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What’s on this week: 21 to 27 June

09:04 20/06/2024
Sunshine is finally on the agenda this weekend, just in time for music celebrations, early summer festivals and urban action sports!

Fete de la Musique celebrates its 40th birthday as well as the summer solstice with dozens of musical concerts and DJ sets across Brussels and Wallonia. Bozar also joins in the party with its choral project Zing Ensemble. Cinquantenaire park is the main hub in the capital with French artists La Femme and Flavien Berger joining local talent, while a food truck, bars and kids’ activities will keep crowds happy. Other musical activities can be found in the Marolles, the Grand Hospice and the Sablon, among other areas. 20-23 June, multiple locations in Brussels and Wallonia

Recyclart Holidays

Recyclart launches its last summer holiday programme before the demolition and renovation of its buildings. That’s why this season’s Recyclart Holidays is staged under the banner of ‘destruction, reconstruction and play’. The culture centre - master of repair and reuse, a beer-slinging bar and a vegan restaurant – is also an open-air fun house. Drop in on the interior courtyard for exhibitions, live music, performances, artistic interventions, DJ sets and more. Until 5 July, Wednesday to Friday, Rue de Manchester 13 (Molenbeek)


The 19th edition of the neighbourhood Visueel Festival Visuel returns for a busy Sunday afternoon and evening of street arts, circus acts and other acrobatic shows. Site entry and all activities to the francophone-Flemish event are entirely free making this a great value day out for all the family. Some shows have limited places; pick up tickets at the info stand from 13.00. 23 June 14.00-22.00, Place de l’Eglise (Berchem-Sainte-Agathe)


Les Estivales de la Woluwe has set up home in Roodebeek park again this summer with eight free classical concerts. Organised by Les Musicales asbl, it invites artists from a diverse selection of classical genres. In the event of rain, the event has tented shelter to ensure everyone can continue to enjoy the music. For the inaugural concert on Saturday, Schubert’s The Trout is performed by the festival’s artistic director and violinist Camille Babut du Marès along with four other musicians. 22 June to 17 July, Wednesday at 16.30; Saturday at 18.00, Roodebeek Park (Woluwe-Saint Lambert)

Le Procès du chien

The annual Brussels International Film Festival transforms the city into a veritable cinema hub that reflects and celebrates the city’s melting pot cultures. Among the national and international competitions, directors’ week, retrospectives and carte blanche screenings, are films that address childhood and family issues, learning, travel and superheroes. As ever, a highlight is free outdoor screenings (Beetlejuice and Ghostbusters) in the BRIFF village in Place De Brouckère. While guest of honour Christophe Honoré presents his latest film Marcello Mio, starring Chiara Mastroianni, the festival opens with Le Procès du chien (pictured) by Laetitia Dosch and closes with To the moon by Greg Berlanti. 25 June to 3 July, across central Brussels


Sit back, relax and catch an outdoor movie thanks to Bruxelles fait son cinema that brings films to larger audiences in neighbourhoods now deserted by movie theatres. It offers free screenings of quality films with a Mediterranean flavour in 15 locations. The 24th edition kicks off on 26 June with Yannick, a comedy by Quentin Dupieux and closes in the abbey of Bois de la Cambre with Strange Way of Life, the western by Pedro Almodovar. The festival is also accompanied by a friendly atmosphere and Mediterranean-themed drinks and snacks. 26 June to 16 July 21.00, 15 locations around the city 


There will be an extra buzz around the Brussels Urban Sessions sporting event this year as some of the top international BMX Freestyle teams descend on the city for pre-Olympic training. Expect daring action and cool tricks as the largest urban sports event in Belgium hosts the final major international BMX Freestyle competition before Paris. Over four days, more than 300 urban sports athletes will thrill with their freestyle, breaking, parkour, skateboarding and climbing skills. There’s also demonstrations and initiations of different action sports as well as concerts, DJ sets and street art exhibitions. 27-30 June, Josaphat Park (Schaerbeek)

The Fairy Queen Malou Van den Heuvel-p-800

Festival Musiq3 Bruxelles heralds the start of the Festivals of Wallonia, a summer-long celebration of classical music in multiple locations that is  often fused with world, jazz and electronic sounds. Highlights of the programme in the capital include the opening event, Purcell’s semi-baroque opera The Fairy Queen by Vox Luminis with soprano Gwendoline Blondeel, along with sound and visual installations by contemporary composer Bob Vershueren and a recital by recent Queen Elisabeth Music violin prize winner Joshua Brown, who was awarded the RTBF public prize. 27-30 June, Flagey (Place Sainte-Croix); Marni (Rue de Vergnies 25), Ixelles)



Celebrate midsummer at the Brussels British Community Association (BBCA)’s annual garden party on Sunday. Everyone is welcome to this charity fundraiser at the Royal Brussels Cricket Club. In addition to a friendly ‘village green’ cricket match, there’s a BBQ (provided by Stonemanor), Pimm’s bar, tea and cake stand (courtesy of St Paul’s, Tervuren) and traditional games for kids and adults. All proceeds go to BBCA’s local charities. Tickets are on sale for food and drink (cash only); bring your own folding chairs, picnic rugs. 23 June 13.00-18.00, Royal Brussels Cricket Club, Chemin des Messes 39, 1380 Lasne-Ohain


Immerse yourself in the action of the history-changing 1815 Battle of Waterloo this weekend. Visitors are invited to relive the atmosphere of many of its most famous skirmishes with some 300 reenactors participating in epic battle scenes on Saturday evening and Sunday morning. A bivouac and civilian village are also set up at Hougoumont farm. Various activities are staged at the foot of the Lion’s Mound, including cannons and artillery being fired every 30 minutes. 22-23 June, Memorial centre, Lion’s Mound, Hougoumont Farm, Braine l’Alleud (Walloon Brabant)

QE chapel

Rising classical music talents shine at the MuCH Waterloo Festival, alongside more established artists. A shortened version of Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte featuring musicians in residence at the chapel open the proceedings. A concert by Abdel Rahman El Bacha and the Quatuor Elmire is another highlight, as well as the festival’s traditional garden party. 19-23 June, Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel, Chaussée de Tervuren 445, Waterloo


Antwerp’s annual summer entertainment programme celebrates its 30th anniversary. Drop by the daily parties at the port city’s biggest graffiti space, drink cocktails under trees, catch some summer sounds, circus thrills at the Zomerbar, or head to the docks for theatre or film screenings. Look out for Architects of Air in Timisien (5-14 July) a gigantic light and castle show in the Operaplein. Everything is possible at Zomer van Antwerpen, a season-long festival of endless activities. Some things require a ticket, but most of it is free of charge. 20 June to 1 September, across Antwerp

Terra Nullius - RADIUS_Gunnar Meier b9831

Join the group of adventurers who 125 years ago boarded the Belgica for the Antarctic, got stuck, had to survive in freezing cold for a year and cut their way out of the ice to return to Antwerp. Complete with the crew’s diaries, beautiful photos and authentic parts of the expedition ship, To the Antarctic: Belgium’s polar pioneers brings this incredible adventure back to life. Also showing in this iconic museum on Antwerp’s past, present and future, with its 10-storey-high 360 degree view – are City at War, daily life in Antwerp 1940-1945; Antwerp à la Carte, the city’s relationship with food, Freight and the Anyone at Home family exhibition reflecting on what home means today and in the past. From 21 June until 3 November, Museum MAS, Hanzestedenplaats 1, Antwerp

Stroom 23

The Stroom Festival gets you out of the city and into the lovely countryside of the Scheldt Valley between Antwerp and Ghent. There are boat trips, bike rides, classical concerts and other musical performances all along river banks. One free event is a concert by Ella Michels & Wido Uvin on 24 June aboard the CO2-neutral vessels De Vruijbuiter, which will meander along tributaries. It’s scheduled for 20.30 but the tides will finalise the exact sailing times. 20 June to 6 July, across Antwerp province and East Flanders


The Amazing Asia Festival is a lively travelling festival that is already underway in towns and cities across Flanders. Enjoy an exotic experience whatever the weather in Belgium this summer. It brings together music, dance, a market, workshops, Thai massage, street food and tropical drinks designed to inspire you to travel to one of many eastern destinations. Until 15 September, across Belgium


Typh Barrow and De Dee Bridgewater headline Tournai Jazz as the festival returns with renewed energy. After a shortened version last year, the 2024 edition promises quality acts and convivial activities. Ida Nielson & The Funkbots (pictured) close the festival with Prince-inspired jazz, funk and groove. There are also kids activities, food trucks and bars set up.  25-30 June, Maison de la Culture, Esplanade du Conseil de l’Europe


From Sunlight soap to sun lamps, our obsession with health and getting fit began in the late 19th century. At Ghent’s Huis van Alijn (Museum of daily life)To your health explores our search for a long, healthy and happy life throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Detailing peculiar miracle cures, nutritional tips and sports challenges, from successful ‘digestion’ with Dr John Kellogg’s enema machines, to bodybuilding with a rubber ‘Expander’, the exhibition highlights how our views have changed over the years and the role of science, government, media and advertising in this regard. And in the medieval building’s permanent and interactive exhibition on habits, traditions and rituals, you can even smell the washing powder of the past. 22 June to 27 April, Kraanlei 65, Ghent

Applaus 2024 horizontal

Book now Bulletin readers are treated to a €5 discount when purchasing tickets for the evening concerts at the Applaus Festival in Kampenhout. While the daytime activities (11.00-17.00) are free – artisan market, fanfare concert, dance party – tickets are required for support acts Ramones Van Het Groenewoud & SomeWhere ELZ ahead of the headline performance by ‘Not the Rolling Stones Tribute Band’. From the UK, the six-piece ensemble stars the best Mick Jagger lookalike you’ll ever see! The Bulletin discount also applies for Hot Dance Night with live band Two Dots on 28 June. 23 June from 11.00, Tiendeschuurstraat 17, Kampenhout

Discover more upcoming events at The Bulletin's events page.

Photos: (main image) Fête de la musique; The Fairy Queen Malou Van den Heuvel; Terra Nullius - RADIUS Gunnar Meier; To your health ©Michiel Devijver

Written by Sarah Crew and Liz Newmark