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What’s on this week: 5-11 July

11:52 04/07/2019
Our top picks of events and activities in and around Brussels

The annual Bruxelles fait son Cinéma starts this week, with open-air film screenings in squares, parks and other spots. There’s a stop in nearly every Brussels municipality. This weekend, for instance, you can catch Belgian film La part sauvage in the garden of the Château de Rivieren in Ganshoren. On Wednesday, see the Israeli film that brought home the Silver Lion from Venice, Foxtrot, in Watermael-Boitsort’s Place Gilson. All the movies are from the last couple of years and all are shown in their original language with French subtitles. 5-19 July, across Brussels

Hate ’em or love ’em, scooters are here to stay. If you excel at dodging fire hydrants and pedestrians, sign up for the Mini FastMile, which lets you show off your skills on scooters – or any other mobility machine. If you’re low on skill, come out to watch; Mini FastMile is free. 7 July 12.00-16.00, SeeU, Rue Fritz Toussaint 8 (Ixelles)

Flemish Community Day is 11 July, and that means Brussel Danst. The annual day recognising the Battle of the Golden Spurs – the 14th-century clash between the French cavalry and civil forces from the County of Flanders, which the county won handily – is celebrated in the capital with an urban Dance Battle, free concerts, guided bike and walking tours and all kinds of activities at Flemish institutions like Beursschouwburg and KVS. 10-11 July, across Brussels


Bozar’s big summer exhibition is here. Incarnations: African Art as Philosophy looks at the multiple histories, protests and heritage of a giant continent through its art objects. How have slave routes, colonialism, independence movements effected different parts of Africa and its artists and resulting works? The vast exhibition pairs contemporary and classical art for a fascinating look at art as a living philosophy. We have Congolese collector Sindika Dokolo to thank for Incarnations, which was put together from his 3,000-piece collection. Until 6 October, Bozar, Rue Ravenstein 23

Sundays are rife with yoga as Yoga in the Park takes to both the Ixelles ponds and Cinquantenaire. As long as it’s at least 17 degrees and not raining, the yogis will be there to welcome you. Bring your own mat.

Many activities at club/bar/fab lab/concert hall/art space Recyclart are closed temporarily for the summer months, but they are replaced by the chill venue’s Holidays. Stop by any Thursday or Friday evening for drinks, tattoos, workshops, exhibitions and sweet summer camaraderie. Until 1 August, Rue de Manchester 13 (Molenbeek)

L’éducation de Rita

It’s the 20th anniversary edition of Festival Bruxellons!, the French-language theatre festival at the gorgeous Karreveld Castle. To celebrate, a brand new translation of My Fair Lady has been produced. The spectacle with 40 actors opens the festival, but don’t worry if you can’t make it; it is performed many times. With multiple stages across the historical site, Bruxellons! features many other comedies and dramas, as well as musicals puppet shows and monologues. An on-site buffet awaits pre-show visitors. 11 July to 14 September, Karreveld Castle, Avenue Jean de la Hoese 32 (Molenbeek)

British cycling gear brand Rapha is organising Pop-Up Weekly Rides in Brussels this month, in celebration of the Grand Départ. Different rides for different skill levels, including a before-breakfast jaunt and a women’s only option. Until 13 July, across Brussels

British writer/director Harry Wootliff will be at Bozar this week for the Belgian premiere of her debut feature Only You. While its subject matter – holding together a new relationship while struggling to get pregnant – will appeal to some, the likeable co-stars Josh O’Connor (God's Own Country, The Durrells) and Laia Costa (Life Itself, Victoria) should fill the rest of the seats. 9 July 20.00, Rue Ravenstein 23

The expat-run Friskis&Svettis fitness club is offering free outdoor sessions this summer. All fitness levels are welcome for cardio workouts, running, yoga and more. Until 31 August, Parc Josaphat and Parc du Cinquantenaire

Fireworks festival


Thousands line the beach and promenade in Ostend for the annual Fireworks Festival. Eight Belgian fireworks manufacturers compete for the juried prizes as well as the spectator prize. The dazzling displays take place every Monday, with one Sunday added to the agenda and a special Thursday night 500 metres down the central beach in the Mariakerke district. Since it needs to be dark, it’s rather a late-night affair, with most displays starting at 23.00 and lasting about 30 minutes. Party-like atmosphere, however, guaranteed. 8 July-15 August

Cactus is one of Belgium’s most laid-back, family friendly summer music festivals. It’s held in the lovely Minnewater Park in Bruges, a hop and a skip from the train station. Two of the three days are already sold out, but you can still catch acts like Band of Horses, Trixie Whitley and dEUS on Sunday. 5-7 July, Minnewater Park, Minnewater & Arsenaalstraat, Bruges

Photos: Fait son Cinema/©Christophe Timmermans; Incarnations/‘Europa’ by Nandipha Mntambo (detail), 2008, courtesy of Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town; Bruxellons/L’éducation de Rita, courtesy festival; Fireworks/courtesy Visit Ostend

Written by Lisa Bradshaw