20 things to do in Belgium this weekend

Cinema specials and neighbourhood experiments in Brussels, block parties in Ghent, album releases in Antwerp and photography festivals in Liège. The weekend has landed.

1. Tuesday 4th – Friday 7th October: Rain at La Monnaie, Brussels

Steve Reich, one of the pioneers of experimental music, celebrates his 80th birthday this month. To mark the occasion, La Monnaie hosts a rerun of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s famed choreography ‘Rain’, after Reich’s ‘Music for 18 musicians’. Expect an inflamed and manic expression of body movement to inherently graphic sounds.

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2. Wednesday 5th October: Papier Tigre and Jojobeam at Magasin 4, Brussels

French math-rock trio Papier Tigre and rhythmic noise ensemble Jojobeam on stage at underground concert venue Magasin 4.

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3. Thursday 6th – Tuesday 11th October: Age d’or festival at Cinematek, Brussels

The third edition of Âge d’or festival, a five day celebration of experimental film in all its forms, hosted by iconic film archive Cinematek, features a competition of 22 films never before showed in Belgium, an introduction to the work of avant-garde film maker Peter Gidal through a series of film screenings, a programme of Asian experimental cinema and much, much more. Essential for film buffs.

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4. Thursday 6th – Sunday 9th October: This is what it feels like at La Vitrine, Brussels

Kool Kids Klub, a non-profit organisation aimed at supporting young and emerging artists, hosts the exhibition ‘This is what it feels like’ at La Vitrine in downtown Brussels. On display are a series of collages by Zephyr, meant as an intimate journal of the young Brussels-based artist.

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5. Thursday 6th October: Accou, Les énervés and Carrageanan at Barlok, Brussels

Italian experimental improv by Les Enervés, abstract noise by Brussels-based producer Carrageanan and melancholic melodica by French exile Accou at canalised warehouse hangout Barlok.

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6. Thursday 6th October: Les Nocturnes du MIMA at MIMA, Brussels

The second instalment of the nocturnes at Brussels’ youngest museum MIMA, with free guided tours of the current exhibition ‘City Lights’ (prior reservations are needed to guarantee a place).

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7. Thursday 6th October: Sevdaliza at Beursschouwburg, Brussels

Brussels non-profit youth organisation Kultuurkaffee invites Iranian-Dutch Sevdaliza, whose harsh electronic productions combined with smooth, jazzy vocals never fail to make for a mesmerising performance. On support is Brussels-based singer-producer RIN, who recently recorded an exclusive mix for us here.

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8. Thursday 6th October: Kinky silent movie night at Kinky Star, Ghent

A screening of three silent movies – free of charge – at music centre Kinky Star. On the programme are Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, Luis Bunuel’s Un Chien Andalou and L’âge d’or. Each film is accompanied by live music, adding an experimental layer to an already promising night.

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9. Thursday 6th October: Spleen #5 at Gouvernement, Ghent

Ghent cultural circuit favourite Gouvernement reopens for the autumn season with the fifth edition of Spleen, the venue’s series of courtyard parties. With Paris/Brussels master digger Raphaël Top Secret and office favourite Asa Moto providing partygoers on dance floor duties.

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10. Friday 7th October: Ascetic and Charnier at Backpackers bar, Brussels

Local cold wave imprint Weyrd Son Records invite Australian post-punk trio to present their second album, titled ‘Everything is Coming’, with Brussels-based minimal wave three-piece Charlier, whose debut LP is soon to come out on Weyrd Son, on support.

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11. Friday 7th October: Damso at Bloody Louis, Brussels

Avenue Louise club Bloody Louis hosts Brussels hip hop heavyweight and Booba favourite Damso for a a concert. Local heroes UMI and Richie Santos on support.

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12. Friday 7th October: Sea Urchin and Typhonian Highlife release party at De Studio, Antwerp

Ghent experimental record imprint KRAAK takes De Studio in Antwerp over for a double release party. Berlin duo Sea Urchin are presenting their newest album ‘Yaqaza’ and  Typhonian Highlife introduces crowds to his latest release ‘The World of Shells’.

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13. Friday 7th October: Optimum Park at Charleroi danses, Charleroi

Optimum Park is a conceptual performance directed by Charleroi-based artist Sébastien Lacomblez that symbolises an artistic laboratory combining graphism, sculpture, spoken word, music and danse. After a recent appearance at Paris’ Palais de Tokyo, Lacomblez returns to his hometown Charleroi for a performance at Charleroi Danses.

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14. Friday 7th October: Congo Art Works opening at Bozar, Brussels

This Friday marks the opening of Congo Art Works at Bozar, an exhibition that brings together popular paintings from the African country from 1968 to 2012, thus offering an aesthetic insight into Congolese religion, history and society. Essential.

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15. Friday 7th October: Vernissage Cars, Priests and Haircuts at Place Bara, Brussels

This Friday marks the inauguration of photographer Kurt Deruyter’s light box installation – titled ‘Cars, priests and haircuts’ and which aims to turn the neighbourhood into a permanent exhibition space while simultaneously showing its dynamism – on Anderlecht’s Place Bara, .

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16. Saturday 8th October: Bruxelles ma Belle et son Hip Hop at Bonnefooi, Brussels

The eighth edition of Bruxelles ma Belle & son Hip Hop, the party concept bringing together some of the finest hip hop acts of the city, invites Flemish-rap duo Berrykrimi (whose debut album ‘Elke Dag’ you can listen to here), DJ crew Supafly and trap DJ Mariah Kaaris. Support your local artists.

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17. Saturday 8th October: Battle of the Year Benelux at KVS, Brussels

This Saturday Benelux pre-selections for international breakdance competition Battle of the Year take place at cultural temple KVS, hosted by the legendary Zulu Nation. With both solo and crew head-to-heads, as well as a newly installed kids’ battle, a five headed international jury will decide which dancers get to go to the final battle in the German town of Essen.

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18. Saturday 8th October: Nose Job with Orpheu the Wizard at Épicerie Moderne, Brussels

An all-nighter at downtown cave Épicerie Moderne, hosted by local nightlife hero Rick Shiver, with yungun Nobuo on warm up duties right before Red Light radio head honcho Orpheu the Wizard.

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19. Saturday 8th October: Leftorium with Christian S at Beursschouwburg, Brussels

Leftorium hosts its next edition, with a line-up that features the usual eccentric, unclassifiable electronic music the Brussels party concept relentlessly supports and promotes, with Comeme records’ Christian S and Leftorium’s own Mugwump. 808 drums guaranteed.

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20. Saturday 8th – Sunday 9th October: Photobook festival at Caserne Fonck, Liège

Part of Liège’s Biennale de l’Image Possible, the first edition of the International Photobook festival brings independent publishing heavy hitters to town for two days. Consisting of lectures, debates and portfolio reviews by national and international artists as well as the odd book signing or two, the heart of the weekend is the book fair showcasing the work of thirty publishers and bookshops. Set within Caserne Fonck, this ambitious endeavour reinforces Liège’s standing on the international scene. Full support.

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