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Things to do in Belgium this week: music festivals, photography exhibitions, a book fair, a label night and more in Aalst, Brussels, Antwerp, Hasselt, and Waregem.

Music festival: Les Nuits Botanique

Closes on Sunday, 25 May Brussels

The Flaming Lips

The Flaming Lips

Botanique’s yearly music festival Les Nuits is continuing this week, ending with a bang this weekend when the legendary Flaming Lips, known for their absolutely crazy live show antics, will take the stage. Other highlights: Young Knives, New York electronic project Hercules & Love Affair, Iceland’s Hjaltalin and of course the after parties with indie rock DJ Brett Summers and Brussels duo Onda Sonora. Plus, it’s always nice to enjoy a beer in the sunny gardens.

Photography: Kevin Westenberg at Ingrid Deuss Gallery

Closes on 20 June Antwerp

PJ Harvey

PJ Harvey

This exhibition at Antwerp’s Ingrid Deuss Gallery is a real treat for photography and music fans alike. “Pictures by Kevin Westenberg” showcases a selection of works by the self-taught, London-based music photographer who already has been in the trade for about 25 years. He photographed the UK’s Britpop bands in the 90s, shot album covers for Sting and Mary J Blige and went on tour with Coldplay. The American aimed his lense at bigshots such as Thom Yorke, Nick Cave, Paul McCartney, Robert Plant and Paul Weller, mostly before they had reached their peak: “Every photographer looks for this purity. We want to record the person when he is still fresh, not bitter yet and ruined by the business”, Westenberg says.

Exhibition: Egon Van Herreweghe at Netwerk

Runs until 15 June Aalst

At Aalst’s contemporary art center Netwerk you can currently discover the fascinating, multi-disciplinary works of young Ghent-based artist Egon Van Herreweghe. “Always a thief and never caught” unites everything from prints and manipulated vogue advertisements to sculptures and collages. His artworks, oscillating somewhere between figuration and abstraction, are based on his personal collection of photographs, clippings and objects. One to watch out for.

Last days to see: Sense of Sound at Z33

Closes on Sunday, 25 May Hasselt

For the exhibition “Sense of Sound” Z33, Hasselt’s center for contemporary art founded in 2002, teamed up with Brussels-based Overtoon, a production house for sound and media art. The showcased works were created by current Overtoon residents, exploring sound in all its forms and spotlighting the close-knit relation between sound and movement. With artworks by Gert Aertsen, Christoph De Boeck, Aernoudt Jacobs, Stéfan Piat, Katerina Undo, Jeroen Uyttendaele and Jeroen Vandesande.

Photography: Max Pinckers and Thomas Vanden Driessche at Recyclart

Thursday, 22 May Brussels

In the context of its so-called “extra fort” series, Recyclart’s Studio Marcel gives photographers one hour to present their own work, the oeuvre of other photographers and artists, or something completely unrelated as dance or football. Next up: Rising Belgium-based photographers Max Pinckers and Thomas Vanden Driessche who will show the images resulting from a common trip to India.

Print: Artist book fair at Be-Part

Friday, 23 May, and Saturday, 24 May Waregem

For the third time Waregem’s Be-Part invites you to its artist book fair offering lovers of the printed matter two days of book presentations, talks and more. If you are into beautiful independent productions and original books a bit out of the ordinary, this is the right place for you. With creations by Art Paper Editions (APE), Mer Paper Kunsthalle, Théophile’s Papers, Sleeperhold Publications and others. Also on the menue: a mini exhibition by Belgian artist Pieterjan Ginckels.

Night out: Vlek label night at Stockholm S.

Friday, 23 May, 23h00 Antwerp

Vlek goes Antwerp: invited by Antwerp’s Tint project Brussels-based label Vlek throws a massive birthday bash at Stockholm S. to celebrate its 3 year anniversary. Behind the decks you’ll find a number of Vlek artists putting out some of today’s most innovative electronic sounds in Belgium. Sagat, Cupp Cave, Lawrence Le Doux and Squeaky Lobster will definitely keep you up till the early morning hours.

Last days to see: Brent Wadden at Almine Rech

Closes on Saturday, 24 May Brussels

This week is your last chance to check out “The Decline”, the first exhibition of Canadian and Berlin-based artist Brent Wadden at Brussels Gallery Almine Rech. On show are works from his so-called “Alignment” series embodying a spirit of counterculture and resistance. In his artworks he mixes materials gathered from ebay and Craigslist with items he received from family and friends, exploring the clashes between folk heritage and today’s anonymous consumer society.

Afternoon party: Brüxsel Jardin open air season opening at Place Poelaert

Sunday, 25 May, 14h00 Brussels

The sun is shining and summer is around the corner: the perfect timing for Brüxsel Jardin’s first outdoor bash this year. The Brussels party collective which is also about to start its own label kicks off the open air season this Sunday with a German-heavy line-up featuring Ki Record’s Christian Löffler, Steffen Kirchhoff and others. A nice touch: a part of the entrance fee goes to Apis Bruoc Sella, a Belgian organization aiming at stopping the bee dying. All in all the perfect place to cure your Saturday night hangover and work on those tanning lines.

Cover photo Sasha Vernaeve

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