cinquantenaire Park (Etterbeek)

Molenbeek art school

The end-of-year show at Molenbeek-Saint-Jean’s Drawing and Visual Arts Academy is an ideal opportunity for art lovers to spot rising talents among the school’s graduating art students. 17 June 14.00-19.00; 18 June 11.00-17.00, Rue Mommaerts 2a (Molenbeek-Saint-Jean)

The Bridge Theatre

Take a foot-tapping journey through the history of popular musicals at The Bridge Theatre’s  one-off show A Night at the Musicals. A cast of five local musicians perform 16 songs from classics such as Annie Get Your Gun to contemporary hits from and Moulin Rouge and Dear Evan Hansen. Brussels’ professional English-language theatre troupe also promises a taster of what to expect in its upcoming season. 21 June, 20.00, Théâtre Molière, 3 Square du Bastion (Ixelles)

Exiiit FestivalThe new crop of graduates from P.A.R.T.S. invite you to see the results of years of training at one of Europe’s most prestigious dance schools. Coming from countries around the world, these dancers infuse their works with international flair and the excitement of youth. Tickets to each performance of the Exiiit Festival are a mere €5, and there is an off-programme with workshops, discussions and exhibitions. 24 June to 9 July, Avenue Van Volxem 164 (Forest)


FoMu (c)Bertien van Manen, Vasilevski Mokh, 1993

Antwerp photo museum FoMu is irresistible this summer, with three worthy shows. Check out Dutch photographer Bertien van Manen, who captures the daily lives of people she meets while travelling (pictured); Russian artist Diana Markosian’s intriguing recreation of the soap opera Santa Barbara to explore here mother’s decision to move the family to the US; and .Tiff 2022, a selection of work by 10 promising photographers living in Belgium. Until 28 August, Waalsekaai 47, Antwerp

Sinner's Day (c)Fotech

Ostend’s big summer music festival, Sinner’s Day, welcomes local and international goth, new wave and electronic body musicians. Headliners include Echo & The Bunnymen, VNV Nation and Aroma Di Amore. This weather, by the way, should hold out, making dining in the park setting between acts all the more awesome. Sinner’s Day is known for its excellent selection of food trucks. 24-26 June, Maria Hendrika Park, Platanendreef 1, Ostend


The Samya Festival in the Walloon Brabant village of Genappe is all about health and well-being. Activities range from workshops and film screening to talks, story-telling and practical demonstrations. The event is held in the former cinema Le Monty, now a cultural and citizen’s space and venue. 18 & 19 June, Rue de Charleroi 58, Genappe

Sinner's Day (c)Fotech

Register now The Pimms will be flowing, BBQ sizzling and cakes ready for slicing when the British community celebrates its annual summer garden party. It’s again hosted by the Royal Brussels Cricket Club, which is staging a ‘village green’ match as a backdrop to the charity fundraiser. Organised by the Brussels British Community Association (BBCA), expats and locals alike are invited to join the family event. 25 June 13.00-18.00, Royal Brussels Cricket Club, 39 Chemin des Messes, 1380 Lasne-Ohain

Photos: (main image) Ommegang ©Frederic Andrieu; Fête de la Musique ©Olivier Donnet; ©Bxl Tour; FoMu ©Bertien van Manen, Vasilevski Mokh, 1993; Sinner's Day ©Fotech


Written by Sarah Crew and Lisa Bradshaw