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What’s on this week: 5 to 11 July

12:27 04/07/2024
Check out our picks for holiday activities and festival fun around the country...

An enchanting festival with an exciting international line-up, Brosella is one of Brussels’ most convivial and family-friendly live music events. Set in the shadow of the iconic Atomium, this immersive experience offers a diverse mix of urban ethno (Saturday) and jazz (Sunday). Oumou Sangaré, Lisa O’Niell, Kara Jackson, Ntoumos and Locas de Amor perform world music, while the jazz component is provided by TaxiWars, John Ghost, DALVA, and Griboujazz, among others. DJ sets, a kids village, workshops and local and sustainable food all add to the festival vibe. Ticketing is based on the ‘pay-what-you-can’ system with two day tickets at a suggested €35. 6-7 July, Osseghem Park, AtomiumHuang

Summer classical music stalwart Midis-Minimes returns for its weekly serving of short lunchtime concerts at affordable prices (€6). Among the offerings this year are violinists and sisters Sylvia and Stéphanie Huang (19.07, pictured), accordionist Anne Niepold and the Quator Alfama (08.08), 18th century English music from Consort Songs (13.08) and the Etesiane Orchestra, conducted by Gabriel Hollander, which closes the festival with a musical flourish. Until 31 August, Royal Conservatory and Notre-Dame des Victoires au Sablon, Brussels


In addition to its habitual screenings, the Palace cinema presents the special summer programme Sun Screens. Divided into five categories: Must See, Unreleased, Classics, Events and Reruns, the selection explores two themes: seaside resorts and dystopian worlds. See Animal by Sofia Exarchou, How to Have Sex by Molly Manning Walker and Parasol by Valery Rosier, along with many other titles. The festival kicks off on Friday with a themed evening around the cult 1999 film Matrix. 5 July to 18 August, Boulevard d’Anspach 85

concert-1 vaux

Vaux-Hall Summer bathes in music this Friday evening as Da Bluefunk District presents: Hybrid Souls. The world music fusion DJ sets are followed by a Bal Maské on Saturday evening with dance and electric sounds along with a mask-making workshop. The free cultural programme in Brussels Park encompasses dance, music, cabaret, cinema and games. Another upcoming highlight is the annual Summer Ball on 10 July, inviting seniors and dance fans of all ages to participate (15.30-22.30). Until 25 August, Thursday to Sunday, Rue de la Loi 3, Brussels Park


Brussels’ annual medieval extravaganza Ommegang wraps up on Friday with its final re-enactment of Charles V’s entry into Brussels in 1549. The show in the Grand Place comes complete with 1,400 costumed performers and of course the emperor himself. Final ticket are available for a grandstand place to enjoy the show or join the throngs for the procession and soak up some of the atmosphere of the recreation of life in the Middle Ages along with some outstanding equestrian, juggling and stilt-walking displays. 5 July, Grand Place


Brussels’ summer roller parade is scheduled to run this Friday evening. Check out the summer event’s agenda for full details and any last-minute updates. The free parades, accompanied by music, are for rollerblades, bikes, longboards, skateboard and electric bikes. Beginner and advanced riders welcome. Roller Parade also runs in Hasselt, Leuven and Namur. Until 13 September, Place Poelaert

Full Circle

Full Circle boast a full programme of events before taking a break from 21 July to 18 August. The professional and social club hosts a Singles’ Apero and live band night (Salomé David, Sacha Camus & Rafael Roy Campoamor) as well as the closing party for its art exhibition The Glint on Saturday evening. 6 July from 19.00, Full Circle House, Chaussée de Vleurgat 89 (Ixelles)

Restless steps up its actions ahead of the 31 July deadline for internationals to register to vote in the municipal elections. Next up is a Community Night at Full Circle House featuring an open mic for inspiring community members and the public to voice their concerns, opinions and experience (registration required). Participants are also invited to join a screening of the Euro 2024 semi-final in the bar from 21.00. 9 July 19.00 (doors 18.30), Chaussée de Vleurgat 89 (Ixelles)


Bursting back onto the capital’s summer cultural scene with some 25 shows is the annual Bruxellons! festival. Proudly presenting some of the best French-language productions of the past season, its big draw is a French-language version of the new musical comedy Come from Away. The show, complete with a live orchestra, runs from 13 July to 30 August. Other highlights in the eclectic programme include Yasmine Reza’s Le Dieu du carnageLadies Night by Anthony McCarten, Steven Sinclair and Jacques Collard, as well as circus and comedy. The festival, now in its 26th year, is a city summer favourite, offering a perfect evening out, complete with a pre-show buffet to enjoy in a wonderful water-side setting. 10 July to 24 September, Château du Karreveld, Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, Brussels


More than 1,000 street, neighbourhood and local initiatives are revving up to celebrate Flemish Community Day on 11 July. Events across Flanders and Brussels mark the regional holiday which commemorates the famous 1302 Battle of the Golden Spurs victory and symbol of Flemish independence. As well as a live music show in Antwerp’s Grote Markt, Brussel Danst includes a sing-along on the Grand Place, performances and exhibitions in Brussels parliament, Bruzz live and walks and bike rides from the Bourse and dance battles and workshops at AB. Everything is free, but some events require registration (In Dutch). 11 July, across Brussels and Flanders


The Nine women’s club raises a glass to the Flemish community day in a special cocktail evening. It invites members and non-members to join in the celebration of Flemish culture, dress up for the occasion with a touch of yellow and a hint of pink for women and also participate in a prize raffle. 11 July 19.00-22.00, Rue Archimède 69



If your favourite part of summer festivals is the alfresco street food, we have good news for you. Chefs on Wheels is a dedicated food truck festival that travels around towns in Flanders. Well, there’s music, too, but its secondary compared to the grazing that is at the heart of this nomadic event. You’ll find everything here, from Asian to Mexican to Belgian frites. For info, it drops into Tervuren from 19 to 21 July.  5 July to 29 September, across Flanders


Antwerp’s new digital event centre Dive opens with the Klimt Immersive Experience, where the Austrian master symbolist’s work comes to life through 360° projections. Visitors are enveloped in a fully digital and animated display of Klimt’s work and can also explore galleries detailing his life, technique and influence. A virtual reality journey reveals the inspiration behind eight of his iconic works. Dive will host regular events utilising imaginative digital installations and is just a few minutes’ walk from Central Station. Until 19 August, Carnotstraat 90, Antwerp


Grab tickets now to see your favourite artists at the excellent OLT Rivierenhof concert series. The open-air amphitheatre at Rivierenhof park is a fantastic summer spot to hear American punk rock duo Sleater-Kinney, old-is-new-again Belgian funk band Think of One and the sublime spoken word vocals of Kae Tempest. That’s just a smattering of the enticing programme. Until 8 September, Turnhoutsebaan 246, Deurne (Antwerp)


A highlight of Flanders’ summer exhibition season is not in one of the much-touted art cities but in little Bornem in Antwerp province. The count of Bornem – John de Marnix de Sainte Aldegonde – lives in the family estate and is opening it up to the public for the first time. The 18th-century castle on the banks of the Scheldt is one of the most beautiful in Belgium – but the count is also in possession of the largest private collection of engravings by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Don’t miss this chance to see them at Dauwrauw: A Bruegelian Landscape, which also comes with art installations on the grounds and a programme of readings, walks and performances. Until 30 September, Kasteelstraat 35, Bornem

Alice Obee - Maybe we are a trace in the snow, 2024 ©Michaël Depestele

The annual Watou Arts Festival mixes poetry and art installations big and small across the picturesque town of Watou, a district of Poperinge. Grab a walking or cycling map to find them all, some in the rural open-air and some in Watou’s old houses, churches and factories. The theme for this edition is “Landscape of the Imagination”, with poets and artists exploring the imagination as a psychological landscape existing between people and their physical environments. 6 July to 1 September, across Watou (West Flanders)

Gent jazz

Bona fide disco legends Nile Rodgers and Chic are among the highlights of Gent Jazz this year. Others include British Jazz/Pop star Jamie Cullum and acclaimed American mashup maestro DJ Shadow. A new addition to the line-up on 13 July is Belgian singer-songwriter Selah Sue. The festival and its two stages are sited in the garden of the historical Bijloke campus, just a 15-minute walk from the train station. Note: some dates are already sold out. 5-20 July, Godshuizenlaan 2, Ghent


The fun never ends at Rampage Open Air, “the biggest drum&bass and dubstep festival in the universe” with literally hundreds of DJs and performers. The line-up of electronic music is indeed impressive, but the fringe programme is what makes Rampage really stand out, with amusement park rides, body painting and the biggest skate ramp in Europe. Those who choose to camp have really got it made: aside from two extra stages of music, there are three swimming pools, a barbecue zone and open-air cinema. 5-7 July, Kristalpark, Balendijk, Lommel (Limburg)


The eastern Belgium town of Stavelot has been hosting the street-theatre festival VTS (Vacances Théâtre Stavelot) for more than 50 years. Housed in the outstanding heritage site, Stavelot Abbey, it stages some of the best francophone theatre and performances that has been shown in the country over the past season. Among the highlights are Brel, l’hommage, Guillermo Guiz, Queen Kong, Le Dieu du carnage and Antoine Donneaux. 5-14 July, Stavelot Abbey (Liège province)

Medievales - Murielle

Every two years, Namur’s citadel swarms with activities for the Médiévales, a colourful celebration of the Middle Ages. Not only are there equestrian tournaments such as daredevil jousting, but also music, storytelling, jugglers, an artisan market and family activities, all around the theme of ‘When Kings become history’. The ancient fortress that dominates the Walloon capital is the perfect setting for the festivities with its impressive military architecture, green pastures and panoramic views. 6-7 July 11.00-20.00, Citadel, Namur


The annual outdoor theatre romp at Villers Abbey presents Bernard Shaw’s Le Procès de Jeanne d’Arc. It is directed by Hélène Theunissen and the story of the French martyr is a perfect fit for the atmospheric ruins of this Cistercian site. This is an outdoor promenade performance, which is postponed if the weather conditions are unfavourable. 11 July to 10 August 21.00, Rue de l’Abbaye 55, Villers-la-ville (Walloon Brabant)


La Boverie art museum boasts two fine exhibitions this summer. In addition to Abstrait’s selection of 100 exceptional abstract works by Belgian and international artists, it is showing a retrospective of Belgian artist and writer Cécile Miguel (pictured). This 20th century multidisciplinary talent created an impressive body of highly singular and personal works that include landscapes, still lifes, large-scale coloured gouaches and collages that flirt with numerous influences, from abstraction and surrealism to art brut. Miguel (a pseudonym), was also a fascinating character who shied away from the limelight but frequented the likes of Picasso and his influential circle. Until 18 August, Parc de la Boverie, Liège


The number one rendezvous for fans of rap and hip-hop, Les Ardentes boasts an impressive line-up in Liége. It includes Nicki Minaj, Absolem, Booba, DJ Snake, Gapman, KZCO, Morad, Prince Waly, Shay, UZI, and Zéphir. A large, separate campsite awaits festival-goers, sanitation has been improved, and public transport links have been stepped up for this edition. In addition, a giant screen at the festival campsite will be showing the Euros semi-finals 10 July, the day before the festival kicks off. 11-14 July, Rue de l’Arbre Courte-Joie, Rocourt (Liège)

Check out The Bulletin’s guides to music festivals and theatre, performance and family events this summer.

Discover more upcoming events at The Bulletin's events page.

Photos: (main image) Brosella ©Shamrockraverphotography;Roller Parade Geoffrey Hoyoux; Watou festival, Alice Obee - Maybe we are a trace in the snow ©Michaël Depestele; VTS (previous edition) ©Vincent Lourtte; Médiévales ©Murielle Lecocq; L'age d'or la je dors, Collection Beatrice Libert ©Cecile Miguel, photo ©Gerald Micheels 

Written by Sarah Crew and Lisa Bradshaw