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What's On In Brussels In October

Picture of Nana Van De Poel
Updated: 7 October 2016
We’ve officially entered fall, and with the most colorful season comes a batch of exciting new activities to look forward to in Brussels. Let’s avoid that post-summer lull with an October full of wondrous nightly wanderings, old school vintage markets, and rendezvous with internationally acclaimed artists, shall we?

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1st – SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2nd

Nuit Blanche | © Labspace Studio/courtesy of Nuit Blanche / Claude Debussy | Courtesy of Bozar / Brussels Vintage Market | © Brussels Vintage Market / Nuit Blanche | © Bram Goots/courtesy of Nuit Blanche
Nuit Blanche | © Labspace Studio/courtesy of Nuit Blanche / Claude Debussy | Courtesy of Bozar / Brussels Vintage Market | © Brussels Vintage Market / Nuit Blanche | © Bram Goots/courtesy of Nuit Blanche

ART | Bump Into Innovative Street Art And Performances During Nuit Blanche

📅 Saturday, October 1st

A night full of unexpected scenes and innovative art projects (how about an entire public square hoisted in smoke), Nuit Blanche continues to amaze every time. There’s nothing like letting a bunch of international artists fill your streets with wondrous installations to make you fall in love with a city all over again. This year’s politically tinted theme is ‘Borders,’ and you’ll be able to discover the hidden nooks and crannies of the European Quarter.

📍 Route starts at the European Parliament

MUSIC | Be Enchanted By Debussy One Fine Sunday Noon

📅 Sunday, October 2nd, 11am

Digging deeper after hearing Claude Debussy’s famed and tender ‘Clair de Lune’ is more than worth it. The classic French composer was especially hailed for his refreshing flute melodies, which Bozar plans to delight you with on a Sunday noon in fall. Around Debussy, the Initiator is part of the cultural temple’s hour-long lunch concerts, this time with a flute, violin, and harp trio from the National Orchestra of Belgium stealing the show.

Tickets: €12

📍 Bozar, Rue Ravenstein 23, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

SHOPPING | Bring Out Your Inner Thrifty At Brussels Vintage Market

📅 Sunday, October 2nd, 12pm-7pm

Set in the historic and charming Saint-Géry market halls once every month, the Brussels Vintage Market is a nostalgic fashionista’s dream come true. Besides the trusted piles of clothes, vinyl records, and retro furniture, the buzzing market in the Dansaert quarter is hosting a musical performance by Atomic this time. Be there (at 5pm) or be square.

📍 Place Saint-Géry 1, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

MONDAY, OCTOBER 3rd – SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9th

EVENT | Become A Handy Harry In Recyclart’s Repair Café

📅 Tuesday, October 4th, 5:30pm-9pm

Those in desperate need of a crash course in handymanship, Recyclart’s Repair Café and its voluntary jack-of-all-trades are here for you. Simply bring anything around the house that needs fixing – from broken appliances to torn clothes and damaged bikes – with you to Recyclart’s bar on the first Tuesday of the month. Here, you’ll learn how to fix it for free while enjoying a coffee and a chat with the other stumblebums.

📍 Bar Recyclart, Rue des Ursulines 25, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

FILM | Live Stream With Comedy Genius Judd Apatow

📅 Wednesday, October 5th

Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000), The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Knocked Up (2007), Bridesmaids (2011), Trainwreck (2015) – the list goes on. So many of the projects Judd Apatow touches – whether he writes, produces, or directs – turn to gold. Cinematek is exploring Apatow’s own cinematic universe as well as his hand-picked inspirations in its new This is Comedy cycle. And the pièce de résistance? A live stream interview with the god of contemporary comedy himself on Wednesday the 5th.

📍 Cinematek, Rue Baron Horta 9, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

LITERATURE | Meet Hanya Yanagihara, Author Of The Bestselling A Little Life

📅 Thursday, October 6th

She wrote a whopper of 700 pages that first disguises itself as a coming-of-age story but gradually spins into an emotional tale about the traumatizing effects of abuse. American author Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life has garnered critical acclaim and spots on both the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Award shortlists. The author herself will be coming to international bookshop Passa Porta for a discussion on her praised second novel.

Tickets: €5-€7

📍 Passa Porta, Rue Antoine Dansaert 46, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

FILM & MUSIC | Experience The Best Of The Nigerian Rock Scene

📅 Friday, October 7th, 10pm

Somewhat surprisingly, the Nigerian rock music of the 70s became very much intertwined with the country’s civil war. Uchenna Ikonne, master compiler and expert in Nigerian rock, blends music and film fragments (by Fela Kuti, Ginger Baker, and even Paul McCartney) in his performance Wake up you! to explore these bands’ iconic statuses and the military units with whom they traveled.

Tickets: €2,5 – €3,5

📍 Cinema Nova, Rue d’Arenberg 3, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

MONDAY, OCTOBER 10th – SUNDAY, OCTOBER 16th

DESIGN | Debate How Technology Affects Design At Shapeshifters 2016

📅 Wednesday, October 12th, 8pm

The Shapeshifters talks at Brussels’ Beursschouwburg are always a design enthusiast’s favorite, and this edition’s ‘technology’ theme promises good fuel for a whole host of fascinating debates. Poised to explore the bad and the good of our tech-loving times on Wednesday, October 12th are Jeroen van Loon and Agi Haines.

Tickets: €11 – €14

📍 Beursschouwburg, Rue Auguste Orts 20-28, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

PHOTOGRAPHY | Attend The Vernissage Of Claude And Lilli

📅 Vernissage: Thursday, October 13th, 7pm

Claude and Lilli met 22 years ago when he was selling Dutch doughnuts, and she was working at a chocolate shop. Today, Recyclart proudly presents Vitrine 21, a portrait series on this ultimate pair of Brusselaars who wander through the capital. Music by punk rock band Zorgo is set to liven up the opening on Thursday evening, with the exhibit only running for a week.

📍 Rue des Ursulines 21, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

ART | Admire Open-Air Art Billboards At Atelier 34zero

📅 Until Sunday, October 30th

Jette’s Atelier 34zero has been a blessing to outdoor art for a long time. Now, its open-air museum has installed three giant 20-square-meter billboards – not for advertising, but to offer photographers, painters, and other visual artists the largest canvas possible. Until October 30th, you’ll be able to admire Belgian photographer Daniel Desmedt’s excessive comb collection among others.

📍 De Rivierendreef 334, 1090 Brussels, Belgium

FOOD | Jump Aboard The Tram Experience With Chef Alex Joseph

📅 Tuesday, October 11th – Sunday, November 27th

For its fifth season, the gourmet Tram Experience is drawing its inspiration from the classic Belgian kitchen. Taking the wheel from October 11th until November 27th is Alex Joseph of Brussels’ Rouge Tomate. The chef with Californian roots is the ideal pick to serve you Belgian cuisine with a twist; how about an entrée of a mini waffle with smoked bacon and caramelized onion while taking a sightseeing tour of the capital’s most splendid spots?

📍 The Tram Experience, Avenue Louise 190, 1050 Brussels, Belgium

MONDAY, OCTOBER 17th – SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23rd

White Snow Head by Paul McCarthy | © Courtesy: the Artist and Xavier Hufkens, Brussels / Megavino | © Megavino / Festival des Libertés | © Jérôme Baudet/courtesy of Festival des Libertés / Just Married exhibit | © MCD_E.Laurent,
White Snow Head by Paul McCarthy | © Courtesy: the Artist and Xavier Hufkens, Brussels / Megavino | © Megavino / Festival des Libertés | © Jérôme Baudet/courtesy of Festival des Libertés / Just Married exhibit | © MCD_E.Laurent,

ART | Visit Provocateur Paul McCarthy’s Disney-Critical Gallery Exhibit

📅 Until Saturday, October 22nd

Both of Xavier Hufkens’ gallery spaces have been taken over by Paul McCarthy – the same McCarthy who redesigned Ghent’s entire SMAK for a scary retrospective and placed giant inflatable pigs and turds in Antwerp’s Middelheim. For his first major Brussels exhibit, the controversial artist has transfigured and decapitated Snow White – and he’s not going easy on America’s gun nuts either.

📍 Xavier Hufkens Gallery, Rue St-Georges 6, 1050 Brussels, Belgium

📍 Xavier Hufkens Gallery, Rue St-Georges 107, 1050 Brussels, Belgium

FOOD | Live Your Wildest Wine Fantasies At Megavino

📅 Friday, October 21st – Monday, October 24th

Pop the corks and hold your tasting glass at the ready as the country’s biggest wine fair is in town again. Thousands of reds and whites, from Rieslings to Californian specialties, are at the mercy of your taste buds at Megavino. An exotic flavor is added by the presence of Lebanon as this year’s guest of honor.

Tickets: €10 (online) / €12 (at the door)

📍 Hall 3, Brussels Expo, Place de Belgique 1, 1020 Brussels, Belgium

FILM, MUSIC & DEBATE | Get Critical At Le Festival Des Libertés

📅 Thursday, October 20th – Saturday, October 29th

Driven by a healthy sense of criticism and an urge to promote solidarity, Le Festival des Libertés isn’t one to hold its tongue. Documentary films, musical performances, and spirited debates define this multi-faceted festival that places engagement in a convivial atmosphere at the Théâtre National.

📍 Théâtre National, Boulevard Emile Jacqmain 111-115, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

FASHION | Feel The Wedding Fever At The Museum Of Costume And Lace

📅 Until April 16, 2017

Two hundred years of bridal fashion is enough to make anyone swoon. The Museum of Costume and Lace’s Just Married exhibition, an exploration of marital dress throughout the ages, has proven a home-run over the past few months. Learn how wedding dresses used to come in all sorts of wild colors, or try on a particularly extravagant one yourself.

Tickets: €4 – €8

📍 Museum of Costume and Lace, Rue de la Violette 12, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

MONDAY, OCTOBER 24th – MONDAY, OCTOBER 31st

FASHION | Experience A Multicultural Fashion Week At Ethno Tendance

📅 Friday, October 28th – Sunday, October 30th

As one of the world’s most multicultural cities, Brussels needed a fashion week to match. Onto its fifth edition this year, Ethno Tendance offers a platform for designers, models, and creators from all corners of the world, inspiring those into fashion to look beyond borders.

📍 Bozar, Rue Ravenstein 23, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

ART | Get Weirded Out By Les Deux Garçons’ Taxidermic Art

📅 Until Friday, October 28th

Taxidermia as an art form: it’s original, to say the least. The Belgian-born duo Les Deux Garçons (‘The Two Boys’) – fresh off their first retrospective held at Museum aan het Vrijthof in Maastricht – is now taking over Brussels’ LKFF Art & Sculpture Projects. Mounted animals in fascinating, weird and sometimes human-like poses make up the new exhibition Promesse de renouveau.

📍 LKFF Art & Sculpture Projects, Rue Blanche 15, 1050 Brussels, Belgium

MARKET | Add To Your Vintage LP Collection At The Offbeat Record Fair

📅 Saturday, October 29th, 11am-5pm

Gramophone fans will get a huge kick out of the Record Memory’s Club’s annual fair. It’s 78rpm o’clock at this hidden market, and there are some real treasures to be found in the form of rare score sheets, magazines, pictures, phonographs, and, of course, records from the 1890s to the 1960s.

📍 Excelsior Hall, Rue de l’Eglise Saint-Pierre 8, 1090 Brussels, Belgium

MUSIC | Listen To Belgium’s Newest Jazz Revelation STUFF

📅 Saturday, October 29th, 8:15pm

Flagey is hosting them in Studio 1 for their ‘Best of Belgian Jazz’ cycle, but the recently discovered Belgian band STUFF definitely looks beyond the genre’s traditional borders. Five musicians strong and very aptly named, STUFF is as eclectic as it gets. Their delicious grooves are not only based on jazz sounds but are also equally inspired by funk, hip-hop, and usually add a plethora of digital flourishes. Blurring the line between analog and digital with their program Hybrid Love, STUFF really is some neat, innovative stuff.

Tickets: €15 – €18

📍 Flagey, Rue du Belvédère 27, 1050 Ixelles, Belgium

EVENT | Take Part In The Biggest, Baddest Halloween Activities

📅 Monday, October 31st

Monday or no Monday, Brussels isn’t planning on letting the most demonic night of the year peter out just because people have to work in the morning. Jette’s Brux’hell, Chez Maman’s La Nuit des Mauvaises and many other beloved spooky activities throughout the city are powering through, ready to scare you to death.

📍 Spread across the city