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What’s on this week: 6-12 August

Guinguette Grand Hospice
10:05 05/08/2021
Our top picks of events and activities in Brussels and beyond

Guinguettes may have originated in France as open-air cabarets – bucolic and carefree scenes immortalised by many an Impressionist artist – but today’s reincarnation are continuing to enjoy a revival. One of the latest pop-up bars to open with refreshments, food truck and entertainment is Guinguette Grand Hospice (pictured above). It’s part of a redevelopment project for the former Pachéco hospital, boasting listed gardens that offer an oasis amid the bustling Sainte-Catherine area. Until 31 August, daily (weather permitting) from midday, Rue du Grand Hospice 7

Ixelles Quartier en Feest

On the first Friday of the month, residents and neighbours of Ixelles event venue See U are invited to come together for a local street party. Quartier en Feest includes a big barbecue (organised by La Ruche qui dit oui), music and a lively programme of activities such as a table tennis competition, pétanque and fun distractions for the little ones (free entrance). 6 August, 16.00-22.00, Avenue de la Couronne 227

Club Open Air Back on Stage

Live music dished up in a laid-back atmosphere with cocktails and snacks on the side… what’s not to like at Back on Stage? Launching as Club Open Air on Friday, it’s just one element of the city’s Hello Summer seasonal programme. The free outdoor event is hosting top names from the local nightlife scene - C12, Catclub, Hangar,  Madame Moustache,  and more. Catch them on the esplanade behind the Congress Column (reservation necessary). Until 22 August, Tuesday to Sunday, Esplanade, Cité Administrative

Brigittines International Festival

Contemporary dance performances that take audiences on an emotional journey into the imaginary. That’s the premise of the Brigittines International Festival with its thematic ‘Our heart beats elsewhere’. Incorporating 14 shows, including 10 Belgian premieres, this event is a highlight of the late summer season. One new work is Les Arrière-Mondes by Cie Mossoux-Bonté (pictured above), an exploration of fantasy and memory. 12-28 August, Les Brigittines, Petite rue des Brigittines

The Melting Pot with the BELgang Orchestra (directed by Jean-Luc Manzi) lives up to its title as a multidisciplinary creation by Fabien Franchitti at La Cité des Reveurs. Expect dance, impro, music and visual arts. 7 August, 20.00, Avenue Gustave Latinis 50, 1030 Schaerbeek

Book now: Tickets are on sale for Dinners by eat! BRUSSELS, drink! BORDEAUX at Gare Maritime on the Tour & Taxis site, from 2 to 11 September.  


 Knokke Art Fair - Casino

Not only does Knokke Art Fair fill an otherwise empty summer spot in Belgium’s busy art calendar, it’s established itself as an event with its own unique style. Located in the upmarket resort’s iconic casino, each of its illustrious spaces houses a different artistic theme: modern, living artists, contemporary, designers, antique and one-(wo)man shows. The fair also incorporates the 28th edition of the Sculpture Link with works by French artist Nicolas Lavarenne dotted along the coast between Knokke and Heist. 7-15 August, Casino, Knokke

The 14th edition of Antwerp Pride proudly presents its theme #notjustwords, focusing on online discrimination and bullying both in society and within its own community. Although it’s a scaled-down version due to the ongoing uncertainty over Covid safety measures – there’s no parade or festival – a Rainbow Village ensures that the diversity message and colours will be flying above the city over the next few weeks. The opening night at Olt Rivierenhof on 11 August kicks the event off with a musical line-up. 11-31 August, multiple venues

Festin Forain Namur citadel

Namur citadel’s street-theatre festival Festin Forain serves up dinner-show Le Pic Nic as an appetising finale The audience is invited to bring along their own alfresco spread or order a picnic basket of local ‘Made in Namur’ goodies, including Grafé Lecocq wine aged in the fortress’s underground tunnels. On the entertainment side, there are some 30 artists from the Baladins and ArTpenteurs theatrical troupes, along with music by Belgian Line Adam and Corine Galland from Switzerland (reservation necessary). 7 August, 18.00, Terra Nova, Namur citadel

Belgium’s habitual festival programme remains a little disrupted this summer, but Gaume Jazz Festival is determinedly staging no fewer than 24 concerts and gathering more than 100 musicians. Aka Moon, David Linx and Eric Legnini are among the habitual quality line-up that mixes professional and emerging musicians. The family-friendly event takes place in a riverside nature park in Luxembourg province. Reservations not necessary. 6-8 August, Parc de Rossignol, Tintigny

And finally … don’t forget to check The Bulletin’s ultimate guide to summer music festivals and summer travel guide agenda!

Photos : Guinguette Grand Hospice (main image); Quartier en Feest; Back on Stage – City of Brussels; Knokke Art Fair - Guetteur-Panthère-Serein-Nicolas Lavarenne; Festin Forain, Namur citadel 

Written by Sarah Crew