What's on this week: 5 July


Leuven lunchtime concerts and Ostend's big beach bash: Our top picks of this week's events

CLASSICAL: Zomer van Sint-Pieter

Like its counterpart, the Midis Minimes Festival in Brussels, Leuven’s Zomer van Sint-Pieter fills the summer months with lunchtime concerts that start at 12.15 on the dot and wrap in time for audience members to get back to work.

This 16th edition, curated by 30CC and Opus 3, boasts performances by dozens of Europe’s top classical ensembles and soloists. Concerts take place at 30CC’s 19th-century Schouwburg and the gothic Predikherenkerk. Highlights include Swiss-Polish Renaissance music duo Corina Marti and Michał Gondko, French soprano Claire Lefilliâtre and young Brussels-based fusion group Loco Motive Trio. Until 31 August, across Leuven

VISUAL ARTS: From China to Taiwan

Modern abstract art is often considered an exclusively Atlantic affair, but the movement had branches around the world. Elsene Museum’s summer exhibition traces its evolution in post-war China, where civil war and nationalism made artistic experimentation difficult. Much of the canvases on display were created by the Ton Fan group, art students with roots in mainland China but based in Taiwan. These painters and their followers proposed an alternative to both Chairman Mao’s ham-fisted epic folk art and nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek’s conservative obsession with traditional Chinese art. Until 24 September, Museum van Elsene, Brussels

MUSIC FESTIVAL: Ostend Beach Festival

Ostend’s summer techno festival hits the sand for its eighth edition. It’s a hybrid concept, a sprawling open-air discotheque straddling the coast. Over the course of one music-filled weekend, Ostend Beach hosts some 90 DJs from around the world on five stages. Each of the festival’s themed areas has a different vibe, from throbbing industrial to ambient lounge. Pulse Radio recently named it the top beach festival in the world. This year’s headliners include London techno veteran Ben Sims (pictured), Welsh DJ Jamie Jones and American house guru Green Velvet. 8-9 July, Klein Strand, Ostend.

FESTIVAL: Spots op West

Westouter, part of Heuvelland, seems a more appropriate place for a bike ride than a theatre festival, but every year for the past decade and a half, the bucolic West Flemish village has been home to Spots op West, an amateur theatre extravaganza of international proportions. The festival unfolds across 18 intimate venues – most of them repurposed agricultural sites – and stars more than 30 amateur theatre and improv companies. In addition to enjoying the varied performances, visitors are invited to eat, drink, discuss, participate in several workshops and even present their own productions. 6-9 July, across Westouter

More events that deserve your attention

Dido and Aeneas: Singers and musicians from the Académie Baroque Européenne d’Ambronay, led by Paul Agnew, perform Henry Purcell’s 17th-century baroque opera, which gave us the enduring aria “Dido’s Lament.” 12 July 20.15, Amuz, Kammenstraat 81, Antwerp.

Eric van Hove: Solo exhibition showcases the Belgian-Algerian artist’s works. Van Hove’s Marrajesk studio has become a laboratory of artistic and cultural experimentation geared toward exploring equitable development. Until 27 August, Romestraat 11, Ostend.

International Organ Festival: Annual Concert series treats admirers of the traditional church instrument to weekly concerts performed by Europe’s top organists, including France’s Isabelle Fontaine, Germany’s Heiner Grasst and Flanders’ own Luk Bastiaens. 6 July to 31 Auguest, Sint-Baafskathedraal, Sint-Baafsplein, Ghent. 

Isotopia Festival: Open-air film screenings and a barbecue are on the agenda of this intercultural exchange. Among the four movies are Disney’s The Jungle Book and Peter Webber’s Girl with a Pearl Earring. 6 July 14.00, Centrale Vaartbrug, Zuidkaai 6, Izegem (West Flanders).


Straatartiesten op de Grote Markt: Fifth edition of Turnhout street theatre festival boasts non-stop performances by family-friendly acts. Young and old will enjoy humour, magic and acrobatics. 7 July 14.00, Grote Markt, Turnhout.

Wanneer de Dood uit de Hemel Kwam (When the Dead Fell from the Sky): An air show starring vintage airplanes, hot-air balloons and modern drones, in the context of the ongoing exhibition of the same name at this First World War museum. 8 July 14.00, Museum aan de IJzer, IJzerdijk 49, Diksmuide.