Search form

menu menu
  • Daily & Weekly newsletters
  • Buy & download The Bulletin
  • Comment on our articles

What’s on this week: 24 to 30 May

Lotto Brussels Jazz Weekend
10:18 23/05/2024
Brussels enjoys the strains of jazz all weekend long, while the city and the rest of the country host a colourful collection of festivals and other vibrant activities.

Lotto Brussels Jazz Weekend  transforms the city into a live musical festival this weekend. Some 127 artists showcase the capital’s wealth of talent with indoor and outdoor concerts, plus busker stages. With its aim to be accessible to as wide an audience as possible, all events are free. Major cultural venues, including AB, Botanique, Bozar and Flagey, as well as bars and cafés, all host concerts. The programme promises diversity, with soul, hip-hop and electro performed alongside different jazz genres. A salsa evening in Place Sainte-Catherine is just one highlight. Other squares staging concerts are the Grand Place and Place de la Bourse. 24-26 May, multiple venues


Cuba and its enduring imagery of retro architecture, vintage cars and cigars is a Caribbean island country that retains an air of mystery. This is your chance to unravel it during Cubalandz, a three-day festival featuring concerts, DJs, video mapping, performances and dance workshops. There are collaborations with Belgian artists, too, leading to a colourful flurry of intercultural journeys and dialogues. Tune into What is Hip Radio to hear it all live. 25 May & 1-2 June, Bozar (Rue Ravenstein 23)  & Le Brass (Avenue Van Volxem 364, Forest)


If you are at all interested in architecture or the arts, we highly recommend you head over to Mommen for the Habité-E-X-S Festival D’anniversaires 150+20. Artists have been living and working in this community for 150 years, and the non-profit currently managing the site has existed for 20 years. Time for a party then. You will not only get a tour of the artists flats/studios, you will also see exhibitions, performances, concerts and readings as well as take part in workshops. And it’s all free. 24-26 May, Rue de la Charité (Saint-Josse)


If you’re not participating in the popular Brussels 20km on Sunday, cheer on the runners and support the numerous charity initiatives - the event is expected to raises around €2.3 million for great causes. It’s also a brilliant and atmospheric day out: DJs and live bands rock Bois de la Cambre as well as Cinquantenaire Park, site of the start and finish, where you’ll find stands and refreshments. Some 38,000 runners and walkers, representing around 140 nationalities, are routed past the capital’s most beautiful monuments and city. Warning: some major routes (and tunnels) in the capital are closed to traffic, including Avenue Louise, Boulevard du Souverain and Rue de la Loi for the durations of the various races. 26 May from 10.00, Cinquantenaire Park and other locations


The third edition of Cemeteries’ Spring in Laeken Cemetery is an opportunity to explore one of Belgium’s most beautiful resting places. The programme of guided tours (Eng, Fr & NL) and other events honours women this year. Passionate guides take visitors around the cemetery, paying tribute to those who have been forgotten, who have remained invisible or whose voices have rarely been heard. Along the way, there are musical and poetic interludes by the literary nonprofit Amusea, a new artwork in progress by Maren Dubnick, classical music by 'Ensemble Oncques pareille' and a sculpture exhibition at the former Atelier Ernest Salu. 25-26 May, Parvis Notre-Dame (Laeken)


As part of a month-long homage to the notable medieval figure Hildegaard de Bingem, three concerts at the Cathedral of St Michael and St Gudula honour her music this weekend. The German Benedictine abbess composed some 70 liturgical songs and poems in the 12th century, as well as probably the first piece of moral theatre, Ordo virtutum. The Ensemble FILIAE, Jean-Paul Dessy and Romain Dayez plus Vocal Ensemble La Noeva all perform for the occasion. 24 May 20.00; 26 May18.00, Esplanade de la Sainte-Gudule


The battle is on as two young chefs sharpen their knives and their cooking skills for the final of the Wolf Food Fight. The first edition of the food market’s first culinary competition drew more than 100 entrants, all competing for the top prize of a €10,000 cheque or opportunity to set up a pop-up stand at the leading food hub. Now finalists Paul Kirkpatrick and Benjamin Fontaine will cook off live in front of a jury (pictured) as well as the public in a gladiatorial gastro-combat that promises to be electric. 26 May 12.00-18.00, Rue Fossé aux Loups 50


Take a pause from your work day and enjoy a spot of music, from classical and opera, to jazz and world, thanks to the return of the Citizens' Garden’s lunchtime concerts. The series includes Celtic music (violin and harp), by the Jenlis sisters from Belgium, and a string trio playing Mozart’s Divertimento in E-flat major, featuring Aurélien Pascal who won a prize at the first Queen Elisabeth Competition for cello. The concerts mark the launch of the event’s new seasonal programme with poetry slam and readings also on the menu. 27-30 May 13.00-14.00, Rue Vautier 68


Celebrating Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union – in particular pluralism, non-discrimination, solidarity and equality - Europalia art2gether offers free performances, film screenings and talks in multiple venues, including public spaces. P.A.R.T.S dance company, Laure Prouvost, Mohamed Toukabri and Benjamin Vandewalle (choreography Derailed, pictured), are among the artists participating in the event organised by the biennial arts festival. Check out the programme and book your places now! 29-31 May, multiple locations

Full Circle

Full Circle’s upcoming Eutopian Dinner invites governance futurist Corin Ism, who guides participants through past and present thinking on how to achieve a juster and more interesting world. The new series provides a convivial setting for discussions on building a better society and roadmaps to optimise the planet for future generations. 30 May 19.30, Chaussée de Vleurgat 89 (Ixelles)


How do artists from the ‘art brut’ movement (a term coined by Jean Dubuffet in 1945) talk about money? How is it present in their works and in what forms? This is the question explored in CA$H  an exhibition where you can even make your own. Works from Belgian and French collections range from ‘paradise’ bank notes to Monopoly paintings, in black, white or glorious technicolour. The artists also talk ‘cash’ as in frankly, simply and humorously. No more so than in Alain Benoît's ‘Letter to Amandine’, offering ‘1,000 big kisses for you, Amandine’. Until 29 September, Art et marges Museum, Rue Haute 314

Tracey Emin in her studio in the South of France

Acclaimed British artist Tracey Emin presents her new exhibition exploring love in all its many guises at Xavier Hufkens. By the time you see me there will be nothing left revolves around a seminal theme in her work that explores the past, present and future. From dramatic brushstrokes to bold colour, she evokes the intimacy of the human body and her own personal resilience, especially in late of her recent cancer recovery. While confronting her own mortality, these paintings are testimony to Emin’s enduring belief in the power of love. 24 May to 27 July, Rue Saint-Georges (Ixelles)

Possibles Probables

Depending on how well you did in logic class, Possibles Probables will either delight you or drive you mad. It is a group show by Lab[au], a collective that investigates the relationship between art and language (semantics) and art and signs (semiotics). Data science and probability theory figure heavily, and 3,000 pieces show what art and science can do with the two words in the title of the exhibition. The possibilities were, it seems, endless. Vernissage 29 May 18.00-21.00, exhibition 30 May to 28 July, Botanique, Rue Royale 236 (Saint-Josse)



The Smaak Foodtruck Festival is back from its winter’s sleep and navigating its way across Flanders. The convivial atmosphere is due in part to the festival’s dedication to setting up in smaller burgs, such as Geraardsbergen, Mechelen and Turnhout. Besides the numerous caravans selling all kinds of nosh – from Vietnamese noodles to gourmet burgers to pasta, tacos and haute dogs – there’s always some live music and DJs as well as performances or activities for kids. Until 20 September, across Flanders

Elparo 6 © BE CULTURE

The hidden paradise that is the Domain of Mariemont hosts the first edition of pop-up contemporary art trail Marie’Art. Seven installations by Belgian and international artists discreetly enhance the once royal park and its existing collection of classical and modern sculpture. The varied but complementary works were inspired not only by the surrounding nature, but also the fabulous artefacts from China, Egypt and the Mediterranean housed in the modern museum that graces the site. Pick up maps of the trail in the reception. Free entrance Until 22 September, Royal Domain of Mariemont, Chaussée de Morlanwelz 100, Morlanwelz (Hainaut)


Ikigai is a Japanese concept that is a bit like raison d’être. What makes life worth living? What are we searching for? Japanese artists with disabilities collaborated with mentally vulnerable artists in Belgium via the postal service, and the result is an exhibition at the Dr Guislain Museum of outsider art. All the artists offer a unique perspective on their ikigai, such as Itsuo Kobayashi, who keeps a complete record of all the food he eats (pictured), complete with list of ingredients, smell, taste and drawings. Until 8 September, Jozef Guislainstraat 43, Ghent

Roger Raveel (c)Collectie Roger Raveel Museum - Vlaamse Gemeenschap

To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the Roger Raveel Museum – built by the late artist himself in 1999 – presents Roger Raveel: The Essence. The 800 pieces in the museum’s collection can never be shown all at once, so thematic exhibitions are held, and this one is just right to place the Belgian artist in the context of European modern art history, and especially post-expressionism. Each room highlights a group of works that reflect an essential moment in Raveel’s career, which spanned more than 60 years. Until 6 October, Gildestraat 2, Machelen-Zulte (East Flanders)


Familiarly known as the Doudou, the city of Mons’ annual Ducasse folklore celebration reaches its colourful climax this weekend. The Unesco-recognised festival highlights includes processions and the famous combat – the Lumeçon – between St George and the dragon. Dating from the Middle Ages it’s a riotous attraction, accompanied by a full programme of festivities, including concerts in the Grand Place. Until 2 June, city centre, Mons


The vibrant city of Liège hosts the second edition of its free urban cultural festival Divercity. Concerts, freestyle soccer, dance initiation and competitions, workshops, DJ sets and stand-up shows are staged in four locations. Its aim is to attract youngsters to venues they usually don’t frequent, to “promote heritage through culture, break down barriers, unite and create connections,” say organisers. The starting point is the Prince-Bishops’ Palace. 26 May 14.00-20.00, Place Saint-Lambert, Liège

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

Photos: (main image) Lotto Brussels Jazz Weekend; courtesy Brussels 20km; courtesy Wolf food hall; Tracey Emin ©Courtesy the artist and Xavier Hufkens; Elparo 6 ©BE CULTURE; Roger Raveel ©Collectie Roger Raveel Museum - Vlaamse Gemeenschap; courtest Divercity Liège

Written by Sarah Crew, Lisa Bradshaw, Liz Newmark