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What’s on this week: 10-16 March

10:43 09/03/2023
Discover festivals of various stripes… from architectural heritage and Latin American carnival beats to sublime classical music and Belgian short films

On your marks, heritage fans! The Banad Festival kicks off with the first of three weekends of open-door events giving rare access to some 50 Art Nouveau and Art Deco treasures. As one of the flagship projects for the region’s year of Art Nouveau, it’s more than ever a unique opportunity to sneak a peek into interiors that are habitually off limits. For this special edition, 15 sites open their doors for the first time. Also on the programme: multilingual guided tours, a period object fair, themed evenings, intimate concerts and talks. The festival’s opening weekend explores southern municipalities, including Forest Art Deco masterpiece, Villa Dewin (pictured). 11 & 12, 18 & 19,  25 & 26 March, multiple locations in the city

Klara Festival

Every year, the renowned Klarafestival is a celebration of predominately classical music under the banner of a contemporary theme that resonates with the public For 2023, audiences are invited to experience the power of sound and ‘become music’. The eclectic programme gathers some of the finest musicians from home and abroad. It includes the Musikaa festival (pictured) at the Maison de Culture in Molenbeek on 12 March, combining Arabic-Andalusian music, classical music and a children’s choir (final tickets). 10-26 March, Bozar, Flagey and other venues in Brussels, plus Concertgebouw Bruges

Batibouw Energy Solutions

Batibouw is back with the theme of sustainability. A major concern for all this year considering the current climate, the home and renovation fair has a multitude of events addressing lifestyle and technology changes. Batibouw academy’s top experts give more insight on how to address future lifestyle changes and and DIY workshops will help with future projects. Additionally, Energy Solutions (pictured) provides advice on lowering energy consumption. The fair also showcases the latest kitchen designs and new changes to house design such as tiny houses or container houses in Flex Living. 14-19 March, Brussels Expo, Place de Belgique 1


Fatsabbats, a multi-faceted self-managed platform that aims to bring together queer and racialised communities into a safer space in Brussels has a new event planned for this weekend. Part of a cycle of three events, Tabou is a two-day event filled with various activities such as a book reading and a theatrical performance. Guests will also be able to have their hair and nails cut in the Care Zone, eat as much as they want in the Food Zone and sing to their hearts’ content in the Open-Mic event. The second day, only open to ethnic minorities, will provide different events such as a self-defence workshop and Tabou Tables where talks on addictions, mental and sexual health will provide a group of 15 the opportunity to discuss openly about these topics with experts. 10 & 11 March, Kaaistudio, 81 Rue Notre Dame du Sommeil

Maker Faire

Originally founded in San Fransico’s Bay Area, the Maker Faire is in Brussels this weekend. The melting pot of creativity covers science, art, engineering, literature and more. Anyone, whatever their age, can share a project or innovative idea with a like-minded community. It’s also the perfect place to learn how to take that creativity to the next level. Workshops demonstrate how to pilot a drone and take apart a PC while VR drones will make heads spin. This is only the tip of the iceberg, however, as much more lies in store at the fair. 10-12 March, Rue Osseghem 53, Molenbeek-Saint-Jean

Printemps des femmes

Taking place just after International Women’s Day, Printemps des Fxmmes hosts talks, film screenings, concerts and other activities. The annual festival is a collaboration among three women’s groups in Brussels and works to build bridges between diverse communities. Events are open to everyone who shows solidarity with women and gender equality, and there are plenty of activities for kids. 10-11, 17 March, across Brussels

La Fête du Court Métrage

A short film festival that embraces all the ways we consume media, La Fête du Court Métrage takes place on screens big and small. Celebrating Belgian short films from the French-speaking part of the country, the festival offers programming via streaming, on TV or in the cinema. Cinema screenings take place across Wallonia and Brussels and include several shorts per session, including animation, comedy, drama and films perfect for kids. 15-21 March, across Wallonia and Brussels

Fiona Rae

Contemporary British artist Fiona Rae, showing for the first time at Nathalie Obadia Gallery, occupies an abstract-pop universe. Her recent paintings on display reflect many of her influences, from pop culture to digital technology and Chinese calligraphy. Hong-Kong born Rae belongs to the generation of Young British Artists (YBA) alongside fellow luminaries Damien Hirst and Sarah Lucas. Until 18 March, Rue Charles Decoster 8 (Ixelles)

Full Circle Madeleine Bunting

Meet the award-winning British author and former Guardian columnist Madeleine Bunting at Full Circle’s next Ideas salon. Bunting is the author of several novels and works of non-fiction, including Labours of Love: Crisis of Care, the focus of her appearance in Brussels. She will talk about the five years she spent travelling across the UK, talking to social workers, doctors, nurses and in-home caregivers to paint a portrait of the system and to lay a foundation for a call for change. 16 March 18.30-20.30, Chaussée de Vleurgat (Ixelles)

Fiesta Latina

Injecting some welcome warmth into Brussels is the annual Fiesta Latina Edition Carnaval* celebrations at Tour & Taxis. The Latin American festival – full of colourful music, dance and parties – promises to raise temperatures with its programme of Zumba, salsa, bachata, 40 mercadillos stands, and plenty of other carnival traditions. Free for under 12s. 17-19 March, Tour & Taxis, Avenue du Port 86C

Irish Ball

After an absence of three years, the Irish Ball is back in Brussels! The chic ballroom dinner and dance is a celebration of St Patrick’s Day and Irish culture, with all proceeds of the €125 ticket going to charity. Dinner at the Steigenberger Wiltcher’s hotel is accompanied by live music and Irish dancers, and you can wow the crowd with your own dance moves after that into the wee hours. Book right away for the black tie event via 18 March from 19.00, Avenue Louise 71 (Ixelles)


KubinEnsor @Nick Decombel Fotografie

It was unlikely that Austrian artist Alfred Kubin met James Ensor but he was a fan of the Belgian artist’s work, influenced by the painter’s use of carnivalesque characters and gallows humour. The exhibition Kubin/Ensor mingles their works, illustrating similarities between the two expressionists, such as disguise, distortion and an appreciation for street art and art brut. Until 23 April, Ensor House, Vlaanderenstraat 29, Ostend

What Remains (c)Kurt Van der Elst

Choreographer Zoë Demoustier’s newest work for Ultima Vez brings together two generations of dancers – the youngest and the oldest. What Remains looks at lives just starting and lives coming to their end, exploring all the experiences in-between that make us uniquely human. The piece is staged in Kortrijk and Antwerp this month, and comes to Leuven and Dilbeek later this spring. 17 March, Schouwburg, Kortrijk; 23-24 March, Het Paleis, Antwerp


US garage rock band The Morlocks (pictured) headline the Festival Ready, Steady, Go! On Saturday. Organised by the local Roots & Roses festival people, it also features British rockers, The Godfathers, Giac Taylor and Idiots. There’s also tasty street food being served up. 11 March 17.30-20.30, Salle René Magritte, Rue de la Déportation 37, Lessines (Hainaut)


Villers Abbey has extended its outdoor exhibition of nine installations – all made out of organic matter –  by internationally-renowned Belgian artist Bob Verschueren. Fragiles nature is a pertinent dialogue between nature and architecture; each poetic artwork is placed in a specific site, such as a pointed arch, a column or some other feature among the ruins that recalls the spiritual life of the Cistercian abbey. Until 23 April, Villers Abbey, Rue de l’Abbaye 55, Villers-la-Ville (Brabant Walloon)

Photos: Villa Dewin ©Explore.Brussels - Ph Mathieu Staszewski; KubinEnsor @Nick Decombel Fotografie; What Remains ©Kurt Van der Elst

Sometimes The Bulletin earns a small commission when a reader buys a ticket to an event we have featured. These affiliate links are clearly labelled with an asterisk (*). Our choice of events is unbiased, made independently by our journalists and never influenced by advertisers.


Written by Sarah Crew, Lisa Bradshaw, Louis Kernoa-Pascoe