Discover Brussels off the beaten track

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Tourisme Evénements Evenementen Fête de l'Iris Irisfesst 2009Here is an opportunity to discover the off-the-beaten-track or hidden Brussels. The Fête de l’Iris/Irisfeest, which is celebrating the 26th anniversary of the Brussels-Capital Region on 9 and 10 May, will also feature Bruxelles Bienvenue/Welkom Brussel event. The activities will take place in the European capital. During this occasion, a party atmosphere will spread throughout the neighbourhoods of Brussels. Naturally, Palace Square concerts are on the agenda, but that’s not all. Rues en Fête, Bruxellois Non Peut-Etre, Food Truck Festival, and Bruxelles Bienvenue will join forces to transform these two days into a must-see weekend for the locals and tourists alike.

Bruxelles Bienvenue/Welkom Brussel

Tourisme Evénements Evenementen Fête de l'Iris Irisfesst 2009Thirty or so secret spots or which are usually closed to the public will host out-of-the-ordinary visits on Saturday 9 May. These include the Mont de Piété auction house, the views from the top of the Reyers Tower or even the Belgian Senate will be open to everyone for one day only. From this year onwards, the Bruxelles Bienvenue/Welkom Brussel event will be part of the Fête de l’Iris/Irisfeest to showcase together the cultural vibrancy and enthusiasm that prevails in the European capital. This Fête de l’Iris/Irisfeest, which is held each year to mark the anniversary of the Brussels-Capital Region, spotlights the talent that abounds in the capital. The centre of Brussels then teems with mini-festivals with something for everyone, with a varied programme of concerts, street performances and activities…

Here are the not-to-be-missed other activities during the upcoming festival weekend:

Tourisme Evénements Evenementen Fête de l'Iris Irisfesst 2009Electro Night Place des Palais – Saturday, May 9, from 7:30 PM to 12:30 AM

Irisfest wouldn’t be complete without its electronic music concert. Now a highly anticipated must-see event, this concert is geared towards experts and novices alike. Henri PFR, Yves V, Ummet Ozcan and Watermät will be on hand to electrify downtown Brussels.

Rues en Fête/ Feest op Straat – May 10, from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM

A showcase for artists from Brussels, Belgium, and all over the world, “Rues en Fête” brings the performing arts to the great outdoors. Colourful, off-the-wall stage designs will take over the cityscape, which will become a place to meet and exchange ideas. For instance, you will find a half-pipe with Belgium’s best riders in the Monts des Arts gardens, life-size strategy games at Albertine Square, a soap bubble show, and even a goose band!

FÍte de l'Iris 2010 IrisfeestBruxellois, non peut-être!/ Brusselaars, ten voeten uit! – Sunday, May 10, from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM

To recognize the communities of Brussels, the “Bruxellois, non peut-être!” section brings together over 100 associations. BOZAR, Bruxelles By Water, Itinéraires, Discover the City and many others will personally connect you to the treasures and activities of their community.

Concerts Place des Palais – Sunday 10 May, from 4:15 pm to 10:45 PM

Sunday’s concerts also will take place on the Place des Palais/Koningsplein in a relaxed and family atmosphere. From late afternoon on, the public will meet the three winners of the “be on stage, be.brussels” contests: Leopold Tears, Fugitives and Man On Fire and The Soul Soldiers. They will be followed by a concert featuring Brussels’ own Sarah Carlier and the group Babylon Circus.

FÍte de l'Iris 2010 IrisfeestActivities at the Parliament of Brussels – Sunday, May 10, from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Parliament will open its doors to the public during the day Sunday for a diverse musical experience. A jazz quartet, an improvisational theatre show, classical music and even Manouche jazz are scheduled at this very special venue.

European Village – Sunday 10 May, from 12:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Europe is associated, for the third year in a row, with festivities to celebrate the birthday of Brussels Capital Region and to highlight Brussels as the Capital of Europe. A “European Village” will offer activities related to European citizenship, the role of European institutions, European development and European products and flavours of quality. And, there’s more: four different dance groups will take turns to animate the “European Village” throughout the afternoon.

Fete de l'Iris 2014 IrisfeestBrussels Food Truck Festival – Friday, May 8 from 4:30 PM to 10:30 PM, Saturday, May 9 from 11:00 AM to 10:30 PM and Sunday May 10 from 11:00 AM to 9:30 PM

The largest annual gathering of Food Trucks in Europe is setting the table for a second edition! This next generation of tastemakers offers a different, innovative, surprising but also traditional tasting experience. More than just a meal break, this gathering is an activity in itself.

Europe Day will also be part of the festivities on 9 May.


  1. maverickbird says:

    Love this post, love Brussels. Thank you for sharing.

    1. swamiupendra says:

      Thanks Svetlana. I too love Belgium.

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