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What’s on this week: 21-27 August

15:47 20/08/2020
Our top picks of cultural events and activities in and around Brussels

Belgium Beer Week invites you to discover pubs and pop-ups across Brussels, plus offers workshops, tours and tastings. Learn how to pair beer with food, dip into barrel-aged beers or experience a beer cocktail. 24-30 August, across Brussels

The final in Passa Porta’s aperitif series is in English: A conversation between Belgian author Annelies Verbeke and Libyan journalist Muhanned Bennana, who settled in Ghent after fleeing his home country. They will read from their respective work and have a frank discussion about identity and one’s place in the world. 25 August 18.00-19.30, Rue Antoine Dansaert 46

Kumiko ramen restaurant is hosting concerts and DJs in its cosy back garden this summer. This week check out funk pop band Indigo Mango or DJ Yooth. Later on this month are live swing performances and dance lessons (within your bubble, natch). Rue d’Alost 16

Les Muffatti baroque orchestra

Brussels baroque orchestra Les Muffatti discovered an unpublished work by 18th-century Italian composer Nicola Porpora, a Nisi Dominus, in the library of Saint Rombaut’s Cathedral in Mechelen. The piece was brought back by a Flemish nobleman at the end of his Grand Tour in the 18th century. They are performing it for the first time in three concerts, which also include a vocal work by Porpora rival JA Hasse and by a magnificent instrumental piece by the poorly known Neapolitan composer Emanuele Barbella. Internationally acclaimed countertenor Clint Van Der Linde joins the orchestra for this world premiere. 25-26 August, Be-Here, Rue Dieudonné Lefèvre 4

The Mima contemporary art space hosts a Summer Nocturne as it enters the final 10 days of the exhibition Zoo. Come discover international artists’ version of pop-up animals until 22.00, followed by a cocktail on the rooftop bar. 27 August 18.00-22.00, Quai du Hainaut 39 (Molenbeek)

Guidebooks and blog posts are quick to use the terms “authentic”, “historical” and “gothic”, but sometimes architecture and monuments are just built to look like they came from another period. The unique guided tour Fake Brussels will set you straight as to what deserves these labels and what does not. (In English) 21 August 20.00

Critical Mass

Critical Mass becomes Critical Mask as the monthly collective bike ride takes on Covid. The Brussels chapter of the global movement brings together cyclists of all stripes to take over the streets in support of traffic safety, improved air quality and better infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians. Their final Friday cycle through Brussels is open to everyone, but check corona safety measures. 28 August 18.00-21.00

If you missed out on your holiday abroad this year, you’ll be happy to know that one of the most important parts of tourism – food – can be found right here at Foodcation BXL. The family-friendly event at Parckfarm is serving food from many cultures, sharing recipes, selling some products and playing a little music. 22 and 30 August 14.00-18.00, Boulevard du Jubilé, under Jubilé bridge (Molenbeek)

While Belgian Pride has been postponed until next month, Mothers & Daughters still hopes that its queer cruise will set sail. The Water Lilies cruise promises singing, slam, mermaids, captains and water fairies. Whether it will be cancelled due to weather or Covid is still a bit of a question mark, so follow the FB page for confirmation. 27 August 14.00-22.00

Trio plays at the Rencontres Musicales Internationales d’Enghien

OUTSIDE BRUSSELS

The Rencontres Musicales Internationales d’Enghien, better known as IMUSE, has taken its performances online this year. This charming festival of classical music sees student and young musicians learning from masters in their fields, with all of them performing, sometimes together and sometimes apart. Concerts take place at the lovely Château d’Enghien, though this year audiences will have to admire the 107-year-old country estate from in front of their computers. 24-27 August

We could all use a laugh right about now, so the timing for the first edition of the Il est temps d’en rire comedy festival couldn’t be better. The open-air event at the beautiful Lake Genval takes place at weekends. Organisers have also wisely arranged a last-minute bad-weather indoor location on the property. Friday & Saturday until 5 September, Avenue du Lac 87, Genval (Rixensart, Walloon Brabant)

Photos, from top: Courtesy De Koninck, courtesy Les Muffatti, ©Ben Baudart/Critical Mass, ©Sophie Lukersmith/Imuse

Written by Lisa Bradshaw