20 things to do in Belgium this winter, with a New Year’s bonus special

We’ll be taking a two-week break as we head into the new year – so we’ve prepared a hefty holiday agenda to keep those of you who’ll be staying put covered. From family fun to naughty end of year celebrations, go do the right thing this holiday.

Thursday 21st December – Sunday 21st January: Natural Capital (Modal Alam) at BOZAR, Brussels

Continuing Europalia’s celebration of all the fine things that Indonesia has to offer to the rest of the world, they’ll be presenting their Curator’s Award over the course of a month at BOZAR. From locally based artists Martin Belou and Rachel Monosov to Swiss powerhouse Offshore Studio, the online publication NaturalCapital.online will be launched alongside the exhibition opening highlighting the fabulous biodiversity, riches and art linked to the archipelago. Start your holidays right.

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Thursday 21st – Saturday 30th December: Ten Slotte 2 – Expanded moving images at Het Bos, Antwerp

Never one to disappoint, Het Bos, Escautville and resident film collective De Imagerie have teamed up for a second sound of Ten Slotte, an exploration into the audiovisual. Six jam-packed days of persuasive content, from Brussels-based DJ and visual artist Céline Gillain on Friday to a collab night with local label Ekster, presenting Scott Gilmore and Hiele. A-Town, show some love.

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Thursday 21st – Saturday 23rd December: Fatima Al Qadiri & Khalid Al Gharaballi – Mendeel Um A7med (NxIxSxM) at Beursschouwburg, Brussels

Through its current artistic programme The Future is Feminist, Beursschouwburg dedicates a sizeable  portion of its focus to feminism and intersectionality through a number of thought-provoking events. Mendeel Um A7mad will for one pay homage to Abdul-Aziz Al Nimish, the daring Kuwaiti actor who pushed boundaries by acting out mature women in a time when the latter were not expected to perform. New York-based artists Fatima Al Qadiri and Khalid Al Gharaballi investigate the notion of gendered space by flipping the script on its head: the duo displace the Chai Dhaha ritual, informal tea gatherings of women, from its usual setting of the private home to the ballroom. In addition to this feminist critique on the reconfigured spatialities of Kuwait’s petroleum-based economy, the film throws in another punch with a cast of young men playing the middle-aged female roles. Bold and outrageous.

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Thursday 21st December: Kapitan Korsakov, Brutus + Cocaine Piss at Vooruit, Ghent

Indie rock concert platform Autumn Falls are closing this year’s edition at Vooruit with a loud bang; and with local talents, no less. From grunge punk trio Kapitan Korsakov, eclectic noise rock three-piece Brutus, to Liège’s trash punk Cocaine Piss; this is guaranteed to be a sure deal of a gig. And as if that weren’t enough, Autumn Falls have a promising afterparty in the works, too. The best things come in three’s.

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Thursday 21st – Friday 22nd December: Mockumentary of a Contemporay Savior at deSingel, Antwerp

Always tantalising, deSingel does it again. In the aftermath of Speak Low if You Speak Love, Wim Vandekeybus’ next performance puts a magnifying glass on our modern world. We’re at a turning point: do we need a new messiah? Not to be missed.

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Thursday 21st December: HOOKED at Rumba & Co, Leuven

Leuven’s hip hop party connaisseurs HOOKED are back in their home turf, specifically in downtown lair Rumba & Co. For this occasion, they’re bringing out beloved producer Le Motel alongside Jewels, and resident DJs of course. No sleep for the wicked.

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Thursday 21st December: Social Harmony presents David Edren at Trampoline Gallery, Antwerp

The Ghent-based label Social Harmony will be presenting their brand new cassette release Electronic Gamelan Music, courtesy of Antwerp’s David Edren. Besides a live show hosted at Trampoline Gallery, you can also expect Social Harmony’s catalogue of music visuals and “non-works”. Don’t sleep.

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Friday 22nd December: BRONKS & Onda Sonora – Shake your money maker at BRONKS, Brussels

Turning bad news to good, BRONKS is teaming up with the prominent Onda Sonora to present a night of play, all to support Flemish Parkinson’s League. More than a simple fundraiser, they’ve assembled some of the capitol’s finest DJs and producers: Strictly Niceness’ Deejay Kwak, DC Salas, Soumaya Phéline and Mambele, just to name a few. Dancing with a cause.

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Friday 22nd December: AJ Tracey + 67 at Reflektor, Liège

Grime royalty in the making, London-bred AJ Tracey combines smooth vocals with his signature booty-shaking instrumentals. From throwing bars about pasta to the streets – versatility is the word. Catch him before he blows up.

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Friday 22nd December: Exotica Erotica #1 at Bar Helder, Antwerp

A brand new serie of nights is landing down on Antwerp: expect the finest funk and boogie from all corners of the world, with the opening launch manned by Sheridan, DTM Funk and resident DJ Konna. Friday’s are for dancing.

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Thursday 28th December – Saturday 6th January: Wintervuur Festival at Spoor Oost, Antwerp

Some much-needed downtime between Christmas engagements and end of year blow-outs: Borgerhout‘s Spoor Oost will be hosting a ten-day winter festival. From free gigs, poetic theatrics and of course cosy fires; snuggle up for some family friendly fun.

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Saturday 30th December – Tuesday 2nd January: Kompass NYE Rave at Kompass, Ghent

Who says end of year celebrations have to be limited to one day only? Ghent’s Kompass is kicking off a three-day belter to make sure you live it up to the fullest. From renownd international acts like Erol Alkan, Richie Hawtin and Blawan to plenty of local loves; make sure you dance your lil’ heart out.

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NYE: Catclub, Brussels

Iconic Brussels venue Catclub has a tittilating line-up of Word favourites for this year’s New Years: besides the refreshingly new American producer FIT, you can expect the likes of SixSixSixties, DJ Athome and Princess Century. Rest assured you’ll ring in the New Year with a quality house night out. Worth the hangover.

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NYE: HUSH HUSH Sloopt Contrair at Contrair, Antwerp

Deep, funky house at Contrair, all thanks to local promo-crew HUSH HUSH. That means, of course, a tight roster of resident DJS – Vic Crezee, Hush Hefner and Blackout Boy – manning the decks all night. Grooves guaranteed.

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NYE: LUX GENT, Ghent

Ghent’s primetime venue LUX has something for the old souls, looking for something other than bass and electronica. Spanning across two rooms, LUX will be bringing in the new year with disco, old-school house, funk and 80’s pop. Get your gladrags on.

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NYE: Ampere, Antwerp

With still much to reveal, techno-lair Ampere is keeping us on our toes. Having already announced two prolific Russian producers Nina Kraviz and Nikita Zabelin as headlining acts, this is most definitely not one to be missed.

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NYE: Van Helder naar Vaag at Bar Helder & Club Vaag, Antwerp

Bar Helder and Club Vaag have got the right idea for this round of New Year’s: the neighbouring venues are teaming up for a double whammy soirée, crossing over between the old and new – all for the price of one. Treat yourselves.

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NYE: Deep in House at Horta Gallery, Brussels

After last year’s successful new year’s blowout, Deep in House is back with both homegrown and international talent. As always, they’re delivering the finest electro DJs, from Canada’s LNS to Brussels-local Gay Haze. And all within the spacious and brutalist Horta Gallery. Go out with a bang.

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Monday 1st January: DeepHeat Afterparty w/ RGS + Form and Function at Bazaar, Brussels

Techno lovers rejoice: following on from Deep in House‘s end of year festivities, DeepHeat have provided the perfect setting to keep blazing on through 2018. Marla Singer, EXAL and many more are manning the decks for DeepHeat’s fourth edition. Get ready to throw some shapes.

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Thursday 4th January: Gayance + ShunGu at Bonnefooi, Brussels

A spot of fun before heading back to the office, the classroom or more simply to the grind: downtown dive bar Bonnefooie is inviting hip-hop afficionados Gayance – hailing all the way from Montreal – and local ShunGu to man the decks. End the season right.

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