Brussels in September: events, festivities and exhibitions come to the city
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Brussels in September: events, festivities and exhibitions come to the city

As Summer comes to a close and temperatures begin to cool, Brussels’ residents are set to get back to work and the school season kicks-off.

Amidst the change of season, there are a number of events, festivals, and exhibitions that will fill the streets of the Belgian capital this September.

Here are just some of the events on the horizon:

1. Brussels Design Market

Brussels Design Market returns this year to the Belgian capital for the entire month, from 5 to 30 September, rather than just a week. It is spread across several locations in Brussels, with more than 100 design events, as well as exhibitions in iconic places in the city such as Horta House, ADAM – Brussels Design Museum, and for the first time the Children’s Museum. This year, a special emphasis will be placed on ceramics as the festival seeks to mark Brussels as one of the European capitals of design.

Tickets range from €10 to €15.

Brussels Design Market, March 2019. Credit: Brussels Design Market/ Facebook.

2.   Eat! BRUSSELS, drink! BORDEAUX

Brussels Park will play host to the food and drink festival eat! Brussels, drink! Bordeaux from 5 to 8 September. For its eighth edition, the festival will see 31 of Brussels’ finest chefs accompanied by 5 Belgian cheesemakers, 4 Belgian pastry chefs and 50 winemakers and wine traders from Bordeaux come together for this annual celebration of food and drink.

Open from 12:00 PM to 11:00 PM from the 5 to 8 September, pre-sale tickets range from €16 to €29.

Eat! Brussels Drink! Bordeaux, September 2018. Credit: Eat! Brussels Drink! Bordeaux/ Facebook.

3. Belgian Beer Weekend

This year, Belgian Beer Weekend will take place from 6 to 8 September at Grand Place. With over 50 breweries participating, the event opens to the public at 6:00 PM on Friday 6 September. On Saturday 7 September, there will be a procession of brewery carts and beer wagons parading throughout the streets of Brussels. At 12:00 PM on Sunday 8 September, there will be a similar parade of bands and brewers.

Belgian Beer weekend, 2018. Credit: Belgian Brewers/ Lander Loeckx.

4. Brussels Gallery Weekend

The Belgian capital will see the return of the Brussels Gallery Weekend from 5 to 8 September. The 12th edition of Brussels Gallery Weekend, located at Espace Vanderborght, will be returning to the city, bringing together 40 galleries and a dozen artistic institutions. Brussels Gallery Weekend celebrates the general reopening of Brussels contemporary art galleries and nonprofit spaces, gathering together great shows all around the city.

There is no charge to visit the participating galleries.

Brussels Gallery Weekend 2018. Credit: Brussels Gallery Weekend/Facebook.

5. Atomium Festival

The annual Atomium Festival returns to Brussels on 7 September. Hosted by Deep In House, the event features electronic music artists playing from 2:00 PM until 2:00 AM. During the day, it is also possible to visit the Atomium and ADAM (Brussels Design Museum). The Atomium Festival will take place at Square de l’Atomium 1020 Brussels.

Entrance to the festival is free.

Update: this event has been rescheduled to 14 September due to bad weather.

The Atomium. Credit: Mike Cattell/Flickr.

6. Comic Strip Festival & Balloon’s Day Parade

Returning to Brussels for the tenth year, the Comic Strip Festival will take place at Brussels Park and Place Royale from 13 to 15 September. Kicking off at 10:00 AM on Friday morning, the festival offers trade shows, conferences, shows, animations, and workshops. As part of the Balloon’s Day Parade, famous inflated comic figures will be brought through the streets of Brussels on Saturday from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM.

Balloon Day Parade 2009. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

7. Brussels Museums Nocturnes

From 19 September until 5 December, the Brussels Nocturnes pass will return to Brussels. The Brussels Nocturnes Pass, also known as Pass 5 Nocturnes, offers a packet of 5 reduced-rate tickets valid for use during the above dates on Thursday evenings from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM. It is possible to use more than one ticket on the same evening. Holders of the Pass 5 Nocturnes will have the opportunity to visit any 5 of the 73 museums that will open their doors every Thursday during the season.

The standard cost of the Pass 5 Nocturnes is €17. For those under the age of 26, however, the cost of the Pass 5 Nocturnes ticket is reduced to €8.

The Kanal, Centre Pompidou, during Brussels Museums Nocturnes in 2018. Credit: Veerle Vercauteren/ Brussels Museums Nocturnes Facebook.

8. Mobility Week & Car-free Sunday

From 16 to 22 September, Mobility Week will offer its residents the opportunity to test sustainable modes of transport in the Belgian capital. Hand-in-hand with mobility week comes Car-Free Sunday on 22 September. Car-Free Sunday will take place in the whole of the Brussels Region. Permitted vehicles, such as taxis, public transport buses, emergency services, and police, will be allowed to drive through the streets of the city, but only at 30km per hour.

Car-Free Sunday in Brussels, 2012. Credit: European Cyclist Federation/Facebook.

9. Brussels Cocktail Week

After previous events which saw over 8,000 people gather in bars across the city, Brussels Cocktail Week will return to the Belgian capital for the third time. From 15 to 22 September, the week will be dedicated to mixology, food, and cocktail pairings in more than 40 places with bartenders from all over the city. The opening party will be held at Hôtel de la Poste near Tour and Taxis, from 3:00 PM until 11:00 PM.

Bartenders making cocktails, March 2019. Credit: Brussels Cocktail Week/Facebook.

10. Fêtes Romanes 2019 – Street Art Festival

Featuring acrobats, jugglers, comics and dancers, the Fêtes Romanes on the 28 and 29 September will feature 25 Belgian and international companies with a multitude of shows spread across 20 stages throughout the streets of Woluwe-Saint-Lambert.

The event is free and suitable for all ages.

Crowds gathered on the streets hosted by Wolubilis. Credit: Wolubilis/Facebook


Evie McCullough
The Brussels Times

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