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What’s on this week: 17-23 July

12:13 16/07/2020
Our top picks of cultural events and activities in and around Brussels

OK, so your kids have been home a lot this year. We offer our sympathy – and this awesome idea for a fun summer outing. The Underground Treasure Hunt finds your kids helping “little Charles V” to recover the code that will open his treasure chest. They must search for clues and solve puzzles in the subterranean annals of Coudenberg Palace. It’s for kids from five to eight years old, but it might prove fun for you as well. Until 30 August, Place des Palais 7

It’s time for the second edition of Brussels Vintage Market’s Street and Sportswear edition. Check out threads from the 1980s and ’90s, bop to tunes spun by DJs Marty and Junior Goodfellaz and step up to the bar or the food trucks. All at See U, a vintage complex itself. Entry is free. 18-19 July 11.00-19.00, Rue Fritz Toussaint 8 (Ixelles)

Jardin Rooftop Bar

A new rooftop terrace is in town, run by the people who brought you Skybar58. Jardin Rooftop Bar is perched atop the old Actiris building opposite the Bourse and has the views to prove it. Kitted out with hardwood floors and plants, it’s a lovely, loungy spot to while away a warm summer night nursing a beer or noshing on burgers and fries. Open day and night 7/7, weather permitting. Until at least 30 September, maybe longer, Rue du Maché aux Poulets 7

Got tired of a couple of months in lockdown, did you? Check out the exhibition Behind the Berlin Wall: State Security in the GDR Dictatorship to jog your memory about what decades of living in East Germany was like. A little perspective goes a long way. Until 3 October, Parliamentarium, Rue Wiertz 60

Jeux d’hiver in Bois de la Cambre is one of those few businesses not allowed to open yet, but the night club is taking its party out of doors, corona style. During Open Air Saturdays, they serve bubbles to your bubble on an extended lounge terrace. Themed nights and nosh provided by Urban Cook (burgers) and BuiBui (Vietnamese street food). Reserve in advance to ensure a table. Until 15 August, Chemin du Croquet 1


If you’re nostalgic for the 1980s music scene, The Music Village has just the show for you this weekend: Loumèn Sings the 80s finds Belgium’s soul singer and her quartet funking up the hits and classics from the decade that made gender-bending rock the norm and introduced the masses to music videos. 17-18 July 19.30 & 21.45, Rue des Pierres 50

Many sectors are extremely hard hit by the corona crisis, and it’s no secret that arts and culture is one of them. Check out how some local artists are feeling about it at Covidus Arte Factum, a free exhibition dedicated to shining a light on the intimacies of quarantine. Until 30 July, Dinédit at See U, Avenue de la Couronne 227, Building A

While Botanique’s big concerts are cancelled until the autumn, it is programming some unique experiences, like this pre-dinner jazz art session. Saxophonist Damien Brassart worked with painter Sébastien Bonin to create Documenti, a concert that brings their talents together to give sound to colour. It’s held in Botanique’s exhibition space, where Bonin’s work is currently on show. 17-19 July 17.00, Rue Royale 236

Drawing by Shine Shivan

The Félix Frachon Gallery is in fact two galleries down the street from each other in Rue Saint-Georges in Ixelles. Each are offering solo shows this summer. The gallery often promotes the work of artists from developing countries, and on show now are drawings by of India’s southern coast. Language of the Deceased II is a remarkable collection of works focused on man’s inhumanity to man. Until 22 August Rue Saint-Georges 5 and 26

Book ahead: Tomorrowland at Movie Drive  The Tomorrowland dance festival in Boom was supposed to kick off tomorrow. Stupid Covid-19 is preventing that, but the festival has gone digital – only reasonable for the world’s leading electronic music event. The live-streamed and interactive event takes in sites around the globe and is headlined by Katy Perry. You can tune in at home … or join the party at the drive-in movie installed at Tour & Taxis. Come with your bubble to enjoy one of the most famous music festivals in the world on the biggest screen in Europe. Tomorrowland Digital Festival 25-26 July; Tomorrowland at Movie Drive 25 July, from 16.00, Tour & Taxis, Avenue du Port 88

Gent Jazz


Gent Jazz has scaled down its excellent summer music festival to corona size, and tickets are still available for the remaining days. You and your bubble of up to 15 people can catch Belgian jazz guitarist Philip Catherine, jazz and funk trio BackBack or rock’n’roll band Nordmann. Or check out Mardi Gras day, with cabaret and special cocktails. Until 21 July, Bijloke, Goshuizenlaan 2, Ghent

Sample organic wine and explore the Château de Bioul with the Made in Bioul discovery tour. It offers visits of the 11th-century castle and its tree-filled garden as well as a tour of the wine cellar. Music is played to aid the maturing of the wine; the vibrations improve its structure. Naturally, there are plenty of opportunities to taste the result and enjoy accompanying platters of food selected to match the wines, all made from Riesling, Muscat and Pinot grapes grown on this 11-hectare vineyard in the Meuse Valley. An on-site restaurant also serves a lunch menu. Until 30 September, Place Vaxelaire 1, Anhée (Namur province)

Photos courtesy (from top): Coudenberg, Jardin, The Music Village, Félix Frachon Gallery, Gent Jazz

Written by Lisa Bradshaw, Sarah Crew