EVENTS IN BRUSSELS
1. Sound and light show Grand-Place
Every year, from the end of November until the beginning of January, The Grand Place of Brussels is lit up by the Sound and Light show, which is part of the Winter Wonders Events happening all throughout December.
This year (2019), the show started on the 29th of November and will end on the 5th of January 2020. Each show usually lasts about 8min, and the following schedule applies for this year:
- Sunday- Thursday: 17:00-22:00, every hour.
- Friday- Saturday: !7:00-22:30, every 30min
2. Organ Concerts
There are some interesting Organ Concerts in some of Brussels Churches. For Example, the church of Dominicans, Dominicains de Bruxelles Communauté St-Dominique, offers free organ concerts each Sunday, from 6 pm till 6:30 pm.
And, Every Monday of the year, from 12:45 pm till 1:30 pm, free organ concerts are also given in the Church of Our Lady of Finistère.
3. ‘Midis de la Poésie’
Get out of your daily routine with ‘Midis de la Poésie’. Every day, from the 13th of September 2019 to the 12th of June 2020, different afternoons of discussion on Literature, Poetry, etc., as well as encounters with different authors are what awaits you. The location varies, so before heading out to an evening of culture, make sure to first look up the location of the day for this wonderful event.
4. Bruegel, A Poetic Experience (Exhibition)
The Atomium is one of the most ‘touristy’ attractions of Brussels, so visiting it is an experience in itself.
However, from 19 September 2019 to 13 September 2020, in honor of the late Pieter Bruegel the Elder (450th Anniversary of his death), The Atomium will be the host of an interactive exhibition about him: ‘Bruegel, a Poetic Experience’. This is a wonderful chance for all to wander around the world of Bruegel, understanding more about how his work and personality affected his art.
5. Brussels Museums Late Night Openings (Nocturnes)
In what seems to have become a tradition now, Brussels hosts the most majestic event for all art lovers out there. From September to December, each Thursday evening, at least 5 museums offer guided tours, workshops and activities for every age.
This year, The Brussels Nocturnes took place from 19 September to 5 December 2019, each Thursday night between 5 pm and 10 pm.
So, if you find yourself in Brussels on September, October, November or December, make sure not to miss this special immersion into the cultural world of Belgium.
- Iris Festival
This is the annual festival of celebration of Brussels- Capital Region, named after the Iris, which is the symbol of the Region. During these festivities, which happen in May, Brussels becomes the host of pop, rock, jazz and classical music mini-festivals, as well as many activities for families. Just walk down the streets and you will see a bundle of colors surrounding you. Then, the concerts outside the Royal Palace end the day with a bang!
But, if you want a bit more information on what specific festivals or parades to visit, check out the Iris Day Festival Webpage. (https://irisfestival.brussels/)
- Europe Day (Festival of the European Union)
The 9th of May marks the anniversary of the ‘Schuman declaration’, where the vision of Robert Schuman, France’s foreign minister at the time, was the setting stone for what we now proudly call The European Union. To celebrate this day, the EU institutions in Brussels open their doors in the beginning of May, as well as organize activities and events for all ages. For more information on this event, visit https://europa.eu/european-union/about-eu/symbols/europe-day_en.
- Zinneke Parade
The Zinneke Parade is a biennial parade held in May in Brussels since 2000. It is a colorful parade held in the center, and it is organized by the Zinneke Association. Each parade has a different theme, which makes it even more interesting to behold. A very special characteristic of this parade is that it is ‘100% Human, without the help of motorized machinery.
- Ommegang of Brussels https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ommegang_of_Brussels
The Ommegang of Brussels is a medieval historical spectacle that takes place twice a year: in June and in July. ‘Ommegang’ means ‘moving around’, and this event commemorates and restages the arrival of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in Brussels.
The start of Ommegang is usually in the region known as Sablon, and the end consists of a large spectacle in Grand Place.
- Carpet Of Flowers
The Carpet of Flowers is a biennial event taking place in the heart of Brussels, Grand Place, in August. Here, volunteers from all of Belgium help weave a tapestry of flowers that covers the whole square. Each year, the organizers select a different theme for inspiration, and the needed flowers for this event are close to a million.
- The Belgian Pride Parade
The Belgian Pride Parade is an event happening in Brussels in May every year to celebrate diversity and love of all forms. This is preceded by a week of festivities, activities and events.
In our Brussels Campus, the week leading to the day of the Parade is also celebrated with a number of activities to bring awareness to the topic, which are then finalized with the Participation in the Parade, in which KU Leuven and Odisee have a fixed spot.
- Film Festivals in Brussels
Brussels is a city that appreciates culture, and as such, it has a significant number of film festivals. We will list some of them below, but more information on these festivals can be found on https://www.cinenews.be/
- Brussels Film Festival
- Festival du Cinéma Méditerranéen
- Festival du Court Métrage
- Festival du Film Fantastique
- Festival du film Latino-Américain, etc.
- Music Festivals in Brussels
There are also a great number of music concerts here in Brussels, most of which are free for the visitors. Some of them are:
- Brussels Jazz weekend, a free jazz festival happening in the last week of May, with concerts in Saint Catherine, Grand Place, etc.
- Couleur Café Festival, the annual urban contemporary music festival takes place during summer, around the end of June or beginning of July at Heysel Plateau near Atomium. It is a 3 day festival and it consists of different styles of music such as funk, hip-hop, reggae, soul etc. There is also a large exposition, a market with young up-and-coming designers and food stands with food from all around the world.
- The Brussels Summer Festival
This festival is a multicultural event in the Royal Quartier (Place des Palais, Museum square and Royal Park) spread throughout 10 days in mid-August. This festival is a multicultural event in the Royal Quartier (Place des Palais, Museum square and Royal Park) spread throughout 10 days. It is dedicated to music of all around the world, and it counts more than 70 indoor concerts and many outdoor ones.
- Museum Night Fever
Sometime between end of February and Beginning of March, the famous museum night takes place in Brussels. It offers innovative takes on permanent exhibitions, a unique atmosphere, and e legendary after party, so don’t forget to mark your calendar, for it promises to be an amazing night.
- Bruxelles-les-Bains (Brussel-Bad) is one of the most summery events run by the city of Brussels. Between July and August, you will have the opportunity to be part of different sporting activities and sandy beaches, palm trees and grass, near the Brussels Canal. Don’t miss this ultimate summer experience, as during the hot summer days, you will be sure to long for the sand and the palm trees that are often amiss in Brussels.
- Foire du Midi is one of the most famous fairs in Brussels. It takes place every year during July and August along Boulevard du Midi, between Porte de Hal and Porte d’ Anderlecht.
- Festival Bruxellons is a festival of theatre throughout all of the summer (mid-July until end of September) in Molenbeek-Saint-Jean’s Karreveld Castle in Brussels. It builds its program around Belgian artists and authors and it has a long array of shows that should not be missed.
- Brussel Brost
It is the legendary student festival hosted in Tour&Taxis, traditionally placed on one of the last Thursdays of September. It offers a great festival vibe, with up-and-coming as well as well-established musicians that perform from the beginning of the day until the late hours of the evening. It has a great atmosphere, and if you are studying in Brussels, you should visit it at least once throughout your stay!