10 festivals in Brussels you mustn’t miss
A cool location, a number of enthusiastic participants, something fascinating to show and tons of fun: these are the ingredients of a successful festival. Talking about this, Brussels definitely stands out as a major player in the European festival scenario.
It doesn’t matter if you are an electronic music fanatic, a film addict or a gourmand: festivals in Brussels fulfill everyone’s need for enjoying their passion and partying. We made a selection of the festivals in Brussels you mustn’t miss out on.
Let’s take the plunge into the 10 best festivals in Brussels!
Brussels Summer Festival
For 10 days (yes, 10 days!) Brussels Summer Festival literally takes over the city, with the heart of the festival being the Place des Palais.
This annual gathering, launched and supported by the City of Brussels, has grown over the last 14 years to become one of the most famous festivals in Brussels.
If you take a look at the long list of artists (both Belgian and international) featured in the past, you will be surprised. Whether you love pop or electronic music, a concert in the city centre is waiting for you.
But Brussels Summer Festival is much more than music: street theatre, cultural activities, live performances and workshops complete the busy schedule.
Picture: Couleur Café
The main trait of the most eclectic of all festivals in Brussels, already reveals itself in the name. Couleur Café paints all its features in bright hues: the energetic music set, the colorful location, the exotic bazar and the impressive food stand.
Born as an African festival, it has grown preserving its black roots but developing a varied lineup to include everybody in its groove.
Considering that it had to move to the huge venue of Tour and Taxis, due to its audience of 75,000 people, makes you understand the success of this festival.
Brussels Jazz Festival
Jazz music lovers, are you there? Among the number of festivals in Brussels there’s something for you as well: the Brussels Jazz Festival.
We mentioned that location and content are the keys for a festival’s success and this is not the exception. Flagey’s concert hall is not only situated in one of the most lively neighborhoods of the city, but it boasts a long tradition of great musicians hosted. More importantly, its acoustic features and sound system are stunning!
We’re sure you’re already impressed, but you’ll be even more looking at the program. For two weeks Belgian and international jazz celebrities perform live before your incredulous eyes. Can’t miss it!
Picture: Paradise City Festival
Going to this festival is not only about attending an event, but becoming “a citizen of the City of the future”. Paradise City is definitely one of the best festivals in Brussels.
Where is it situated? In Domein van Ribaucourt, a breathtaking castle surrounded by nature just outside Brussels. The soundtrack of this city includes indie and electronic music, played by artists from all over the world who pledge a high quality groove.
Paradise City cares not only about your entertainment, but also about your future: all its amenities are set up to minimize their impact on the environment and be as green as possible. Sustainability is taken into account also with regards to food. All the best Belgian food trucks will be there to provide local and healthy snacks.
Brussels Food Festival
To all the foodies out there, be ready for the most yummy of all festivals in Brussels. In the cozy atmosphere of “L’Arsenal”, Brussels Food Festival is the paradise of every gourmand.
During the day you can shop at the “Marché des Producteurs”. You’ll find local and bio food producers and artisans and buy all the ingredients you love, from meat to honey.
You’ll be able to join workshops and conferences to learn more about cooking and alimentation. However, if you’re too lazy to cook, don’t be desperate: food corners open at 6pm, allowing you to taste specialties from all over the world.
Belgian Beer Weekend
Linking Brussels to beer is far too easy, so how can we not mention the Belgian Beer Weekend?
Organized by the National Federation of Belgian Brewers, it’s clear we’re talking about an event for true beer lovers!
Both small and large Belgian brewers flood the unique location of Grand Place with their stands and products. You can taste hundreds and hundreds of different types and upgrade your knowledge about the national drink.
Don’t forget to enjoy the typical ceremonies, among them the awarding of Belgian beers ambassadors.
Bruxelles Les Bains
Let us warn you: you won’t believe it. But yes, among the great number of festivals in Brussels there’s also a beach festival!
For a whole month in summer, sand covers the shore of the city canal and a real beach appears. You can simply go there and relax while sunbathing or refreshing yourself with the fountains, but there’s much more. If you feel energetic, you can play beach volley or do one of the sport activities organized in the supplied area.
In case you wish to be more intellectual, enjoy the reading sessions and the open-air cinema. Hungry? Have a meal and a drink on one of the sunny terraces with a view on the sunset.
What are you waiting for, go get your bathing suit!
Festival international du film de Bruxelles
Five days, three locations and countless screenings entirely dedicated to film lovers. This is what the Festival International du Film de Bruxelles promises.
The schedule is varied and includes all shapes and sizes of productions, from short films and documentaries to full-length films. The focus is both on Belgian and international productions, classics and unreleased works, paying homage to film-makers and discovering new talents.
That’s it? No, you have to add contests, thematic nights, open-air screenings and special events. Buy your ticket, take a seat and enjoy!
Anima, the international Brussels animation film festival, takes place in Brussels every year in Flagey. We know what you’re thinking “I’m too old for cartoons” and you can’t be more wrong.
The festival includes screenings of novelties and unreleased films, presenting real gems of the European and international animation scenario.
If your interest is growing, you may consider attending workshops and trainings for all skill levels and even lectures and discussions where professionals from all over the world show the latest trends. Trust the child in you and go discover a whole new world!
Comic Strip Festival
We’re sure you all know where comic strips were born, but just a reminder: Brussels is their cradle and of course loves celebrating them.
The activities scheduled during the festival cover all levels of knowledge. For true lovers and addicts there are workshops and conferences on the latest techniques and author signing sessions.
Beginners find bookshops and sellers to build up their collection and exhibitions to learn more about the comic world.
Never heard of comics? You can still enjoy the Balloons’ Day Parade, where dozens of huge balloons in the form of comic books and cartoon heroes crowd Brussels’ streets.
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/BrusselsComicsFestival/
With these 10 festivals in Brussels you’ll know what to do all summer long!