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What's on this week: 19-25 May
Belgian Pride Month started on 4 May with daily events, but the big day is this Saturday with the Belgian Pride Parade. Each year, it attracts between 60,000 and 100,000 visitors from all around Belgium and beyond. This year the parade starts on Rue Ravenstein and then makes its way downtown. There will be two centres of activity, one on the Mont des Arts and the other on the Coal Market in the Saint-Jacques neighbourhood. The slogan this year is "crossing borders" and the theme is asylum and migration. The Pride Village opens at 14.00 on the Mont des Arts and the parade starts at 14.30. Partying starts in earnest at 16.00 at both locations and lasts into the early morning followed by numerous Pride parties that last well past daybreak.
Cardiff-based arts association Literature Wales collaborates with Brussels’ own Passa Porta to celebrate the work of Romantic poet Hedd Wyn and other artists who lost their lives on the battlefields of Flanders during the First World War. Wyn’s literary career was just taking off when he was conscripted and cut down during the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917. The evening features readings by National Poet of Wales Ifor ap Glyn, performance by Welsh singer Gwyneth Glyn and commentary by literary critics Geert Buelens and Patrick McGuinness. (In English and Welsh)
23 May, 20.00 at Passa Porta, Brussels
In celebration of what would have been Elvis Presley’s 80th birthday, the King of Rock & Roll “performs” on screen in a unique collaboration with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, featuring an appearance by his former wife, Priscilla Presley.
19 May 20.00, Palais 12, Brussels
This spring, Kultuur Kaffee's Bang! Festival is taking place in the very beautiful Baroque Church of the Béguinage near the Fish Market and is featuring "a non-standard selection of more than 50 artists with a different sonic approach". It's being curated this year by mutli-disciplinary artist Joris Van De Mortel whose aim is to "break any existing boundaries between fine arts and music". For the festival he is honouring painter Pieter Paul Bruegel the Elder, and his allegoric painting, 12 Proverbs. Every evening will highlight one of the 12 proverbs with sound art and performances.
Until 8 June
The Carolus Festival will be presenting a plethora of Renaissance activities through the summer as usual, and one of those activities is family day this Sunday, with themed games and workshops, a historical buffet, guided tours and dance classes to take you and your children back in time. The buffet will feature sweet/savoury-mixed platters created by seasoned chefs inspired by Renaissance cuisine. Workshops will include crossbow shooting, 16th century cooking, zythology (everything about beer) and a court architect workshop where participants will design their own version of a palace. Visitors will be able to dress up in Renaissance fashions and pose for souvenir photos with members of the Ommegang (crossbowmen, hallebardiers, lords and ladies) or learn Renaissance games.
21 May, Coudenberg, Place des Palais, Brussels
The third edition of Singing Brussels Celebration Weekend takes place in Bozar this weekend with workshops, singing sessions, concerts big and small by people of all ages, genders, ethnicities, cultural and religious identities and generations. There will be two festive concerts sung by 660 Brussels schoolchildren in the Hall Henri Le Boeuf as well as more than 30 professional and amateur choirs in the various halls in the Bozar and, new this year, some choirs are performing together. The high point of the weekend: you can join the British ensemble VOCES8 to sing a hymn written for our city. And to close the weekend enjoy the Ode to Joy from Beethoven's Ninth interpreted by the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and the Collegium Vocale from Ghent under the direction of legendary conductor Philippe Herreweghe.
20-21 May, Bozar, Brussels, free