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Summer in Brussels has it all: rock ‘n’ roll, classical music, hiphop, jazz, … you name it. In this article you will find an -incomplete- overview of pop-up bars, Belgian-Brussels traditions, music festivals and more, all next to your door. Bye bye exams, now it’s time to party!
Dancing in the streets. Way better than crawling in the mud of the mega festivals in Flanders’ meadows. Keep yourselves safe from sweaty crowds, sunstrokes, small tents and warm beers. The best party quality is to be found in the city: comfy sun loungers, shadowed terraces, ice cooled cocktails, mussels with French fries or Spanish tapas accompanied by a fine Bourgogne glass of wine….
Pop-up summerbars and “apéro’s”
Free of entrance and yet with festive atmosphere many open air bars and public events in parks and squares will squeeze the summer vibe into the city. The yearly Brussels pop-up Beach alongside the canal is an absolute must-do, somewhere in between 7/7 and 13/8. Nearby our Brussels Health campus you will discover Bar Eliza in the park Elizabeth and every Friday the Jette Stream afterwork drink at Jette’s railway station starting at 7 pm. In Elsene, the local community centre Elzenhof will become more exotic on Thursdays 29/6, 13/7, 17/8 and 24/8. That’s within a stone’s throw from the campus. Here’s a fairly complete overview of these activities.
Especially interesting for tourists and international students, but surely also quite fun for the locals:
- 5 and 7/7 at 20:45h: The Ommegang at the Grand Place. Tickets are expensive, starting from 40€, but obtaining a good viewpoint on their way from the Sablon isn’t too hard to do. From 5th until the 8th of July Middle Ages are revived in an Ommegang-village in the Royal Park.
- 15/7 – 20/8: Zuidfoor, the fair next to the midi railway station; old-fashioned fun for young and old.
- 20/7 on the Place du jeu de Balle the festivities for the Belgian National Day start the night before with the Bal National. Even the king and queen enjoy some dancing there. The next day the usual flea market will be upgraded to Brol National (from 8:00h onwards). At noon one can stroll down to the Royal Park and watch the Belgian Army showing off in a soldiers’ parade. And then back to where you came from for the best mussels you can get at the Resto National (17:00u) and a massive sing-a-long (Dutch, French and English) starting at 19:30h. At the end of the day everyone wants to see the fireworks. Venue is the Mont des Arts, but leave backpacks at home and be there at least half an hour before it gets off.
- From 22/7 (till 15/9) the Royal Palace opens its doors for the large public. Free entrance from 10:30h till 15:45h (last entry), except on Mondays.
- 9/8 Meyboomplanting. The Plantation of the Meyboom, starts at the Rue du Marais at 1:45 pm and goes towards the Grand-Place, followed by the plantation of the Meyboom (or Meiboom) a bit before 5 pm on the corner of the Rue des Sables and the Rue du Marais. If you want to feel the real free spirit of the Brussels, this is your occasion.
- 30/6-2/7 Couleur Café: all colours of the world united, no longer at Tours and Taxis but at the Atomium.
- 3/7-31/8, Classical music Festival van de Miniemen, in a most beautiful Baroque church, every day of the week, at noon and for free.
- 7/7-13/8: Let it Beach Festival, every Friday and Saturday at Brussels Beach.
- 8/7 & 12/8: Desire parties on the Sett Terrace on Tours and Taxis, starting at 23:30 till … Place where one finds the better deejays.
- 8&9/7: Brosella Folk and Jazz, in the green amphitheatre at the Atomium. Very cosy.
- 11/7: Brussels Dances: mostly Dutch sung music, for it is the Flemish Community national Holiday.
- 6-15/8: Brussels Summer Festival, all kinds of music, on various places. A 10 day pass costs only 65€.
- 21-25/8: Boterhammen in het park. At lunchtime, bring your sandwiches. Dutch music programmation by the Ancienne Belgique and at night Feeërieën, singersongwriters, jazz & global.
- 21-27/8: Hide and Seek – worldmusic in surprising venues.
- 26/8: City Parade, some hundred or more deejays, heavy techno-beats, 18 trucks, 3 stages and 100.000 visitors, at the Atomium.
Fancy other art forms? New this summer is De Koer, in Anderlecht, every Thurs-Fri-Satur- and Sunday. There is open air cinema on Thursdays at Brussels Beach. And on five summer Fridays also fireworks on the esplanade. Not ours on campus, but the one at the Heysel, near Palais 5. Most enjoyable is the roller parade on Fridays, arts on wheels, starting at 20:00h at the Palace of Justice, for bikes, roller skates, skate boards and other wheelies, if it doesn’t rain. YO, an exposition on 35 years of hip-hop culture in our capital in Bozar, will also be worth a visit with an open air swimming pool to dive in!
Not feeling the vibes already? Get in the mood with this song.