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Things to do in Belgium this week: art, music festivals, beach parties, and more in Brussels, Watou, and Zeebrugge. See you there!

Window exhibition: Niklaus Rüegg at NICC

Runs until 30 August

Just like several other art spaces, NICC has recently made the move from Antwerp to Brussels, confirming the capital’s growing reputation as a major art center. The artist-run organization dedicated to advocating artists’ rights and creating an exchange between visual artists, institutions and society, currently presents “Trilogie Humaine” by Swiss artist Niklaus Rüegg. It’s part of the “NICC vitrine” series, a concept displaying art in a large street window.

Music festival: Lokerse Feesten

Until 10 August

No time to rest for Belgium’s festivalgoers: almost every week there’s another high quality music bash to attend, this time amongst others in the Flemish town of Lokeren. It’s already the 40th edition of the 10-day-long festival treating you with a great mix of Belgian and international artists reaching from Fatboy Slim, Pet Shop Boys and Miles Kane to Oscar And The Wolf, The Subs and Girls in Hawaii. Plus, you have the rare chance to see rock legends Patti Smith and Neil Young live on stage! Check out the full programme here.

Music: Brussels Summer Festival

From 8 to 17 August

The number of Belgian festivals knows no limits, and so there’s not only the already mentioned Lokersen Feesten taking place this week but also the annual Brussels Summer Festival. The multifaceted line-up offers everything from jazz and electro to rock and folk, with Suede, Patti Smith and Belgian newcomers Broadcast Island on top of our list. By the way: if you still don’t have enough after the outdoor gigs, Café Central throws after parties which are free of charge for all festivalgoers. Plus, the first beer is on the house!

Party cruise: Boat Club at Bruxelles Les Bains

Friday, 8 August and Sunday, 10 August

This year sees the 12th edition of summer outdoor concept Bruxelles Les Bains, located at the city’s canal. This week you have several chances to experience its fantastic Boat Club events, a party series taking place on a ship! This Friday Leftorium invites you to a little cruise and on Sunday it’s the turn of Brussels label On-Point with Alex Deforce, Jazz Neversleeps and others behind the decks.

Expo: During the Exhibition, the Studio Will Be Close at Wiels

Until 17 August

This fascinating group exhibition unites the works of a number of artists who are all former participants of Wiels’ excellent residency programme. The expo explores the closely intertwined relationships between artist studios, exhibition spaces, research and time. While the studio is the place to reflect on what will be shown in the exhibition space, the latter wants to mirror the contents of the artist studio. Fittingly, “During the Exhibition, the Studio Will Be Close” is located in the same building as the artist studios. With creations by Melissa Gordon, Grace Schwindt and many others.

Beach party: WECANDANCE at Zeebrugge

Saturday, 9 August

If you couldn’t make it to Coachella or Burning Man, here’s a Belgian festival that aims at reviving the spirit of the fabled American music bashes. This Saturday WECANDANCE invites you to a daytime spectacle on the beach in the name of love, peace & happiness, offering four stages, healthy food, and a setting inspired by Egyptian style. Last year WEACNDANCE not only won the Red Bull Elektropedia award as “Best Breakthrough Festival 2013” but also the “Marc Meulemans Award” for best design.

Art: Kunstenfestival Watou

Runs until 31 August

This summer all sorts of poets and visual artists are invading the small Belgian village of Watou near the French border for the 34th edition of the local art festival. The unusual setting makes it an exceptional experience, leading you through brewery cellars, old farms and a former monastery. All artists, each in their very own way, explore this year’s festival theme dedicated to the human pursuit of happiness. With works by Erwin Olaf, Sophie Calle and many others.

Exhibition: Vanessa Colareta at Nunc Contemporary

Runs until 6 September

Antwerp gallery Nunc Contemporary showcases a selection of photographs by Peruvian, Madrid-based artist Vanessa Colareta. Her specialty: still lifes. The winner of the Sony World Photographer Award uses this unusual genre as a means to examine social and political issues such as migration and globalization in a captivating way.

Afternoon hangout: Forest Fever at Abbaye De Forest

Sunday, 10 August

After several cancelled editions due to the unstable Belgian weather conditions summer concept Forest Fever, a collaboration between our beloved Catclub and Libertine Supersport, was finally able to kick off. Yummy food, great music, Volleyball fields and a gorgeous location made it an instant success. If the weather agrees, Forest Fever will make all your Sundays sunnier until the end of the summer season.

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