• Bono phones home


    8 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    Frank De Winne, currently manning the International Space Station, received an unexpected phone call last week: from Bono onstage in Barcelona in the opening concert of the group's new world tour. "Can you see Barcelona?" asked the rock icon. "We have a beautiful view of the blue earth right now," answered the Flemish astronaut. U2 will hit Belgium on its latest tour sometime in 2010.Full story
  • Ensor's "Astonishment of the Mask" loaned to the NY show

    The Ostend curiosity shop

    8 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    "Urban avant-gardist or small-town loony?" So begins a New York Times review of the Ensor exhibition in New York. The question is only partly rhetorical. The writer, Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic Holland Cotter, continues: "Belgian painter James Ensor, who has a survey of hilarious, gruesome beauty at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), is a puzzle to fans and strangers alike, a classic insider-outsider." Full story
  • The city as stage

    8 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    Every year during Gentse Feesten I make the speech: all that music is fine, I say, but the street theatre is really cool. My friends always give me a look stuck somewhere between sympathy and condescension. It's not that I'm saying we shouldn't dance and jump up and down and drink beer in front of booming stages, it's just that the street theatre offers me more surprises.Full story
  • 1 city • 5 festivals • 10 days

    8 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    All Ghent's public squares feature stages, drinks tents and live music, and each has its own organiser, with a specific profile or theme. From cheesy cabaret to world music to pop and rock, there are enough music genres to have you dancing to a different beat every day (and night) of the festival. This year, Ghent is undergoing construction in some of its most crowded festival spots, so the stage in the central Korenmarkt has been eliminated, and there is a bit more crowd control in the area than usual. Our guide will help you manoeuvre through the many hot spots. It's almost impossible to see and do it all - but don't let that stop you from trying. Full story
  • In the house

    8 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    10 Days Off For one of the most glorious clubbing experiences in the world, head to Ghent this month, where more than 80 of the hottest national and international DJs will be setting the city alight from 17 to 27 July.Full story
  • The Gentse Feesten take off

    Get ready for Ghent

    8 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    It isn't just one great big festival; it's the culmination of many small ones that come together to create the wonder we know as the Gentse Feesten. Almost every square and open space in Ghent will be commandeered by buskers, artists, performers, musicians, vendors and the nearly 1.5 million people that descend on the capital of East Flanders (normal population, 230,000) for this 10-day, 24-hour party. Full story
  • There’s something about Mary

    1 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    It's a busy year for Tongeren. In May, the city's new Gallo-Roman museum finally opened to great acclaim. This month, its seven-yearly Coronation Celebration takes place. It's a week of religious fervour surrounding the veneration of the Virgin Mary that is expected to attract 700,000 visitors.Full story
  • Catching the wave

    1 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    There is a town on the banks of the Rhone enclosed within mediaeval ramparts, boasting an awesome 14th-century papal palace, crumbling Renaissance churches, decaying Italianate residences and a general air of faded glory. For three weeks every year, Avignon is transformed into the most vibrant, daring and bustling performance festival in Europe, host to the alumni of the avant-garde and co-producer of major new works.Full story
  • Show time

    1 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    Whoever still doubts the importance or popularity of fashion in Flanders has been living on a different planet these last few weeks. One after the other, Flanders' many fashion schools showcased their newest talent during spectacular - if occasionally long-winded - catwalk shows.  Full story
  • Wim Vandekeybus' brilliant theatre/dance fusion Menske

    Riding the wave

    1 Jul 2009 by Jacqueline Fletcher
    At festivals and biennales across the globe, you find their names: Jan Fabre, Jan Lauwers, Guy Cassiers, Ivo van Hove, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Alain Platel. They are the children of "the Flemish Wave", and they have inspired a new generation which continues the innovation and eclecticism that has become characteristic of the Flemish performing arts. Full story