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What’s on this week: 21-28 July

Summer Pop Brussels City Eric Danhier
17:09 20/07/2022
Enjoy Belgium’s holiday vibe as summer activities ring out around the country

Welcome to the third edition of Summer Pop: three consecutive weekends of free cultural, sporting and artistic activities in different neighbourhoods around the city. First up is Neder-Over-Hembeek (22-24 July), followed by Laeken (29-31 July) and Haren (5-7 August). Each of the pop-up villages offers interactive events and entertainment for all ages, including theatre, dance, concerts, face painting, football matches, boxing and martial arts demonstrations. There’s also a kids corner with books, games and colouring activities. 22 July to 7 August, Neder-Over-Hembeek, Laeken, Haren

Bozar BAP Outside Performance CLessire

With many federal buildings in the capital opening their doors for the country’s national holiday on Thursday, Bozar offers free access to its exhibitions before closing for its summer break. The arts centre’s summer photo special is Vivian Maier. The Self-Portrait and its Double, a rare opportunity to step into the singular world of this street photographer who remained in the shadows throughout her life. Belgian visual artist Els Dietvorst conducts a guided tour at 15.00 of her own exhibition This is what you came for, both at Bozar (outside performance, pictured) and its second location, La Centrale for Contemporary Art. 21 July, Bozar, Rue Ravenstein 23

Exhibition Tutankhamun

Tutankhamun: his tomb and his treasures is a new golden exhibition showing off the boy pharaoh’s astonishing riches. This new version of a show that was staged in Brussels 11 years ago, boasts new interactive exhibits of the reconstructed burial chamber. The arrival in Belgium marks the centenary of the tomb’s discovery and the bicentenary of the deciphering of the Rosetta Stone in 1822 by Jean-François Champollion. Tour & Taxis, Avenue du Port 86

Waffle (c)Courtesy Cabinet Pascal Smet

Have you seen the ‘biggest waffle in the world’? Head over to the sport court on Jacques Franck Square in Saint-Gilles – a stone’s throw from Porte de Hal and, hence, the Foire du Midi – for a look at the giant waffle painted onto the court. It comes complete with dessert plate and whipped cream, with a 3D effect that makes it all the more fun. Warning: Playing football over it takes some getting used to! The temporary intervention is part of Playcation, a series of activities across Brussels to make the municipality conducive to outdoor play this summer.

Chef Orlando picture

Experience the colour and flavours of the tropics in Caribbean Days, a new series of cultural and business events promoting the islands. One highlight is the Caribbean Culinary Week at Sofitel Brussels Europe hotel. British-based Saint Lucian chef Orlando will be dishing up some of the finest Caribbean cuisine in a four-course gourmet menu. Meanwhile, trade workshops showcase premium cocoa, coffee, rum and cigars, all organised by the Caribbean Chamber of Commerce in Europe. 25-31 July, Sofitel Brussels Europe, Place Jourdan (Etterbeek)

K Classic Genius Concert

Discover some of Korea’s rising talents in this special K Classic Genius Concert at the Korean Cultural Center. It features prize-winning musicians from the Journal of Music Competition, a publication promoting Korean classical music (final tickets available). 29 July, 20.00, 4 Rue de la Régence


Théâtre Royal Galeries

This summer theatrical tour is a rare opportunity to glimpse behind the walls of castles and other historic buildings around the south of the country. For the 2022 edition of Tournée au Châteaux by Théâtre royal des Galéries, discover the burlesque and subversive comedy Musée haut, Musée bas by Jean-Michel Ribes. The tour kicks off at the Musée de Groesbeek de Croix in Namur on 20 and 21 July. Brussels performances include Château du Karreveld on 7 August and Wolubilis on 11 August. Until 2 September, multiple venues in Wallonia and Brussels


Walloon favourite Les Francofolies de Spa may be dedicated to French culture, but you’ll also hear English language lyrics from artists performing on stages dotted around the picturesque spa town. Topping the bill are MC Solaar, Quentin Mosimann, Calogero, Mustii, Typh Barrow, Kid Noize, Grand Corps Malade and Coeur de Pirate. 20-23 July, Spa (Liège province)

Pol Bury_c-caracascom

Prolific sculptor Pol Bury was once one of Belgium’s favourite public artists, his hydraulic-driven works taking pride of place in many a city square and fountain. For the kinetic artist’s centenary year, his home town of La Louvière honours its famous son with a year-long programme of participative and playful events, from exhibitions and talks to workshops and cycle tours. Pol Bury – 100 ans shows how the internationally-renowned artist has left his mark on the former coalmining region, focusing on his relationship with industry. Until 31 December, La Louvière (Hainaut province)

Tall Ships Race (c)Courtesy City of Antwerp

For the first time in six years, the Tall Ships Race pulls into Antwerp harbour. The race takes place in European waters every year, a non-profit initiative to train young people to operate sailing ships. These classic vessels – bringing to mind ancient mariners and exotic coves – open up to visitors amid a three-day festival. Besides tours of the ships – or views from land, water and air – there are performances, parades, food stands and fireworks. It coincides with the annual Bollekesfeest, a music festival and celebration of local products (like the ‘Bolleke’, Antwerp’s pet name for city brew De Koninck). 22-25 July, across central Antwerp

M-idzomer (c)courtesy M Museum

Music festival M-idzomer has a great line-up of local and international pop, rock and experimental sounds. Check out American alt-rock trio Buffalo Tom or their ambient comrades Son Lux, and don’t miss Belgian singer Sylvie Kreusch, whose been wowing the festival crowds this summer with her catchy, dreamy – occasionally screamy – pop melodies. Mid-Zomer is part of Leuven’s Groot Verlof summer programme, which also includes free music festival Half Oogst, the planting of the Meyboom and open-air cinema. Mid-Zomer: 28-30 July, Leopold Vanderkelenstraat 28, Leuven

In Flanders Fields

In January 2015, an injured Sikh from the Indian Army Corps was convalescing inside the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, transformed into a hospital for the duration of the war. He wrote home to his family: “If there is a paradise on earth, then this is it, then this is it, then this is it.” Contemporary Indian artist Baptist Coelho has given his new installation the same name and will continue to alter and transform it throughout his residency at the famous war museum In Flanders Fields in Ypres. Until 31 December, Grote Markt 34, Ypres

TRAIN_CMJN_1 Kinshasa

Outdoor film screenings in the grounds of a chateau vineyard, that’s the tempting offer of Bioul National, a new festival with a national holiday theme in the Mosane valley. Wittily subtitled Drève-Vigne au château, the two-day event by the natural Belgian wine producer serves up a trilogy of sunset screenings showing the reality of life on the streets of the DRC capital. On the programme are Belgian Marc-Henri Wajnberg’s Kinshasa Now, Kinshasa Kids (pictured) and I am chance. A Congolese rumba DJ set, BBQ and wines from the vineyard complete the festivities. 21 & 22 July, doors open 19.00, Place Vaxelaire 1, Bioul (Namur province)

Roméo et Juliette

Extended dates Shakespeare classic Roméo et Juliette at Villers Abbey in Walloon Brabant is an atmospheric outdoor spectacle in the romantic ruins of the Cistercian abbey. The famous love story by the English bard was chosen to celebrate the seasonal performance’s renaissance after two years of coronavirus disruption. Until 13 August 21.00, Rue de l’Abbaye 55, Villers-la-Ville

Written by Sarah Crew and Lisa Bradshaw