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What's On This Month In Brussels | May 2016

Picture of Culture Trip
Updated: 7 October 2016
Welcome to May in Brussels and with it, a fine lineup of the best cultural events in the capital. From a spectacular jazz marathon to a large food truck festival plus not just one but two colorful parades, there is an exciting array of activities to take advantage of as the days get warmer and longer.


EU Flags | Thijs ter Haar/Flickr| Fighter Kites | KiteFlinx/Flickr/ Piano keys | vampireq/Flickr/ David Bowie Musician Magazine | Ron Frazier/Flickr


EVENT | Engage In Kite Combat At The Prenez L’Air Festival

Thurs 5th May

Take flight at the fifth edition of Prenez l’Airea one-day festival dedicated to the Japanese tradition of kite fighting.


FOOD | Fill Your Belly At The Brussels Food Truck Festival

Fri 6th-Sun 8th May

For three delicious days in May, the capital’s historic center is transformed into the ultimate foodie mecca: a food truck festival.


EVENT | Celebrate Europe Day In The Capital   

Mon 9th May

On May 9th, the European Union (EU) institutions open their doors to the public – an opportunity to learn more about the history and values of the EU.


MUSIC | Listen To Talented Pianists At The Queen Elisabeth Competition

Mon 2nd May-Thurs 9th June

The beginning of May has up-and-coming musical talent streaming into Brussels as the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition swings around again.


FILM | Get Your David Bowie Solace At Cinematek

Sat 23rd April-Mon 30th May

Thankfully, Cinematek hands grieving Bowie fans a handkerchief in the form of a month-long cycle dedicated to the work of the eternal outsider.



TCHAYOK- MUSIQUE RUSSE ET TZIGANE/Courtesy of Tchayok/ Nuruddin Farah/Courtesy of Bozar/ Les Nuits | Courtesy of Botanique/ Pride Festival| Miguel Discart/Flickr


LITERATURE |  Meet Esteemed Author Nuruddin Farah

Tues 10th May

Bozar welcomes Somali novelist Nuruddin Farah for an evening dedicated to learning about his works and career as a writer.


MUSIC  | Listen To A Balalaïka Performance At Art Base 

Tues 10th May

Have you ever heard of balalaïka? Listen to gypsy and Russian music played on this Russian musical instrument similar to the guitar.


MUSIC | Let Loose At Les Nuits Botanique

Fri 13th – Tues 7th June 

Botanique kicks off the summer festival season in Brussels with the 23rd edition of its annual event, Les Nuits Botanique.


EVENT | March Through A Colorful Parade At The Pride Festival

Sat 14th May

Not to be missed is the grand Pride Parade that closes the Pride Festival with a bang!


ART  | Explore Contemporary Art At Kunstenfestivaldesarts

Thur 5th- Sat 28th May

The three-week long international festival Kunstenfestivaldesarts presents the contemporary arts in the fields of theatre, visuals arts, dance and performances.



Renaissance Banquet | Courtesy of Coudenberg Palace/ Zinneke Parade 2012 | Jirka Matousek/Flickr/ Zinneke Parade 2014 | Saskia Vanderstichele | Brussels Jazz Marathon | Eddy BERTHIER/Flickr


HISTORY | Attend A Renaissance Banquet At The Coudenberg Palace 

Thur 19th May-Sun 28th August

Starting this May, individuals can learn more about how these banquets went down, including the food and table manners of the 16th century.


DANCE | Watch A Bombastic Ballet Performance

Fri 20th-Sun 22nd May  

The IX Symphony is a ballet version of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and features dancers from Béjart Ballet Lausanne and Tokyo Ballet.


MUSIC| Get Jazzed Up For A Marathon Of Music

Fri 20th- Sun 22nd May

Get your jazz fix this month in Brussels! In numerous points throughout the city, individuals will be able to enjoy open-air concerts for free during the Brussels Jazz Marathon.


ART | Become A True Brusseleir At The Zinneke Parade

Sat 21st May

Get ready for the most Brussels event ever; the Zinneke Parade is a mixture of art and community in the heart of Belgium’s capital.


MUSIC | Get Moving At The Amber Festival

Sat 21st May

The East lands right in the heart of the Belgian capital at The Amber Festival.



Interior of RMFAB | Courtesy of RMFAB/ Thomas Zipp’s installation | ©Philippe de Gobert/ Eames & Hollywood| Courtesy Eames Office LLC © 2016/ Marble Sounds | Courtesy of Ancienne Belgique


ART | Explore 100 Incredible Masterpieces In Brussels 

Wed 18th May-Sat 27th August

Ever wondered what treasures can be found within the city? For 100 days, the Brussels Museum Council and Brussels Museums delivers a special tour of Brussels’ permanent collection.


ART | View Vintage Hollywood Photographs At The ADAM

Ongoing exhibition

The Atomium’s Art and Design Museum or (ADAM) will host its first temporary exhibition based on the artistic work ofCharles & Ray Eames.


EVENT | Host A Local Block Party

Fri 27th May

Also known as ‘Dag Van de Burnen,’ Neighbors’ Day is an opportunity for residents to get together and host local gatherings in the community.


ART | Enter A Virtual Reality Through Contemporary Art  

Ongoing exhibition

Far from your average museum experience, the exhibition CONNECTED is an interactive project that allows viewers to become part of a virtual experience.


MUSIC | Catch Marble Sounds & Ansatz Der Machine At AB

Tues 31st May

Settle in for an indie-meets-electronica evening at Ancienne Belgique with headlining Belgian acts Marble Sounds andAnsatz der Machine.