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Brussels Connect > Festivals

Festivals in Brussels during the year

Brussels is a city with a lot of live music and some of the music lovers call Brussels: 'capital of Jazz'. One of the most famous festival in Brussels is the 'Brussels jazz marathon'. The Brussels Jazz Marathon each May is one of the main cultural events taking place in the city centre of Brussels. This popular spring happening attracts more than 250,000 jazz-fans to the capital. If you like jazz this is thé party to go to. You can read more about it in section nightlife, at Jazz.

The website also contains an events list where you can read more about festivals on the moment, but this section contains information about the festivals during the year.....

Europalia Festival
Every two years in Oktober till February

The Europalia autumn arts festival (established in 1969) is held in Belgium, with many key events taking place in Brussels. There are concerts, film screenings, literary events, exhibitions and theatrical and dance performances. Every time the festival has it own theme: a different country is invited to provide the theme for the festival. 

Festival Bruxelles-Babel
Yearly in April

During the Festival Bruxelles-Babel two hundred and fifty children from all over Brussels put on a lively show at the Marni Theatre. The event aims at 12 to 21-year-olds from a variety of cultural and social backgrounds.

There will be singing, dancing and theatre on this festival and it attracts 1500 visitors each year. On the last day of the festival, the Babel "Off" takes place. This is a chance for smaller groups of children to put on their own performances before the main show begins.

The Baroque Spring of the Sablon
Yearly in April

In and around Place du Grand Sablon the Baroque festival is held for a month long. Baroque and medieval architecture are the prominent features of this square in Brussels' richest quarter. In April, the Sablon place is the home for music of Corelli, Handel, Pergolesi, Couperin and Marais.

As usual, the festival also provides opportunities for young talent to perform during the afternoon concerts and to learn in workshops in the afternoons at the Conservatoire. Well-known names of the Baroque music scene, such as Kenneth Weiss and Nicki Kennedy, have performed during the evenings. You can expect lots of clarinets, harpsichords, lutes, viola de gambas, as well as a court jester in one performance.

Brussels Port Festival
Yearly in June

Every year in June Brussels honours its port with a one-day festival. You can enjoy mini-cruises, boat visits and listen and see a number of shows and music. Free buses run to the port from the Place Sainctelette in central Brussels during the event.

Brussels Summer festival
Yearly in June

Every summer Brussels is the host for music concerts. Brussels' grand buildings, squares and parks serve as concert halls every summer, when a varied festival programme takes hold of the Belgian capital.

There is all kind of different music like classical music, pop and jazz. The hot spots during the summer festivals are the Grand Place, the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Parc Léopold and the Hôtel de Ville.

Tickets may be purchased on the evening of the performance or in advance.

Festival Couleur Café
Yearly in July

Festival Couleur Café celebrates cultural diversity with music and food from around the globe and is held each year at the popular Tour and Taxis site in Brussels. You can listen to rai, reggae, flamenco, Berber, African and Latin music. There are over 500 artists and there are 50,000 visitors each year. Maybe you know (otherwise you should) some bands that performed at the festival: Lucky Dube, Burning Spear, Khaled, Ozomatli, Zuco 103 and the African guitar master Habib Koite.

Fairy Tale Festival
Yearly in August

Le Temps des Contes Fairy Tale Festival, held at Brussels' Maison du Conte, are about witches and wizards, ghouls and goblins, and princes and princesses. The whole entourage of classic characters comes out to play for this festival celebrating the written and the spoken word.

For seven days, Brussels is brought to life with workshops, concerts, public discussions and talks. You can expect plenty of fairy tales, myths and legends from local storytellers, authors and musicians.

International Bellone-Brigittines Festival
Yearly in August and September

The international Bellone-Brigittines Festival is Brussels' foremost contemporary dance festival. It presents new work from both established choreographers and new talent at the Chapelle des Brigittines. Including dance there is of course theatre and music.

The festival aims to be a meeting point for dance and a forum for international dance aficionados to exchange ideas.

Plein Open Air Cinema
Yearly in August and September

Brussels' PleinOPENair festival offers free concerts and movie screenings every Friday and Saturday in different venues around the city. Before nightfall there is an eclectic choice of concerts and supporting entertainment, but the festival's main purpose is to show rare films, screened at unusual places that have undergone big urban transformations.

Scarecrow Festival
Yearly in October

The Scarecrow Festival idea came to life four years ago when the Lions Club Bruxelles Ilot Sacré decided it would be a good way of raising money for local charities. The annual scarecrow festival is held at Brussels' Grand' Place. While some of the stuffed-straw creations are certainly more fearsome than you might imagine, many are far from scary.

From traditional to avant-garde, scarecrows in previous years have included models of Che Guevara, Goliath and the devil and these models should be finished in two hours. Charities get to work around 10am and have just two hours to give flight to their fantasy.

Sablon Nights
Starts final Tuesday of every November

The Sablon antique quarter is one of the most beautiful districts in Brussels. During the festival you go on a tour of discovery through the Sablon antiques quarter. While walking through the quarter you can flit from antique dealer to art gallery, chocolate laboratory to jewellers, sampling wines and champagnes offered on the house.

The festival is organised by the Sablon, Quartier des Arts et du Commerce Association. It is a three-night festival and shops stay open for the occasion. There is music, stunning New Year illuminations and the antiques market at the Place du Grand-Sablon is on his best during these nights. Visitors are advised to leave their cars at the car parks nearby (Sablon Poelaert by the Palais de Justice and Albertine, just 50 metres away). Horse-drawn-carriages pick you up and take you into the heart of the festival in style and completely free of charge

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