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Win a weekend package with Brussels Quality Destination          

What do you think of Brussels as a tourist destination? You could be one of the lucky winners of the weekend package for two in Brussels offered by Brussels Quality Destination and Europe.Brussels: a four-star hotel, buffet breakfast and Brussels cards included! Just spend a few minutes filling in the BDQ survey, by 4 May at the latest.

 

What we most want to know is what you think about Brussels as a tourist destination. Did you get a good reception? What are its highlights? Why did you come to Europe’s capital? You can answer questions about short tourist stays as you like or choose NVT (not applicable).

 

Fill in the survey here!

 Place du Luxembourg … pedestrians only?

Place du Luxembourg: a proper centre for the European quarter, with new businesses and for pedestrians only. Do you think it’s a good idea? If you believe in the idea, sign the 40km Bru petition and your proposal will be on the agenda of the next Brussels government!

 

As an extension of the cultural route in the European quarter, the ATO (Land Development Agency) has nominated Place du Luxembourg as an area to be pedestrianised. The aim is thereby to create a new focal point in Brussels and to breathe new life into the surrounding public spaces, such as the European Parliament Esplanade.

 

Register and vote at www.40kmbru.be  


Open call: dancers wanted.

Do you fancy dancing (or learning to dance) in public spaces? Or taking part in a dance creation headed by leading choreographers? If so, dans:ette is the thing for you. You don’t need any dance training, just enthusiasm and the will to join in! Open to all ages!

 

For the new dans:ette dance project in Etterbeek, GC De Maalbeek is indeed still looking for dancers: volunteers who want to help make this dance performance.

 

Dance initiation sessions will be held at various venues in Etterbeek from May to October, and by October a dance piece will be created with the choreographers Rachiki and Downey, which will then be performed in public spaces. So don’t think twice, just dance! In Etterbeek!

 

Mail to info@dansette.be or have a look at www.dansette.be


The regional taxe: beware!  

The regional tax of €89 has to be paid by the inhabitants of the Brussels Capital Region to finance all manner of public services. Who has to pay and when? Are there any exceptions? What do you risk if you do not pay? Our Welcome Desk explains everything:

 

  • What? This is an annual tax of €89 to be paid by the head of any family that occupies a dwelling as main or secondary home in the Brussels Capital Region on 1st January of the current year.

 

  • When? You will receive notice of payment in August. The payment is compulsory for the whole year, regardless of the number of months of occupation, and you have two months to pay, after which interest is charged for late payment. In certain cases you may even receive a writ from a bailiff, the cost of which you will also have to pay.

 

  • By whom? By the head of the family. The self-employed, companies, clubs and even de facto associations are also obliged to pay.

 

  • Exceptions? In certain cases, such as serious illness or a low income, written exemption can be requested.

 

  • Beware! If you do not receive notice of the tax on time, be sure to contact the Welcome Desk promptly! Read more

Our suggestions

100% Brussels@Kunstenfestivaldesart        

Before Brussels, it was on in London, Berlin and Vienna: The Rimini Protocol is a play which, as part of the Kunstenfestivaldesarts, will introduce the complex city of Brussels on the basis of 100 ordinary Brussels people who are statistically representative of the city’s population. In ‘100% Brussels’ they talk about their daily lives and answer questions about their habits and lifestyle.

 

The play is part of the annual Kunstenfestivaldesarts, which starts on 2 May with an intriguing mix of Belgian and international artists and their highly individual creations, expressing a personal vision of today’s world. This cosmopolitan city festival brings people together in a bilingual project with a single major objective: to boost dialogue between the two communities.

 

Free tickets: Europe.Brussels is offering 4 free double tickets for various shows on 5, 8 and 16 May. Just take part in the competition.

 

100% Brussels, Halles de Schaerbeek, on 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10 & 11 May. Read more.

 

Kunstenfestivaldesarts, at several Brussels venues, from 2 to 24 May. Read more.


Chamber music festival: ‘l’Europe en Musique’  

Rarely-heard chamber music by composers from all over the European Union: ‘l’Europe en Musique’.

 

The festival starts with the remarkable ‘l’Europe des enfants’, in which pupils from French-speaking Brussels music schools perform works from the 28 member states of the European Union. In the days that follow you can enjoy a programme of chamber music from Estonia, Ireland, Sweden and the United Kingdom, among others. A unique opportunity to see mainly young, promising musicians and ensembles that have emerged from Belgium’s conservatoires and colleges. 

 

This year, one of the festival venues will be highly appropriate: the superb Musical Instrument Museum (MIM).

 

L’Europe en Musique, Musical Instrument Museum and other venues, from 23 to 27 April. Read more.

Balkan Trafik Festival  

Exhilarating concerts brimming with Balkan music, with 200 artists as well as workshops, a master-class and debates on the Balkans. That’s the Balkan Trafik Festival.

 

For the last 8 years more than 7000 festival-goers have (re)discovered Balkan music, and also Rom music, engaged rock, and jazz, as well as traditional and electronic music. With living legends from Romania, Serbia, Hungary, Turkey, Bulgaria and elsewhere.

 

Our selection consists of Belgian groups with Balkan influences: the Antwerp Gipsy-Ska Orkestra, the Balkan Trafik Band, the Ambrassband and le Giant horo. The latter is giving a free opening concert on the Grand’Place. Don’t miss it!

 

Balkan Trafik festival, BOZAR, from 1 to 4 May. Read more.


Festival Courants d’airs 

Circus, opera, theatre, concerts: plenty of variety at the Festival Courants d’airs, which provides an artistic platform for more than 500 students, actors and musicians from the Royal Conservatoires and colleges.

 

The festival programme comprises 70 artistic projects. You can discover the creative power and interdisciplinary talent of 180 young actors and 360 young musicians.

 

Here are our selections:

  • classical music: Schumann: le romantique des romantiques (23/4; free), in the Gothic Hall at Brussels Town Hall and Lighthouse project (25/4). 
  • Circus: Inter-férence contrôlée (25-27/4). 
  • And lastly theatre: Le capitaine fracasse, (24,26,27/4; Bellone) et Les bonnes de Jean Genet (25-27/4).

 

Festival Courants d’Airs, from 23 to 27 april, at various venues in the centre of Brussels. Read more.


Brussels International Guitar Festival & Competition 

The obligatory rendezvous for guitar fans, but also for your inner music-lover or if you are just curious: the Brussels International Guitar Festival & Competition is on again at Espace Magh from 25 to 29 April.

 

This year, the most important Belgian classical guitar festival is inviting you on a journey to and a dialogue with various cultures. And the theme is ‘Notes from Here and Elsewhere’.

 

The programme includes concerts of classical music, jazz, flamenco and baroque, but also master-classes, conferences, a gathering of guitar-builders and a first-class international competition.

 

We recommend: Duo José María Gallardo del Rey & Miguel Ángel Cortés, Flamenco meets Classic – In memoriam Paco de Lucia (26/4), the guitar-builder salon and Karim Baggili Sextet - guitar with world music - performs Mariage des Cultures.

 

Brussels International Guitar Festival & Competition, from 25 to 29 April, Espace Magh. Read more. 


 Kids and Kidsgazette: 1,2,3 Brussels treasure hunts 

1,2,3: on your marks! Get set! Go! These three treasure hunts in Brussels are designed specially for children from 6 to 12 accompanied by an adult. They offer a playful way to discover the city centre, the European quarter and the Cinquantenaire, and the Plateau du Heysel. Are you incredibly clever? If so, do all three trips and break the number code. There is a small gift waiting for the winners at Visitbrussels in Rue Royale.

 

The treasure hunts have been compiled by Kidsgazette at the request of the Wallonia-Brussels Tourist Office and its partners. They can be downloaded free. 

 

Every week you will find suggestions for activities with children on the Kidsgazette Facebook page.


Off-Brussels Contemporary Art Fair   

An art fair, but just slightly different: the Off-Brussels Contemporary Art Fair is characterized by creative novelties and bursts with energy. With new talents, but also more well-established art galleries. Some of the artists will be exhibiting in Belgium for the first time.

 

Project Off welcomes 10 galleries with specific projects (sculptures, 3D, projection etc.). Young Off hosts art galleries that have existed for less than three years. Lastly, the OFF Team consists of students from two classes at the Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels.

 

And for those who prefer it, you can book a guided tour for any day.

 

Off-Brussels Contemporary Art Fair, from 25 to 28 April in Tour & Taxis. Read more

Brussels Short Film Festival 

The annual celebration of the international short film starts on 23 April! The Brussels Short Film Festival offers more than 300 short film gems from all over the world, from Iran to Malaysia and from Brussels to Sydney.

 

As it does every year, the festival holds a national and international film contest and, last but not least, a ‘next generation’ competition, which selects short films by students. This year, the selection outside the competition has four themes: Musts, Travelling, Rock ‘n Roll and Jeune Publique. And for the party-lovers, don’t miss the BSFF parties.

 

Brussels Short Film Festival, from 23 April to 3 May, in various Brussels cinemas. Read more.