What’s on: Wheelies await you in Roller Bike Parade


We are reminded of two more reasons to love summer, as the Roller Bike Parade takes to the streets and the Fireworks Festival hits the beach

Roller Bike Parade

Dig out your wheels and get ready for the Roller Bike Parade, a fun summer tradition across Belgium. Whether you prefer skates, bicycles, scooters or something else, all self-propelled wheeled mobility, including electric, is welcome for this party procession around town. The pace is set by a mobile DJ.

Roller Bike Parade kicks off in Flanders next Monday, with an event in Hasselt. That one will happen every Monday until the end of the summer, while other stops include Antwerp, Leuven, Tienen, Brussels and Roeselare. More cities can spontaneously be added, so keep an eye on the agenda. Until 13 September, across Belgium

Fireworks Festival

Thousands line the beach and promenade in Ostend for the annual Fireworks Festival. Eight Belgian fireworks manufacturers compete for the juried prizes as well as the spectator prize. The dazzling displays take place every Monday, with one Sunday added to the agenda and a special Thursday night 500 metres down the central beach in the Mariakerke district. Since it needs to be dark, it’s rather a late-night affair, with most displays starting at 23.00 and lasting about 30 minutes. Party-like atmosphere, however, guaranteed. 8 July-15 August, Ostend beach

Blood Test Walking Opera

Ghent’s Dr Guislain Museum, dedicated to the history of psychiatry and mental illness, lightens up its new exhibition with a Walking Opera. Visitors of all ages can see Blood Test – a look at genetic manipulation to create the most desirable human beings – while musicians, writers, artists and actors interpret the theme. Promised are an acoustic labyrinth, extinct animals and one remarkable giant. 6 July, 14-15 September 14.30 & 20.00, Jozef Guislainstraat 43

Incarnations: African Art as Philosophy

Bozar’s big summer exhibition is here. Incarnations: African Art as Philosophy looks at the multiple histories, protests and heritage of a giant continent through its art objects. How have slave routes, colonialism, independence movements effected different parts of Africa and its artists and resulting works? The vast exhibition pairs contemporary and classical art for a fascinating look at art as a living philosophy. We have Congolese collector Sindika Dokolo to thank for Incarnations, which was put together from his 3,000-piece collection. Until 6 October, Bozar, Rue Ravenstein 23

Get tix now: Hannah Gadsby

She has been called one of the best stand-ups working today, and you’ll be hard-pressed to disagree when you see Hannah Gadsby. From Tasmania (of all places) she has honed her stories about her queer life down to a fine art. Taking on gender norms, family dynamics, pride culture and the occasional flaming survivalist, she is as hilarious as she is shrewd. With a low-key delivery and a stated refusal to put a stop to comedic self-deprecation, she makes friends with the audience early and keeps them in the palm of her hand until the end. As The Scotsman said about her last show: “It deserves to win all the awards because it changes everyone who goes to see it.” 1 November 20.00, Stadsschouwburg, Antwerp

Photos: Roller Bike Parade courtesy event; Fireworks Festival courtesy VisitFlanders; Incarnations/“Mob II” (detail) by Justin Dingwall, 2015, Courtesy of the artist & Liza More Associates; Hannah Gadsby courtesy Live Comedy