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What’s on this week: 25-31 August

09:36 24/08/2023
The holiday season draws to a close with a celebratory feast of seasonal festivals, arts and events …

If you haven’t had a chance to take part in one of the many family events taking place all over Brussels this season, Plazey Festival offers the perfect opportunity during the final weekend of the summer holiday. Entry is free to Elisabeth Park in Koekelberg to see concerts and street theatre and to take part in activities and workshops for all ages. Walk along a barefoot path, or learn how to box or make your own buttons. 25-27 August, Avenue des Glories Nationales

(c)Courtesy Brussels Games Festival (2)

Cards, dice, tokens and boards of all sizes come out to play at the Brussels Games Festival. The annual event dedicated to board games caters to all ages and includes a market where you can pick up new and used games. There are also tournaments should you be a master at, for example, Rauha or Battle Fries. It has moved from its old stomping grounds in Cinquantenaire and added a small entry fee, but other than that this volunteer-run event offers the same fun the people of Brussels know and love. 25-27 August, The Egg, Rue Bara 175 (Anderlecht)


Craft cider festival PomPomPom returns to the capital for the second edition of its thirst-quenching event.  The fabulous setting of Vaux-Hall in Brussels’ royal  park is its new venue. With the refreshing brew gaining in popularity in the country, some 20 Belgian and European cider makers present their natural and artisan products. The event is pitched at all lovers of fine food and drink, and to accompany the fruity beverage, a barbecue is hosted by one of Brussels’ best chefs. Free entrance to the event; €3 for each glass, purchased via tokens. 26 & 27 August, Rue de la Loi 5

0831-JodieDevos © Marco Borggreve

The summer classical music festival Midi-Minimes is set to conclude with a flourish in its final concert of the season. Brahams’ A German Requiem is performed by soprano Jodie Devos (pictured) and bartitone Philippe Estèphe with the Choir of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation under the direction of Anthony Vigneron. Devos was the second prize winner of the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition in 2014. Entrance to the 35-minute concert is €6. 31 August 12.15, Brussels Royal Conservatory, Rue de la Régence 30

website rooftop (c) Yannick Sas

Brussels’ flagship arts centre restarts its summer rooftop activities Bozar on Top of That! The panoramic space offers an unrivalled view of the city centre and a lively and varied artistic programme in collaboration with some 20 Brussels partners. Activities include concerts, lectures, film screenings, workshops and a mobile kitchen cooking up leftovers. This weekend’s agenda features a walk on Sunday from Bozar to Anderlecht Abattoir, where surplus food from the market is collected, a photo exhibition and some sky high music performances. Refreshments available from the centre’s Café Victor. Free entrance. Until 17 September, Wednesday to Sunday, 12.00-23.00, Rue Ravenstein 23

tomato festival

Celebrate the harvest season at the Brussels Tomato Festival with an opportunity to taste a generous selection of sun-ripened tomatoes, including heirloom varieties, with more than 1500 varieties presented by artisan growers. The 9th edition of the event at sustainable urban farm Ferme Nos Pilifs is an occasion to enjoy the rural life without leaving the city. Activities for all ages include expert advice on growing produce, workshops, tastings, nature walks, information stands, gourmet food on sale and kids’ games (free entrance). 26 & 27 August, 10.000-18.00, Trasserweg 347 Neder-Over-Hembeek)

AB concerts

Ancienne Belgique’s free evening concert series Feeërieën returns to its original home in Brussels park for 2023. The line-up is as multicultural as it is eclectic. Kicking off proceedings are two grandmasters of contemporary dub: Kevin Martin alias The Bug and Paul St Hilaire aka Tikiman. They are followed by a unique Icelandic production (Benjamin Abel Meirhaeghe  and Valgeir Sigurðsson; pictured) that fuses electronic with contemporary classical music. The musical smorgasbord continues with afro jazz and world music from Niger, while DJ Blck Mamba takes charge of the closing evening with Rokia Bamba and Lateena. Its accompanied by a new summer hangout, the Bar Chaud. As ever, the event combines with sister event Boterhammen in de Stad, an opportunity to discover Dutch-language groups every lunchtime. 28 August to 1 September, Brussels Park


Book now Allianz Memorial Van Damme The 47th edition of the Diamond League athletic meeting is one of most important competitions in the year. Among Belgium’s top-class sporting talents due to compete are its fastest women Rani Rosius and Delphine Nkansa (pictured), entered in the 100m and the 200m respectively. They will be joined by the men and women’s Belgian 4 x 400m relay teams and multi-eventers Noor Vidts in the long jump and Nafi Thiam in the high jump. International presence includes Femke Bol (NL) and Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone (US) competing in the 400m hurdles. On the entertainment front, Congolese singer Queen Makoma closes the evening with a Tina Turner Tribute, followed by a spectacular laser and light show.  8 September 17.00, King Baudouin Stadium, Avenue de Marathon 135 (Laeken)

Outside Brussels

(c)Courtesy Bomboclat

Get ready for the Couleur Café of the coast as the Bomboclat Festival takes over the beach at Zeebrugge. Immerse yourself in the tropical vibe surrounding three stages featuring dancehall and afrobeats. Along with a kids’ corner and market, there is an open mic and a big dance battle. Sign up to show Belgium what you’ve got. 25-26 August, Zeedijk, Zeebrugge

(c)Courtesy Sugarbeats

Head to Veurne near the Belgian coast for the Sugarbeats Family Festival, an endlessly fun event with live music, DJs, bouncy castles, games, face painting and loads more activities for all ages. It’s all free, and Veurne is a lovely place to boot. 26-27 August, Suiker Park, Brikkerijstraat, Veurne


The big change for Les Solidarities this year is its move to a nearby rural site out-of-town due to renovation work at the citadel. The three-day music festival with a multicultural line-up will hope to continue to draw crowds with some 40 artists, including BigFlo and Oli (pictured) and Louise Attaque. A village with around 40 stands by community volunteer groups injects a social vibe, and a wide array of food and drink options is tipped to keep festivalgoers happy. A parking space is earmarked, and free shuttle buses will link it with the festival site Namur train station. No camping facilities. 25-27 August, Site Ecolys, Temploux (Namur)

Les Sentiers de Sart-Risbart

Performed in gardens and venues around the village, music festival Les Sentiers de Sart-Risbart continues this weekend with a varied line up. The Gilbert Paeffgen Trio from Switzerland fuse jazz and world music on Friday evening, along with Turdus Philomelos and its festive brand of world sounds. A procession of oldtimer vehicles is programmed on Saturday at 15.00 along with musical activities for all ages and an evening of jazz and swing. Classical violinist of Queen Elisabeth Competition fame Stéphanie Huang performs on Sunday at 11.30 before the traditional festival finale, a large outdoor banquet accompanied by a feast of musical performances. Until 27 August, Rue Alphonse Robert, Sart-Risbart (Incourt)


Hats off to Mechelen for maintaining Maanrock, a free music festival that takes over the whole city. Multiple stages host big and up-and-coming local bands. Among the usual suspects like Admiral Freebee and Black Box Revelation, you can find some outstanding new talent. Check out, for instance, Bluai, who won both Studio Brussel’s ‘new light’ competition and the legendary Humo’s Rock Rally last year, and Chibi Ichigo, who mixes her native Russian with Dutch in powerful electro-rap beats. 25-27 August, across Mechelen


NAOW Festival is the first floating festival in Belgium dedicated to theatre, poetry and music. The Nature Arts on Water (NAOW) initiative invites audiences to the riverside site of The Flow in the Walloon capital of Namur. Over four evenings, enjoy sound and light shows, and a range of music (via individual headsets) and artistic events presented from a floating stage. Visitors also have the option of booking dinner with the evening entertainment. The nautical site is a popular summer pop-up staple in the city, offering a holiday air with its beach setting and activities. 31 August to 3 September, Boulevard de Meuse 160, Jambes (Namur)

Photos: Plazey Festival ©Courtesy N22; ©Courtesy Brussels Games Festival; Jodie Devos ©Marco Borggreve; website rooftop ©Yannick Sas; courtesy AB Concerts; ©Courtesy Allianz Memorial Van Damme; ©Courtesy Bomboclat; ©Courtesy Solidarités festival; ©Courtesy Maanrock; ©Courtesy NAOW Festival

Written by Sarah Crew and Lisa Bradshaw