The cultural week ahead in Belgium: summer exhibitions, photography, music festivals, and more. See you there!
Exhibition: Summer group show at Trampoline
Runs until 1 August Antwerp
The vast majority of galleries closes down for the summer, but not so Antwerp’s Trampoline, which instead invites you to visit a special summer group show. The exhibition “Me, Myself and I” showcases works by all artists represented by the gallery, concentrating on the theme of the self-portrait. Featuring Leen Voet, Nel Aerts, Charif Benhelima and others.
Exhibition: Henri Cartier-Bresson at the Jewish Museum
Runs until 24 August Brussels
Henri Cartier-Bresson needs no introduction. The celebrated French-born Magnum photographer is one of the biggest and influential names in the history of photography, and the one behind the idea of the so-called “decisive moment”, which has shaped decades of photographers. Bresson once explained it this way: “Photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organisation of forms which give that event its proper expression.” Brussels’ Jewish Museum currently hosts a wonderful exhibition of his mesmerizing work, featuring 133 black and white images from over five decades. By the way, this is the last expo before the museum closes down for two years of renovations.
Music festival: Boomtown
From 21 to 25 July Ghent
Jacco Gardner, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Lambchop, Sun Kil Moon, Bed Rugs, Great Mountain Fire, BRNS, … just a few highlights of the multifaceted Boomtown festival line-up bringing together acts from Belgium and abroad for the 14th time. As each year it all goes down in different venues across the city during the infamous Gentse Feesten. Noteworthy: all gigs on Kouter square, where the main stage is set up, are freely accessible!
Outdoor party: Country Club
Tuesday, 21 July Brussels
If you don’t know how to spend your day off and you’re not really into the traditional national day celebrations, here’s a nice alternative: Summer project Country Club, a collab between Catclub and Libertine Supersport that usually takes place on Sundays, invites you to Tour & Taxis for a special edition featuring bouncy castles, badminton, delicious food and great music. Enjoy!
Mag launch & expo: IYL at Clouds in my Coffee
From 22 to 26 July Ghent
Lovely Ghent café Clouds in my Coffee is always worth a visit, but even more so this week when it plays host to a magazine launch and exhibition. Here you can get your hands on a fresh copy of the very first issue of If You Leave Magazine, which focuses on contemporary photography, as does the pop-up expo. The latter was co-curated by the mag makers favorite publications from Der Greif and Dazed & Confused to The Guardian.
Night out: Zwart Wild at White Cat
Wednesday, 22 July Ghent
There’s so much going on with the Gentse Feesten that it’s hard to pick where to go these days in Ghent. One event you should not miss is organized by art space Zwart Wild who invites you to the White Cat bar to dance to the tunes of Petaca and New York’s global bass pioneer Uproot Andy.
Music festival: Borgerwood at Spoor Oost
From 25 to 26 July Antwerp
Although Belgium is already jam-packed with amazing music festivals, there’s always room for more! This weekend you should check out the very first edition of Borgerwood, a brand new small-sized but very promising music bash with a local vibe taking place in the city of Antwerp. The two-day festival brings Joy Wellboy, Kim Ann Foxman, Soldier’s Heart and others on stage while trying to keep its ecological footprint to a minimum. Plus, it includes nice little extras such as vegan food trucks, a vintage clothing market and a photo booth.