While the coronavirus pandemic has made travelling abroad difficult, there’s plenty of fun to be had right here in Brussels. Brussels Staycation, or StaycationBXL, is a series of initiatives designed to help Brussels residents make the most of their summer in the city.
Today’s spotlight is on Muziekpublique’s Hide & Seek Festival.
Muziekpublique is a nonprofit organisation that strives to keep music and dance traditions alive and kicking in Brussels through an ambitious programme of concerts, courses, and projects.
For their Brussels Staycation project, they’ll be hosting the sixth edition of their Hide & Seek Festival, which takes participants on a bike tour throughout Brussels where they’ll be treated to surprise concerts in unexpected places.
“Muziekpublique has once again been looking for the most unusual places in the capital to organise music concerts,” the nonprofit explains on their website.
“This year we will take you to unexpected places such as an ice rink, an old underground ice cellar, an atmospheric costume workshop, a mythical Gothic castle where Belgian history was written, an urban farm, a former veterinary school…”
The organisation assures prospective concertgoers that “even if you think you know Brussels like the back of your hand, this festival will nevertheless surprise you!”
This summer’s tour takes concert-going cyclists on an idyllic ride through Woluwe, Auderghem and Watermael–Boitsfort and features three different performance locations.
“We start at ‘Fraternités du Bon Pasteur’ in Woluwe, go to the mill house at the Red Abbey and end at the ‘Logis-floréal studio’ in Watermael–Boitsfort,” Muziekpublique says.
The musicians include the duo Guy Verlinde & Oliver Vander Bauwede, treating audiences to acoustic blues and “compelling americana filled with stories of love, loss, hope and resurrection, but mainly about… the positive power of music,” according to Muziekpublique.
“Get ready for some dreamy fingerpicking, acoustic guitars, harmonicas and moving storylines.”
The second performance features Congolese artist Tister Ikomo (Balafon, ngome, likembe, chant and dance), who will go into dialogue with Mamadou Dramé, a Senegalese kora player.
“Together, they search and create interfaces between their traditional music, which results in a fresh sound,” says Muziekpublique.
“Besides all this, the audience will be treated to some traditional and contemporary dance.”
The last performance will come from three musicians from Luthomania, who fuse their musical traditions and instruments into a whole.
“The musicality of the triplet takes you to higher places in the Far East (Hua Xia, pipa), Arabia (Abid El Bahri, Ud) and West-Europe (Philippe Malfeyt, lute),” according to Muziekpublique.
The festival is a collaboration with Darna VZW, a Flemish-Moroccan culture house.
Mark your calendars: the Hide & Seek festival starts with a three-hour bike tour on Sunday 22 August, an idyllic ride between Woluwe, Auderghem and Watermael-Boitsfort. Participants will follow the cycling guides and enjoy three concerts at three hidden and surprising venues along the route.
Then, from 23-28 August, concertgoers can enjoy performances in surprising places such as an underground ice cellar, an urban farm and a former veterinarian's school.
The concerts require tickets, which can be purchased in advance on their website.
The bike tour on the 22nd is held at 13.00, 14.00 and 15.00 and concertgoers are asked to stick to their coronavirus-safe bubbles.