What’s on: Shake off that chill at WinterWarm


De Warande’s winter festival is back, with open fires, a light trail and its own beer. A great chamber music festival in Bruges and celebrated American author Jesse Ball rounds out our picks of the week


Has your holiday feeling been completely washed away by end-January rain? Then make your way to the woods of the Hoge Rielen in Antwerp province for WinterWarm, an annual festival of lights, theatre, circus and a general cheery atmosphere hosted by De Warande.

For four of the five days, a path of light installations brighten up the forest floor (and your mood). The final day is devoted to families, with fun and creative workshops added to the mix. And naturally there is a Winterbar and food trucks. Warm your hands around open fires whilst sipping the festival’s own brew, Winterwarmbier. Unique overnight accommodation is available, too, in the donut-shaped Hostel Wadi, where floor-to-ceiling windows ensure an outstanding view of the trees outside. 5-9 February, Molenstraat 62, Kasterlee


The Chamber Music Hall of the Concertgebouw in Bruges was designed in such a way that all spectators have a front-row seat. So it’s the perfect spot for the new Têtes-à-têtes, an intimate chamber music festival featuring nearly 60 national and international artists playing classical, pop, world and electronic music. After each concert, a pop-up sky bar will be open so you can mingle with the artists and get a beautiful view of Bruges. 1-29 February, Concertgebouw, ’t Zand 34, Bruges

Jesse Ball

Much like The Handmaid’s Tale, American author Jesse Ball’s new novel, The Diver’s Game, is a dystopian reflection on power and control that seems entirely too close to home. He talks about his eighth book (others include Samedi the Deafness and A Cure for Suicide) with radio host Ruth Joos at Passa Porta. (In English) 5 February 20.00, Antoine Dansaertstraat 46


Get tickets now: UB40

Don’t let Brexit get you down – instead say hello to the lads of UB40, coming all the way from Birmingham to remind you why you loved the British in the first place. Their upbeat, poppy reggae has produced a string of hits over the decades, including Red Red Wine, (I Can’t) Help Falling in Love with You and I Got You Babe. 24 April 20.00, De Roma, Turnhoutsebaan 286, Antwerp