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What’s on this week: 1-6 July

09:50 30/06/2022
It’s the start of the summer holidays and there’s a host of fun activities kicking off the season

Among the stand-out names gracing the outdoor stage  Arena 5 in Heysel this season are MC Solaar, IAM, Nile Rodgers and CHIC. Following the event’s launch as a summer music hotspot last year, the programme once again reflects a mix of musical tastes, including jazz, rap, electro and French pop. The 2022 edition kicks off this Friday with chanson stars Thomas and Jacques Dutronc. Until 24 July, Place de Belgique (Laeken)

Midis-Minimes (c)Sofia Capraro Matulic

One of Brussels’ longest-running summer festivals, Midis-Minimes, makes old music fresh, year after year. Chamber choirs, orchestras and ensembles toy with baroque and other classical musical traditions, filling your lunch hour with waves of string, brass and song that will carry you through the rest of the work day. The July concerts are moving to the church at Sablon this year, but the August performances are back in the Conservatory. Every concert is 35 minutes long and costs just €6. 1 July to 31 August 12.15, Notre-Dame des Victoires au Sablon and Royal Conservatory

Tram Experience (c)E Danhier, Visit Brussels

Trundle along Brussels’ tram lines in a specially designed tram kitted out with dining tables and a kitchen. A star chef will serve you a four-course meal, and the bubbles will be flowing. The Tram Experience is a fun way to see Brussels and to experience fine dining. Sign up now for dates in September, but more summer dates will be added in the coming days and weeks. Until 18 September

Full Circle (c)Pipifeli

A wonderful mix of musicians is coming together for a classical meets jazz programme at Full Circle. Clarinettist Anton Jakimenko of the Netherlands (pictured) was born to Ukrainian parents in Uzbekistan and fuses East and West, with a healthy dose of Slavic folklore. Four string musicians, including award-winning jazz violinist Oene van Geel, join him for both original and arranged compositions. 5 July 20.00, Chaussée de Vleurgat 89 (Ixelles)


Congo Independence Day is 30 June, and the federal parliament has given carte blanche to Belgian artist David Katshiunga to stage an exhibition meant to spark a conversation on (de)colonisation. From the Ku Klux Klan to Patrice Lumumba to Princess Elisabeth, Katshiunga does not shy away from taboos right in the beating heart of the Belgian state. Authenticité also includes texts by Nadia Nsayi, author of Daughter of Decolonisation. Visiting the exhibition requires advance registration. 30 June to 14 July, Rue De Louvain 13

invader rubikcubist

More than a 100 works inspired by the iconic puzzle appear in various forms in MIMA’s latest exhibition Invader Rubikcubist . The title references the pseudonym of the artist Invader, who also prefers to mask his identity, and the art school he inspired in Paris in the early 2000s, Rubikcubism. Until 8 January, 39 Quai du Hainaut (Molenbeek Saint-Jean)

Atypical Gait

Belgian and Korean comics share the stage at the exhibition Atypical Gait , showcasing talented artists from each country. Drawings, scale models, videos and sketches from five comic books are on display: Vivre à FranDisco by Thierry Van Hasselt & Marcel Schmitz, Paysage après la bataille by Eric Lambé & Philippe De Pierpont, Homme transparent by SHIM Daesup, Things I want to draw by Gaheezy, and Jaein by LEE Kyutae. Until 18 September, Korean Cultural Center, Rue de la Régence 4 


Check out the European Tree Climbing Championship this weekend when 64 participants will be scaling trees in the city park. Preselection on Saturday will whittle down the numbers with the best going through to Sunday’s master climb, which mimics the daily work of a professional arborist. Kids will have an opportunity to take part in tree climbing initiation. Admission is free.  1-3 July, Woluwe park

Fame - Alan Parker (1980) Sun Screens Palace Cinema

Sun Screens is an eclectic selection of films for the summer season, screening alongside Palace Cinema’s regular programme. It also promises some festive and surprise runs, as well as classics, unreleased and favourites for all fans of film (Alan Parker’s 1980 Fame, pictured). 1 July-15 August, Palace Cinema, 85 Boulevard Anspach

Bruxelles fait son cinéma

Sit back, relax and catch an outdoor movie thanks to the return of Bruxelles fait son cinema. With free screenings in unusual places and quality films with a Mediterranean flavour, the 22nd edition of the annual event is a regular crowd pleaser.  It’s also aimed at bringing film to  a larger audience, in neighborhoods now deserted by movie theatres, with a warm and friendly atmosphere also on the programme. 1-15 July, 16 locations around the city 

Brosella Lieve Boussauw (1)

One of Brussels’ most convivial and family-friendly live music events, Brosella offers an immersive experience in a wooded location with a diverse mix of jazz and urban ethno music. Some 22 bands are lined-up to entertain crowds on three stages, plus DJ sets, a kids village, workshops and local and sustainable food all adding to the festival vibe. 1-3 July, Osseghem Park, Atomium


Watou (c)Lisa Bradshaw

Watou is a lovely little place on the border with France in West Flanders. While its picturesque central square, village church and surrounding farmsteads are sleepy most of the year, every summer they buzz with art enthusiasts – and the simply curious – for Arts Festival Watou. An art parcours leads visitors into factories, abandoned houses and grassy fields to see works of art and poetry made all the more quirky or dramatic or dreamy in the original space. Watou is a fantastic day out. 2 July to 4 September, across Watou

Gooikoorts (c)Bart Vanoutrive

The Gooikoorts folk music festival has gone nomad. Previously staged every year in Gooik in the Pajottenland region, it has decided to split its acts into three parts in three places. Belgian folk singer Walter Evenepoel kicks things off in Pepingen, then the festival moves back to Gooik for several concerts. After that, it’s off to Neigem for a folk ball with dancing to live music – though the evening portion is sold out. 2 July, across Belgium

2018 Francis Rouchet 3

One of Europe’s leading festivals recreating life in the Middle Ages, Les Médievales de la Citadelle de Namur, descends on the citadel of Namur this weekend. It’s a fitting venue for the biennial event as the ancient fortress looming over the Walloon capital boasts a 1,000-year history. Expect re-enactments, complete with jousts, equestrian displays, artisans, falconry, theatre, music and storytelling. 2 & 3 July, Terra Nova Namur Citadel

Illu globale Kheops devant Seneffe

L’Ensemble Kheops invites classical music lovers and families to the summer edition of its musical season at the magnificent Hainaut heritage site, Seneffe Castle. The event kicks off with ‘Jazz for kids’, continues with ‘Les Jardins d’Ispahan’ and concludes with ‘Place a la Jeunesse’. Reservations at 02.772.34.26 or 3 July from 11.30, 7-9 Rue Lucien Plasman, Seneffe

Paradise City

Belgium’s most ecological music festival Paradise City practices what it preaches, selling only locally sourced food, operating a night-train and carpools, using green energy and offering free filtered tap water to cut out the plastic. Oh, and there’s a seemingly endless line-up of electronic music bands and DJs, all on gorgeous castle grounds just outside of Brussels. 1-3 July, Perk (Flemish Brabant)

The Festival Musical de Namur

The theme of this year’s classical music series Festivals of Wallonia is ‘It’s A Mad World’, reflecting how ‘madness’ seems to have contributed to artistic works throughout history. The summer-long programme in Namur offers a range of musical styles, from baroque and jazz, to classical, tango, contemporary and world music. Until 11 September, multiple venues, Namur 

Festival au Carreě (1)

Festival au Carré is an iconic summer event in the Hainaut capital of Mons with a packed programme of not only concerts, dance, theatre and circus, but also vibrant performances, musical cinema, talks and walks. After celebrating its 20th anniversary three years ago, the festival returns with plenty of surprise events in store. 1-10 July, venues across Mons 


Written by Sarah Crew, Lisa Bradshaw and Juliette Rommen