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Brussels' 10 Unmissable Art Events and Festivals in Summer 2014
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Brussels' 10 Unmissable Art Events and Festivals in Summer 2014

Picture of Sarine Arslanian
Updated: 9 February 2017
In the heart of Europe, Brussels is a multicultural capital with unmissable events happening all year long. With the summer season now in full swing, a range of cultural events have been organised to please locals and visitors alike. Whether you’re looking for art exhibitions, foodie fairs or old fashioned jazz events, this article will explore the best of what summer months have to offer in Belgium’s capital.

Art & Culture I Recyclart Holydays

26 June – 1 August

Every Thursday and Friday evening for six weeks, Recyclart Holidays, Recyclart’s yearly summer festival, will take place in downtown Brussels. Concerts, exhibitions, DJ sets, film and documentary screenings, parties, debates, various workshops and much more will be part of the programme in Brussels’ abandoned train station, Bruxelles-Chapelle/Brussel-Kapellekerk. Established in 1997, Recyclart has functioned as both a multidisciplinary centre of the arts and a training centre for metal and wood construction, as well as catering. Recyclart aims to connect people of the neighbourhood to the artistic domain by using Brussels’ public spaces. The old train station has been transformed into a concert venue, a bar and restaurant, artistic work locals and offices, and the railway bridges into an open air gallery.

Recyclart, 25 Rue Des Ursulines, Brussels, Belgium, +32 2 502 57 34

Courtesy Recyclart

Music & Food I Festival Couleur Café

27 – 29 June

For three days the best of urban music will be presented to the public. And what would an urban music festival be without gastronomic specialties from all around the world ready to be enjoyed? The Festival Couleur Café has it all. More than 50 concerts will be held over those three days, exploring the best of hip hop, funk, soul, reggae, electronic music, dub, and latin. Artists such as Girls in Hawaii, Parov Stelar, Akua Naru, Puggy, Seed, Basement Jaxx, La Yegros, and more will be performing. Dance classes will be offered to those willing to have some fun and improve their skills. Young designers will put their work on display. Over 50 world food stands will keep your stomachs satisfied. Art lovers will enjoy the ‘Cool Art Café’ exhibition. And to be a little more informed on North-South relations, a solidarity village will be built, bringing many NGOs together.

Couleur Café, Tour & Taxis, Rue Picard 3, Brussels, Belgium

Parov Stelar – The Mojo Radio Gang:

Culture I Ommegang

1 – 3 July

A folkloric and magical event, Brussel’s Ommegang, with over 1400 performers, will encourage you to relive the procession of Charles Quint and of Philippe II, his son, which took place in 1549; this historical event is celebrated in the Belgian capital. Giles Daoust, the director, will be overseeing light and sound for the tenth time now. There will be live music performance to accompany the spectacle at the Grand Place, which will be transformed into a medieval village for the occasion. History should not be dry but combined with pleasure, which is why various interesting activities will happen during these three days, including knights’ combats on horses and on foot, and falconry.

Ommegang, Grand-Place, Brussels, Belgium

Ommegang 2014:

Film I Cinéma d’été

2 July – 27 August 2014

Is there any better way to enjoy watching a film on a warm summer night than watching it outdoors? Wolubilis is offering us free outdoor cinema for the summer season, setting up a giant screen under the stars. From 10pm onwards every Wednesday evening from the start of July different films will be screened, starting with Gravity and finishing with Casse Tete Chinois including many other excellent films such as Blue Jasmine, Jeune et Jolie, and Miele.

Cinéma d’été, Wolubilis, Cours Paul-Henri Spaak 1, Brussels, Belgium, +32 2 762 08 98

Culture I Bruxelles Les Bains

4 July – 10 August 2014

Every year when summertime approaches, the banks of Brussels’ canal change into an urban beach. Long chairs, umbrellas, and most importantly 3000 tonnes of sand coming straight from the North sea will be part of the party, and from mid-July to mid-August, you will have to look no further than Brussels to get the sunny beach scene. Bruxelles Les Bains is a relaxing place, perfect to enjoy summer days, but also a dynamic area where street art, concerts and sport events take place, and also parties at night. Since 2002, Bruxelles Les Bains has not stopped attracting large crowds of people who come to have a good time.

Bruxelles Les Bains, Avenue du Gros Tilleul 2, Brussels, Belgium, +32 2 894 27 98

Bruxelles Les Bains
Bruxelles Les Bains | © Eric Danhier

Music I Brosella Folk & Jazz

12 – 13 July 2014

Every year, close to one of Brussels’ famous landmarks, the Atomium, the free Brosella Folk & Jazz festival is held. Since 1977, Brosella has commemorated the big names in folk and jazz music, honouring traditions in both genres. However, it is not only traditional tunes that are given attention but also modern interpretations of today’s artists. As such, Brosella aims to move beyond borders in both genres. Brosella built its reputation over the years and is now seen as one of the main players in Brussels’ musical landscape. Parents do not need to worry about their kids as there will be a special programme organised just for them.

Brosella Folk & Jazz, Théâtre de Verdure, Parc d’Osseghem, Brussels, Belgium, +32 2 474 06 41

Culture I La Foire du Midi

19 July – 24 August

Every summer, the gigantic and traditional Midi fair, situated close to the Midi train station, brings families together for a day of fun, sensations and adventure. With more than 130 rides and stands for both kids and adults, La Foire du Midi is the perfect outing spot for thrill seekers in need of an adrenaline rush. More traditional rides are present too for those who want to take it easy. In addition, delicious Belgian specialties can be tasted at the fair.

Foire du Midi, Boulevard du Midi, Brussels, Belgium

Music & Culture I Brussels Summer Festival

8 – 17 August

Since 2002, the Brussels Summer Festival has been considered to be the most important cultural event in August in the Belgian capital. Over 10 days, various concerts will be held and diverse activities will take place. Patti Smith, Suede, IAM, Milky Chance, Dub Inc, Sergent Garcia, The Inspector Cluzo, Noa Moon, Deportivo and many more will all be performing. Different artistic disciplines are also given the space to express themselves. Theatre takes to the streets, animation stands are held outdoors, the architectural heritage of Brussels is promoted and much more. Buying a pass for the festival will also give you free access to certain museums that are located in the city, including the not-to-be-missed fine arts museum.

Brussels Summer Festival, Grand-Place 14, Brussels, Belgium, +32 2 551 54 70

Brussels Summer Festival: An Overview:

Culture I Flower Carpet

14 – 17 August

Once again, a beautiful flower carpet will cover the unique and ancient grounds of the Grand Place this summer. The carpet will be manufactured on 14 August and will remain there for three days. At night, a sound and light show will also accompany the spectacle. The main element of the carpet is the pretty begonia, famous for its robustness, and ability to resist bad weather conditions as well as strong sunshine. It gives colour to the square, with tones ranging from vivid to pastel shades. Belgium is recognised as the largest begonia producer in the world, cultivating 60 million tubers a year.

Flower Carpet, Grand-Place / Grote Markt, Brussels, Belgium, +32 2 513 89 40

Flower Carpet 2012
Flower Carpet 2012 | © Gaston Batistini

Theatre I Festival Théâtres Nomades

21 – 24 August

For the eighth time in a row, the festival Théâtre Nomades will take place in the heart of the Belgian capital, in Brussels Park. The programme will be of high quality and varied enough to please everyone. It will include street theatre, puppet shows, musicals, a circus, concerts, plays for children and many other similar activities. The idea is to offer a free cultural event accessible to all in a pleasant natural environment that will look like a nomadic village over four days.

Festival Théâtres Nomades, Parc Royal, Brussels, Belgium, +32 2 219 11 98

Festival Théâtre Nomades 2014 Promotion Video:

By Sarine Arslanian

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