Search form

menu menu
  • Daily & Weekly newsletters
  • Buy & download The Bulletin
  • Comment on our articles

What’s on this week: 28 April to 4 May

12:45 27/04/2023
New exhibitions, electronic and jazz music, avant-garde arts and short film screenings… here’s our round-up of events to see you through the long weekend and beyond!

Belgian fashion icon Diane von Fürstenburg designed the wrap dress exactly 50 years ago. She wanted something that would look good on different kinds of bodies and actually be comfortable for women to move around in regardless of what they were up to. Fashion that average women want and need still feels like a revelation, and Brussels’ Fashion & Lace Museum is celebrating the wrap and its maker in Diane von Fürstenburg: Woman Before Fashion. It’s a fitting tribute from the designer’s hometown. Until 7 January, Rue de la Violette 12

#005 Dandini, Vincenzo

A treasure trove of 17th century paintings awaits visitors to Bozar’s new exhibitions Baroque in Florence. This lesser-known period when a more restrained style flourished in the Italian city is a revelation, while the works – on display in Belgium for the first time – are a sublime display of poetic art. The majority belong to the most important private collection of Florentine Baroque works outside of Italy, belonging to the Haukohl family. They are complemented by a selection from the MNAHA (Luxembourg). Until 21 July, Rue Ravenstein 23

Don't call it art brut, (c)Martha GRÜNENWALDT, coll. Art et marges musée

According to the man who coined the term art brut, we need to change the name. In English it is known as outsider art, artworks created outside of the formal art world and without any artistic training. Originally applied largely to patients in psychiatric hospitals, it is now used in a broader sense, sometimes also referring to folk art. The Art et Marges museum hosts the year-long revolving exhibition Don’t Call It Art Brut in which they showcase different parts of their collection to ask the question: What is art brut and should we even continue with such designations of art? Until 21 April 2024, Rue Haute 314

Jolie Ngemi (c)Anouk Mapou

Women practicing herbal medicine became known as “witchcraft” and is still taboo in many parts of Africa. Remedy, witchcraft and medicine is all tied to the word Nkisi in Lingala, dancer Jolie Ngemi’s mother tongue. It has come to be applied to people who are successful in one way or another. They must have been touched by Nkisi – a negative connotation that has also been applied to Ngemi herself. The concept is at the heart of her solo dance piece of the same name. It’s at De Kriekelaar, which puts on a party at the Saturday performance. 29-30 April, Rue Gallait 76 (Schaerbeek)

Brussels short film festival

A father in southern China is convinced his 14-year-old daughter has received a love letter and wants nothing more than to confirm this. But there’s a problem: He is Uyghur and cannot read the letter himself. His day spent trying to get around this language barrier is intertwined with the experiences of ethnic minorities in general, and it is all consolidated into 16 minutes. That’s the beauty of the short film: The best ones pack an emotional wallop in record time, as evidenced at the Brussels Short Film Festival. Catch Southern Afternoon in the International Competition, just one of many screenings that show several short films together. 26 April to 6 May, across Brussels


If you enjoy classical music and would like to help the Ukrainian people, don’t miss this concert in support of the war-torn country by the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra and EU Lawyers for Ukraine. The programme features Chopin’s piano concerto no 1 and Beethoven’s symphony no 7. Guest pianist is Ukrainian Dmytro Sukhovienko (pictured), now resident in Belgium. 4 May 20.00, Royal Brussels Conservatoire, 30 Rue de la Regence


Spring is upon us and so is the long-awaited second edition of the Hangar Festival - the first outdoor electronic music festival of the year. Hangar is thinking big this year with increased capacity in the canalside former industrial warehouse and an impressive international line-up topped by Helena Hauff, Young Marco and Roni. Meanwhile, Sunday’s main stage programme is exclusively all-female. With more than 80% of available tickets already sold, there’s no doubt that this year’s edition is set to be more popular than ever. 29 & 30 April, Quai de Heembeek (Laeken) 

handsup festival brussels

It’s safe to say that the upcoming festival Hands Up at Beursschouwburg is a melting pot of creativity and culture. Numerous events such as dance battles, gaming zones, a short film screening and jam sessions fill the three-day programme. In addition, every evening will showcase different acts such as Aszul and June Savana, performing concerts and DJ sets. Tickets range from €7 to €15 depending on the event. 27-29 April, Beursschouwburg, Rue August Orts 20-28


Celebrate International Jazz Day on 30 April thanks to a diverse programme of concerts and events in Brussels and across Belgium in honour of the global event founded by Unesco and Herbie Hancock in 2011. The Brussels Jazz Orchestra (BJO) will share its talent and expertise with three big bands from around Belgium in the Flemish Brabant town of Dworp. They in turn will perform a closing concert, showcasing everything they’ve learned from the BJO. Jazz organisations such as Les Lundis D’hortense are also staging various musical events including a concert by Aishinka at Jazz Station in the capital. 30 April, multiple locations in Brussels and across Belgium

Waterbus Rivertours

Brussels’ waterbus launches its new season on 1 May, running a service along the canal for passengers from Sainctelette to Vilvoorde. With the trip taking around one hour and including five stops, it’s popular with commuters and tourists as well as cyclists who can take their bikes on to the boat and cycle back. In 2022, the service run by Rivertours was used by more than 45,000 passengers. At weekends, the company also offers themed trips and cruises. Tickets from €3.50. Monday to Friday, 1 May to 30 June & 14 August to 31 October; daily 1 July to 13 August, Quai des Péniches (Brussels) and Steenkaai (Vilvoorde)


It's the second edition of sustainable village Be-Here‘s Brussels Artisan Markets (BAM), located near Tour & Taxis. Gathering around 40 local producers and creators, discover original and locally-sourced jewellery, illustrations, textiles, decoration and cosmetics as well as a series of workshops. The village’s regular stores are also open for the occasion, including sellers of delicious food and drinks such as La Source brewery, Quent on a Faim traiteur, Maison des Tartes, an organic market and cocktails by Matunda and Fermenthings. Little ones will be entertained by a bunch of fun activities. 29 April 12.00-18.00, Rue Dieudonné Lefèvre (Laeken)

Coronation Quiz PHOTO 01

Are you good at trivia and would like to hang out with other English-speaking women over a cuppa? The Brussels Women’s Club invites you to join its Celebration of Kings Quiz, which will be all about kings in various shapes and forms - animal, mythical and in the arts. Non-members are welcome in teams of four. The fee is €48 per team and includes tea, coffee and cakes served at half-time. All proceeds go to the BWC Charities. 4 May, 14.00-16.00, Rue au Bois 509 (Woluwe-Saint-Pierre)


2023_04_18_Man Ray1040

Man Ray could produce pretty much any genre of art you like, but he was best known for his photography, and in particular his portraiture and fashion shoots. Antwerp’s fashion museum’s Man Ray and Fashion looks at the American photographer’s vast influence – on the fashion world itself, on its well-heeled customers and on casual observers of fashion advertising and celebrity media. Until 13 August, Nationalestraat 28, Antwerp

Grace Ndiritu, photo by Dirk Pauwels

The title of Grace Ndiritu’s exhibition says it all: Healing The Museum is her attempt to introduce spirituality, community and social issues into spaces that all too often have catered to the elite. The multi-disciplinary British-Kenyan artist reimagines architectural space in a project she calls The Spiritual Overlay and peppers it with themes such as ecology, blackness, feminism and indigenous peoples. Until 10 September, Smak, Jan Hoetplein 1, Ghent

Festival des Plantes

The popular spring event Festival des Plantes returns under a new name, Festival du Jardin, at Château de Beez. Boasting English-style gardens, the Namur stately home is conveniently located close to the E411 motorway. It gathers some 70 exhibitors selling plants, shrubs, garden tools and decorative objects. Food and refreshments are also available. Entrance €7, free for under 12s. Namur 29 & 30 April 10.00-18.00, Avenue du Château de Beez 1, Namur


From the great wall of China to the Berlin wall and the sound barrier, enclosures have been created since the beginning of mankind, whether for protection, privacy, psychological or botanical reasons. Liège’s Guillemins train station welcomes the new event exhibition Extra Muros, beyond the walls, which explores emblematic walls and the concept in various forms. With objects and artworks from private collections, Belgian and international institutions and the Louvre museum, it offers a rich and diverse study into a universal and timeless theme. Visitors can also wander around the awe-inspiring station, designed by Santiago Calatrava and currently featuring an art installation in its spaceship-like roof by French artists Daniel Buren. Until 1 October, Guillemins train station, Liège

United Autosports

The legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit is not only home to the Belgian Grand Prix. With it 19 corners and sweeping high-speed elevation changes, the track is beloved by fans and drivers alike, and stages high-octane races throughout the year. This weekend it’s the turn of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The third round of the TotalEnergies 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamp promises plenty of motorsport excitement and is the best form guide to the tour’s following event, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. United Autosports are currently leading the championship, which also features new teams from Ferrari, Porsche and Cadillac. Day tickets and weekend tickets are available. 27-29 April, Spa-Francorchamps circuit, Route du Circuit 55, Francorchamps (Liège province)

Photos: (main image) Diane von Furstenberg (c)Fashion & Lace Museum, photo by CE Laurent; Vincenzo Dandini, Juno, courtesy The Haukohl Family Collection; Don't call it art brut, (c)Martha GRÜNENWALDT, coll. Art et marges musée; Jolie Ngemi (c)Anouk Mapou. Photo: Tom Lucas; Aishinka-2020-c-Justine-Guerriat; Man Ray (c)MoMu; Grace Ndiritu, photo by Dirk Pauwels; View-of-the-show-extra-muros-14-c-europa-expo-c-photo-g-bugni; United Autosports

Written by Sarah Crew, Lisa Bradshaw, Damien Maguire, Louis Kernoa-Pascoe