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What’s on this week: 28 June to 4 July

16:13 27/06/2019
Our top picks of events and activities in and around Brussels

Taste, hear and see Hungary right here in Brussels during the HUNGAstRY cultural and artisanal festival. It’s got just everything, from massive amounts of food, folk dancing and kids’ activities to live music of jazz, lounge, rockabilly, pop and electric (including Jumping Matt & His Combo, pictured). Hosted by the Hungarian embassy in Brussels, this free event might just covince you to book a flight to Budapest. 29-30 June 10.00-22.00, Parc du Cinquantenaire

The Festival de Minimes, the popular series of free lunchtime classical concerts held at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts, launches this week under the new name Musicorum. This is a blessing, as it was continully mixed up with the Festival Midis Minimes lunchtime concert series at the Conservatory. As for that festival, it launchs this week, too. Both run until 31 August.

As if it wasn’t hot enough, Flagey brings Cannes to Brussels this week. A selection from last month’s Quinzaine des Réalisateurs, or Directors’ Fortnight, section of the city’s famous film festival will screen, including the heavily acclaimed The Lighthouse, a horror film starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson. 1-7 July, Flagey, Place Sainte-Croix (Ixelles)

Brussels Grand Depart

The Tour de France’s Grand Départ takes place in the capital for the first time since 1958. It was chosen for a reason: this year is the 50th anniversary of legendary Belgian cyclist Eddy Merckx’s first Tour victory (there would be four more). It’s also the 100th anniversary of the Yellow Jersey – which Merckx, incidentally, wore 111 times, still an all-time record. The Week of the Grand Départ includes a Fan Park at De Brouckère, the introduction of the teams in Grand Place, the final of the fun – but extraordinarily competitive – Eddy Merckx board game championships and the first two stages of the 106th edition of the world’s most famous cycle race. 4-7 July, across Brussels

Brussels is nothing if not diverse, so in the face of the onslaught of rock, pop and world music festivals, one appeals because it is none of those: Festival Midsummer Mozartiade is a celebration of Mozart’s masterpieces. It opens this week with a new production of Die Entführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio), considered Germany’s first great opera. The festival also includes free, open-air concerts. 30 June to 7 July, Théâtre & Place des Martyrs

Bask in the post-punk noise of The Los Angeles foursome Feels at Botanique. They’re second album, Post Earth, met with nothing but praise when it appeared last year. Still loud but more structured, both the album and the band leave you wanting more. 29 June 20.00,  Botanique, Rue Royale 236 (Saint-Josse)

12th Time Zone

Russia is the largest nation in the world, stretching from Kaliningrad and the Baltic Sea in the west to Vladivostok and the Pacific Ocean in the east. From one coast to the other, there are 11 time zones. Bozar invites visitors to discover its fictitious 12th time zone – that of contemporary art. Curators visited 12 lesser-known cities along the Trans-Siberian railway to explore the local art scene, far from the traditional power bases of Russian culture. One artist or collective per city was chosen to be part of this ‘art report’, a look at the multi-faceted array of art across the sprawling Russian landscape. 28 June to 8 September, Bozar, Rue Ravenstein 23

Crossroads is an electronic alternative to the weekend’s big music festival, Couleur Café. The day-long party thrown by the Fuse nightclub features DJs and electro musicians under the graffiti-covered overpass at Parc des Etangs. “Guaranteed no fireworks.” You gotta love Fuse. 30 July 12.00-22.00, Avenue Marius Renard (Anderlecht)

Stop by the Horta Gallery on Sunday for Vintage per Kilo to pick up some carefully vetted fashion bargains. As the name suggets, a kilogram of clothes will cost you €18, but you don’t have to actually buy a kilo. If a blouse weighs 100 grams, you pay €1.80. See? Rue du Marché aux Herbes 116

Every year an artist from the country that holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union is invited to stage a site-specific exhibition in the Tournay-Solvay Park. Finnish artist Anatti Laitinen has created a fantastic installation, with bits of a tree held together with metal poles seemingly floating in the landscape. There are other works on site, and a related exhibition of the artist’s photographs takes place at La Patinoire Royale. Park: 4 July to 29 September, Tournay-Solvay Park, Chaussée de la Hulpe 199 (Watermael-Boitsfort). La Patinoire: 6-27 July, Rue Veydt 15 (Ixelles)

Gent Jazz Festival


OK, Sting is sold out, but there are still tickets left to most of the other eight days of the Gent Jazz Festival. It’s a crossover music fest, so you’ll see jazz greats on the bill, like Diana Krall and Gregory Porter, alongside names like Joan Baez and Cowboy Junkies, whose music has always been infused with jazzy rythyms. Mulatu Astatke, the godfather of Ethiopian jazz, is not to be missed, but the festival’s apex might be the last day, when 14 formations of musicians play five hours of bagatelles by New York avant-garde composer John Zorn. 28 June to 9 July, De Bijloke, Godshuizenlaan, Ghent

Liége solidifies its rep as Wallonia’s coolest city with the electro-rock music festival Les Ardentes headlined by one of the best acts on any festival bill this summer: The Black Eyed Peas. You’ll also see French rapper Booba, American rapper Juice Wrld, Belgium’s own Roméo Elvis, and, oh, about 100 more musicians, bands and DJs. Tell mum not to wait up. 4-7 July, Coronmeuse (Liège)

Photo Grand Depart (detail): Eric Danhier

Written by Lisa Bradshaw and Christophe Verbiest