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What’s on this week: 30 August to 5 September

12:20 29/08/2019
Our top picks of events and activities in and around Brussels

Join thousands of fellow Bruxellois for The Color Run, the 5k that sees everyone coated in colourful powder by the end. You can buy powder to toss on fellow runners, but there are plenty of volunteers along the route with their own colour pouches making sure everyone looks the part. All runners get a starter pack with a while T-shirt, as well as a finisher pack, which includes a colour pouch. That’s to use at the ensuing Color Festival. You can register online up until Friday or on site on Saturday (though it costs a wee bit extra). Kids are welcome, and no worries – the powder is food grade corn starch, so doesn’t hurt eyes, skin or anything else. 31 August from 13.30, Tour & Taxis, Avenue du Port 86

So vast is the programme, there’s something to interest pretty much everyone at Design September. Along with exhibitions dedicated to famous designers of furniture, objects both decorative and functional and everything else that makes up the interior spaces of our lives, there are a wealth of markets. A new Contemporary Design Market, for instance, will launch limited editions of all kinds of household items. Wouldn’t it be nice to buy something that all your friends don’t recognise from Ikea? 5-30 September, across Brussels

The National Bank of Belgium has put part of its private collection of contemporary art on view for the first time, in partnership with Germany’s national bank. The exhibition, Building a Dialogue, is free, and top artists from both countries are represented, including Anselm Kiefer, Michaël Matthys and Ann-Veronica Janssens. Until 15 September, Boulevard de Berlaimont 3

Martha Da’ro

Wind down your summer festival season with the joyful, mellow Forest Sounds Festival. The annual free event features concerts of world music, circus acts and other performers, craft workshops and, naturally, food trucks. Names to look out for on stage are Yin Yin, a Dutch foursome who mix South East Asian folk with discofunk; Brussels collective Yôkaï, offering jazz and rock infused with African beats and Belgian hip-hopper Martha Da’ro (pictured), a name you might remember when it became a household word following phenomenal performance in the movie Black. 31 August 13.00-1.00, Parc de Forest, Avenue Reine Marie-Henriette

 Eat! Brussels Drink! Bordeaux brings the best of the wine region to the capital for a four-day festival stuffed with fun things to do (and consume). Witness the prawn croquette competition, take a mixology master class and taste more wines than you can shake a stick at, all in the midst of Brussels’ fine-dining scene. One of the most popular foodie events of the year. 5-8 September, Brussels Park, Rue Royale & Rue de la Loi

 United Music of Brussels was launched three years ago following the terrorist attacks to get people into the streets and exploring parts of the city they didn’t know. Free concerts take place on streets and in squares but also in unexpected spots visitors must seek out. Friendly in every way, including for families. 7 September, across Brussels

Brussels Gallery Weekend

Get past your galleryphobia at Brussels Gallery Weekend, a four-day event to kick-off the new arts season. Participating galleries are ready for art collectors as well as the uninitiated, introducing visitors to their artists and answering any questions you have about prices and what kind of works are right for you. The event centre at the Vanderborght Building also hosts an exhibition, activities and a bar. Access to everything is free, including a shuttle service to get you from one neighbourhood to another. 5-8 September, across Brussels

Critical Mass, which uses “only kisses and scientific arguments to solve conflicts”, takes to the streets of Brussels on the last Friday of every month for its collective bike ride. The ride/party lasts about an hour, but the friends you make along the way might last much longer. 30 August 18.00, Porte de Namur

The Transforma co-working space in Evere sponsors all kinds of free talks for members and non-members alike. Many of them are in English, like the next one: Past, Present and Future of AI, delivered by Belgian computer scientist Deevid De Meyer, co-founder of Brainjar. 5 September 19.00-20.00, Avenue Jules Bordet 13

Book now: Margaret Atwood Live from London  You know you are a popular person when an interview carried out with you in the National Theatre in London is broadcast live to 100 cities around the globe. While Margaret Atwood is certainly famous enough to be given the honour, we suspect it’s the subject that will sell the most tickets: The presentation of her new book The Testaments, a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale (finally!) 10 September 20.30, Cinema Palace, Boulevard Anspach 85

Design on Air at Grand-Hornu


What’s invisible, intangible and immaterial yet omnipresent and vital to life on earth? Air. The Design on Air exhibition at Grand-Hornu’s space for innovation and design explores the relationships between design and air, from inflatable materials to blowing as a creative or formative technique. There are also philosophical and scientific angles: Is clean air a threatened resource in the Anthropocene age? Until 13 October, CID, Grand-Hornu, Rue Sainte-Louise 82, Boussu (Hainaut)

The annual Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix is a great favourite of both local and international drivers and fans. The three-day event at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps showcases one of the world’s toughest racetracks against a backdrop of Ardennes’ hills and forests. A true Belgian tradition. 30 August to 1 September, Route du Circuit 38, Stavelot

Photos: Colour Run courtesy event, Brussels Gallery Weekend ©, Design on Air ©DB Creation/Stoz Design/CID, Forest Sounds courtesy event

Written by Lisa Bradshaw