What's on this week: 25 June


Local crooners, hilarious port tours and Couleur Café: our pick of events across Flanders and Brussels

Photo by Andrew Whitton

Music festival: Couleur Café

What started in 1990 as a small-scale city festival mainly dedicated to African and Afro-Cuban rhythms has become one of the most colourful urban world events in Europe, with more than 60 concerts and DJs on four stages.

The new indoor club Clandestino, numerous dance workshops and an art exhibition offer breathing room between concerts, which this year include Seun Kuti, son of the late Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, and African reggae stars such as Alpha Blondy and Tiken Jah Fakoly. Check out the funk legend Bootsy Collins and the anticipated reunion of the Californian hip-hop crew Jurassic 5, while shaking your hips to dance duos Basement Jaxx (pictured) and Magnus, both offering new albums in September. 
27-29 June at Tour & Taxis, Brussels

Visual arts: art@Knokke-Heist

More than 70 art galleries in a space of two square kilometres: that’s surely an asset for the up-scale seaside town of Knokke-Heist and its dandy visitors. To emphasise the artistic opulence, three times a year — during Easter, summer and autumn holidays — gallery owners organise a joint opening weekend for their new exhibitions. This Saturday and Sunday, 39 galleries are participating in the collective effort. As an extra promotional effort, a jury of professionals selected one favourite work by an exhibiting artist: “The Smoker” (pictured), a mysterious oil on canvas by the self-taught Serbian painter Goran Djurovic (represented by Galerie Zuid). It’s art@Knokke-Heist’s first real headliner.
28-29 June across Knokke-Heist

Family: Handhaven

Every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 10.00 and 14.00, a bus leaves from the front of the landmark Museum aan de Stroom (MAS) for a hilarious trip through the port of Antwerp. Based on a story by the Antwerp actor and screenwriter Dimitri Leue, a tour guide will show kids eight and older and their families the ins and outs of one of the biggest ports in the world. How many bananas arrive here daily? And what else is in those gigantic containers? This production by the theatre collective Nachtkrab is free, but a reservation is necessary. (In Dutch)
2 July to 31 August at MAS Havenpaviljoen, Antwerp

Theatre: Het Theaterfestival

Between 1 May 2013 and 15 May 2014, the five jury members of Het Theaterfestival, chaired by popular local crooner Helmut Lotti, watched 469 Dutch-language plays. Their 14 favourites will run again in September. Not surprisingly, the multidisciplinary Van den vos, starring a grandiose Josse De Pauw, and the Toneelhuis/Toneelgroep Amsterdam collaboration Hamlet vs Hamlet were chosen. We also recommend De Koe’s version of Chekov’s Olga (pictured) and the sublime dance performance Vortex Temporum, courtesy of Rosas and Ictus. Additionally, a children’s jury selected four productions for young theatre fans. Should you have your heart set on a specific production, don’t dawdle; these tickets sell like hotcakes.
4-14 September across Antwerp

More events that deserve your attention

D.ART: This art parcours focuses on Mechelen’s contemporary arts scene and coincides with the popular Dijlefeesten. The meeting point and first stop of 13 is restaurant Mille where an art wall serves as an interactive catalogue of the exhibiting artists.
25-29 June, across Mechelen

Radio 1 Bowie Sessie
After the successful Beatles and Stones sessions, Radio 1 celebrates David Bowie. Both local heroes, such as Marie Daulne, Arno and Stijn Meuris, and young talented bands, like The Sore Losers and Reena Riot, interpret the songs of the musical chameleon.
27 June, 21.00, Openluchttheater Rivierenhof, Antwerp

Zomer in het Park
The lawn near the picturesque Nete river offers a summer bar, an open-air pop-up restaurant, some intriguing theatre productions for young and old and, on 30 June, a public screening of the cinema classic The Commitments.
27 June to 11 July, Stadspark, Netelaan 4, Lier

George Soros: The Tragedy of the European Union - Disintegration or Revival?
Gregor Peter Schmitz, Europe correspondent for Der Spiegel, moderates a debate on the future of Europe with the 83-years old US financier and philanthropist. The title of the evening is also the title of Soros’ new book, a plea for more solidarity and active involvement of Europe’s citizens.
30 June 17.45-19.30, Bozar, Brussels

The cosy open-air film festival starts its 16th edition with the screening of Paolo Sorrentino’s 2013 Oscar winner La grande bellezza. Screenings of Brave, Skyfall and Hasta La Vista follow. 
Every Tuesday 1 July to 26 August 21.00, at various locations in Dilbeek

International Organ Festival
Since 1951, the Gents Organ Centre has organised a summertime concert cycle. This time, Flemish and foreign guest organists gather in the monumental Sint-Baaf’s Cathedral. This year’s theme sounds familiar: “Goeie dag … meneer Bach”.
Every Thursday, 3 July to 20.00, starting 3 July to 28 August, Sint-Baaf’s Cathedral, Ghent

Local crooners, hilarious port tours and Couleur Café: our pick of events across Flanders and Brussels.

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