Tag Archives: brussels

A date for foodies this weekend in Brussels!

From 7 to 10 September 2017, foodies have a date at the “eat BRUSSELS, drink! BORDEAUX” festival. Taster portions of dishes or original desserts at the “Masterclass Bordeaux”, passing through the workshops of the Ecole du vin de Bordeaux (Bordeaux School of Wine), the great chefs and wine growers will stimulate the visitors’ taste buds all through the festival.

For its sixth year, the “eat! BRUSSELS, drink! BORDEAUX festival is putting on a marvellous spread, once again calling on a selection of the best Brussels chefs right in the middle of the Brussels Park. Wine lovers can also devote themselves to their passion, thanks to the various workshops offered by the Ecole du vin de Bordeaux. All of which offers the public a delicious gourmet break.

Twenty-odd great chefs
New chefs representative of Brussels are joining the celebration and will be adding their own spice to what’s on offer at the festival. They are offering the visitors a signature dish representing their culinary identity at the fixed price of 9 Euros.

Something new: a sweet note
Several pastry chefs complete the festival’s menu. They are offering sweet lovers delicious plated desserts at the fixed price of 9 Euros.

Perfect match
The Wines of Bordeaux, a key partner in the festival, are once again taking part in this gastronomic journey. Nigh-on 50 Bordeaux wine growers and wine merchants will be coming to Brussels to unveil the history and the secrets of their wine. 3 new gourmet workshops offered by the Ecole du vin de Bordeaux. A rendezvous lovers of wine and gastronomy must not miss, the Ecole du vin de Bordeaux pavilion offers an entertaining and educational overview of the various wines (red, dry white, sweet white, rosé and Crémant de Bordeaux), soils, grape varieties, blends, etc. A wonderful initiation into the art of tasting.

Photo: VisitBrussels/ ©E.Danhier

This year, the Ecole du vin de Bordeaux is offering three new fun gourmet workshops:
– “Choco’ Bordeaux” in collaboration with the chocolatier Laurent Gerbaud
– “Matching wines with pastries” with the pastry chefs Yasushi Sasaki, Baptiste Mandon and Khalil Menzi, to experiment with daring combinations.

Bordeaux “Masterclasses”
This year, the two masterclasses are dedicated to the Saint-Emilion Grands Crus Classés and the 30th anniversary of the appellation Pessac-Léognan. The visitor will be guided through these two representative regions of the Bordeaux wine growing region.

Photo: VisitBrussels/ ©E.Danhier

Workshops with the chef Bruno Antoine
Visitors will have the chance to create their own TCHIN VITTEL Bistronomy Box in a relaxed atmosphere at a cooking workshop that is just as exciting and gastronomic as it is goodnatured. All under the guidance of Bruno Antoine, one of the most creative chefs on the
Brussels bistro scene.

The festival is changing to a swipe card
To allow visitors to enjoy the festival to the full, “eat! BRUSSELS, drink! BORDEAUX” is moving to an electronic payment system. Visitors can obtain their swipe cards from one of the ticket offices, put money on them and use them as they please throughout the festival. This swipe card will combine all functions for meeting their needs: credits for tasting the dishes they choose and/or their Wine Pass.

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The Comic Strip World ready to literally invade Brussels

Bande Dessinée Mur BD Stripmuur Le jeune Albert (c) Olivier van de Kerchove

From 1st through 3 September 2017 Brussels will become the capital of Comic Strips. Besides the Parc de Bruxelles and BOZAR where the main activities of the weekend will take place, Comic Strips will colour the city. Numerous activities, exhibitions, signing sessions and all sorts of other events will charm young and old throughout this weekend dedicated to the 9th art. For this, its 8th edition, Brussels’ Comic Book Festival is spreading out across the city. Beyond the Parc de Bruxelles, it will be featured at BOZAR, Brussels’ prestigious Palais des Beaux-Arts. And just to make the festival even better, an international pavilion is also setting up shop at the Brussels Comic Strip Festival. It’s the cherry on top of a 2017 schedule that was already bursting with new things.
Each year the Brussels Comic Strip Festival brings together many big names from the comics industry. This year it will be impossible to miss this essential ninth art gathering. From musical performances to film screenings and a drawing concert, comics lovers of all ages will be able to literally explore the world of the ninth art’s major players.

Not to be missed at BOZAR:
Exhibitions:
· The Brussels Comic Strip Festival presents a selection of panels from this hilarious new album with drone overflights, exploding abandoned suitcases, and inappropriate selfies.
· Thorgal (exhibition of originals) : As part of the 40th anniversary of the famous series created by Jean van Hamme and Grzegorz Rosinski, discover over thirty original black and white panels.
· Gaston:(guest of honour) : In the prestigious setting of Horta Hall at Bozar, Gaston will roll out his best gaffes for a flash (full-size!) exhibition on the occasion of the sixtieth anniversary of his debut in the SPIROU Journal in 1957. An exhibition created especially for the Comic Strip Festival.

Frescoes :
· Kim Jung Gi is leaving his native Korea to give you the chance to watch him complete one of his impressive murals over three days.
· Grzegorz Rosinski offers an inside view of his universe in the time it takes to draw.

Screenings:
Very first public screening of the film « Le Petit Spirou », in the presence of the creators of the Comic Strip : Tome et Janry (tickets on sale at BOZAR)
Screening of the feature film ” Titeuf ” in the presence of: Zep
The original show : TRAGAWDOUKOUTRRR: ode to the gaffophone:
In this original show, Max Vandervorst makes music with instruments that were not musical before crossing paths with this totally crazy conductor. (tickets on sale at BOZAR)

On the Place des Palais :
The Balloon Day Parade and the Tintin Magazine Rally
Sunday 3 September: Festival visitors will live the rich life of Belgian comic books thanks to the serendipitous combination of the “Balloon Day Parade” and the Tintin Magazine Rally. The parade of giant comics character balloons will invade the capital early in the afternoon. Then the progenitors of Tintin Magazine will rally in the capital before ending their journey on the Place des Palais :

In the city :
But the Festival is not limited to the Parc de Bruxelles nor to BOZAR. A variety of original activities will take place too in different key spots all over the city. Here’s a sneak peek.

Guided tours
Guided tours to view Comic Strip frescoes
Travel across Brussels with a professional guide from Arkadia to admire such likeable characters as Astérix, Tintin and Milou, Néron and even Ric Hochet, immortalised in giant size on the gables of almost 50 houses.

Guided bicycle tour to Laeken
Go on an 8-kilometre cycle ride to Laeken and explore the north of Brussels, where two wheels go hand in hand with the ninth art world. Professional guides from Pro Velo will accompany you throughout this journey of comic strip discovery.

© visit.brussels – Eric Danhier – 2017

Exhibitions and activities across the city
Galerie Tintin©Hergé will present a facility devoted to the Tintin Imagination Museum over the festival’s three-day run! The Tintin Imagination Museum was developed in 1979 and was the subject of a major exhibition at the Brussels Fine Arts Palace that same year. The purpose of that exhibition was to juxtapose the mythical objects collected by Tintin during his adventures with the real objects that inspired them. On the poster for the exhibition, Hergé attempts to organise his main characters’ foray right into the middle of an imaginary facility fit to drive collectors mad with jealousy.

From this poster, a collection of character statuettes and mythical artefacts has been constructed. During the Brussels Comic Strip Festival period it will be possible to see certain pieces already produced for this collection at Galerie Tintin©Hergé as well as certain prototypes of new pieces to come. This facility will also enable visitors to know and understand the documentary context of this Imagination Museum.

Comics have no age bar

Belgian Comic Strip Centre (CBBD)
Zidrou and his accomplices will put on a live show!
Zidrou and his collaborators concoct a show of living drawings in the context of the exhibition that the CBBD is giving them ! Departing from several key words, Master Zidrou will ask five of his artists to create the scenario of an exquisite corpse. Each artist in turn will illustrate a frame of the scenario that, in the end, will become a comic strip. Your chance to discover the incredible graphic talent of Jordi Lafebre, Francis Porcel, Josep Homs, Oriol Hernandez and Godi, plus the way-out scenarist ideas of Zidrou!
Guided tour of the Zidrou exhibition by… Zidrou and some of his accomplices! Guided tour of the Zidrou exhibition by the author and 4 of his artists.

Signing Sessions
Zidrou, Jordi Lafebre, Francis Porcel, Josep Homs, Oriol Hernandez and Godi will sign their work in the hall of the CBBD. But that’s not all! Because the CBBD offers three exhibitions in its magnificent Art-Deco rooms. But be aware that this will be your last chance to enjoy two of these exhibitions:

Champaka Gallery
“Ravage & Co.” Exhibition
Writer Jean-David Morvan has a knack for discovering outsize “made in Asia” graphics talent. After Korean Kim Jung-gi, here is the Philippines Rey Macutay! Trained at the demanding Manilla animation studios storyboard school, he has always dreamed of making comics. The dream came true when J-D Morvan entrusted him with drawing Jaurès (2014) and, especially, Ravage (2016), the second instalment of which comes out in September. The two artists are engaged in a modern reimagining of René Barjavel’s masterpiece. As a veritable graphical adventurer, Macutay combines the dynamism of comics and mangas while incorporating the readability of European comics. With bold composition, panels laid out like paintings, and energetic drawing, Rey Macutay is fearless. Taking part in the Brussels-Capital Region’s Brussels Comic Strip Festival, the exhibition – a world premiere – displays major panels from Jaurès, Outlaw Territory, and Ravage.

Korean Cultural Centre in Brussels
The blue ghost, Youth
The Korean Cultural Centre of Brussels will hold its 4th exhibition of Belgian and Korean comics under the theme of “blue ghost, Youth” in cooperation with Manhawa Contents Agency (KOMACON) which hosts the Bucheon International Comics Festival. This year, KOMACON is celebrating its 20th anniversary and on this occasion, seven Belgian and Korean authors will present their works about “Youth.”
Artists: CHOI Gyusuk, SOO Shinji, RYU Seunghee, HAN Hyeyeon, Frank PE, Dominigue GOBLET, CONZ

Filigranes Bookstore
Atelier Mille Exhibition
Atelier Mille is more than just a studio! The product of a meeting of five former students from the Saint-Luc Institute in Brussels, the studio has since expanded to welcome new illustrators. To mark the occasion of the Brussels Comic Strip Festival, the studio and its members are exhibiting on the great red wall of the Filigranes bookstore. Come and admire the panels, drawings, research, etc. of the new Belgian comics dream team!
Members: Flore Balthazar, Léonie Bishoff, Thomas Gilbert, Nguyen Hieu, Nicolas Pitz, Emilie Plateau, Jérémie Royer, and Tiffanie Vande Ghinste.

Publishing Houses

In addition to meeting the Brussels Comic Strip Festival’s most loyal publishers, visitors can also count on the presence of new publishers making their Brussels “debut”: Rue de Sèvres, Futuropolis, Fluide Glacial, La Revue Dessinée, Sarbacane, Pinceel Distributie, and Stripgids. The Brussels Comic Strip Festival will also have the pleasure of hosting ten independent publishers who are the pride of capital, especially with the Requins Marteaux Publishing (A Méroll World) exhibition, which will be on display at BOZAR.

International Pavilion
Although Belgium is particularly proud of its comics heritage, a number of other countries also have quite a few successful comics to their credit. Among them, 19 foreign cultural delegations will set up shop in the International Pavilion to share their works and enjoy a special interactive time. Exhibitions, autographs, conferences, workshops… will take you on a journey through the ninth art realm! Here’s a sneak peek.

Comics Pass
Experience the Brussels Comic Strip Festival all over town with Comics Pass! Get all kinds of benefits by clipping discount coupons from the official event programme. Just go to the Comic Strip Festival to receive your programme and benefit from reduced-price access to museums and discounts in many Brussels shops.

Balloon’s Day Parade, Tintin Rally to end Brussels’ summer on a high note

Balloon’s Day Parade

As it does each year, the month of September in Brussels will start with a bang as the 8th annual Brussels Comic Strip Festival gets under way. To mark the occasion, the European capital’s streets will be cheerfully decked out in the thousand and one colours of the “Balloon’s Day Parade.” At the same time, the Tintin Magazine Rally will bring its share of activities and new attractions to make this latest edition a real party.

Everybody loves Tintin

New happenings this year

  • A Gaston balloon will appear at the Brussels Comic Strip Festival to celebrate his 60th birthday
  • The Ducobu balloon will also make its parade debut this year.
  • This year the Comic Strip Rally will specially feature cars ripped right from the pages of the Tintin and Spirou magazines.
  • Instead of the customary single kick-off, there will be four starts this coming Sunday, 3 September.
Comics have no age bar

Since its debut in 2010, the Brussels Comic Strip Festival has become the main event for comics fans. Young and old, novices and experts, all share a passion for the ninth art and come together each year to participate in the variety of activities on offer.

Great occasion for kids to learn
Children get to have first hand experience of drawing cartoons

On Sunday, 3 September, comics fans will eat, sleep, and breathe Belgian comics thanks to the seamless combination of the “Balloon’s Day Parade” and the Tintin Magazine Rally. The parade of giant comics character balloons will invade the capital early in the afternoon. Next, the forerunners of the Tintin Magazine Rally will reach the capital, ending their journey on Place des Palais.

Writers are there to sign the books
Artists are there to give some lessons in sketching
There is art of sculpture of cartoon characters
And cartoon characters themselves in live
There are games to play, from angry birds…
…to simpsons on play machines
There is everything from billboards…
… to food stalls, loved by everyone!

Balloon’s Day Parade

Once again this year, the “Balloon’s Day Parade,” will roll through the streets for nearly two hours. This time two new balloons, Docobu and Gaston, will be delighted to take part in the procession. The spectacular balloon inflation will begin in the morning on Place des Palais.

Parade of the balloons
a big pomp and show!

Over the course of the afternoon, Spirou, Tintin, Le Chat, Boule, Blork de Kid Paddle, Lucky Luke, and their new friends will begin their annual promenade and take over Brussels’ main arteries. During this latest edition, schools (circus, music, sport, etc.) from all over Belgium will be in charge of the parade.

Tintin Magazine Rally

All the Tintin’s cars!

Since its first running in 2013, the Tintin Magazine Rally has become an essential event at the Brussels Comic Strip Festival. This year the rally will take place once again and Tintin Magazine will host Spirou Magazine. In all, about 100 collectors’ cars will participate. In another significant new development, the event will start at four different locations: Lier, Verviers, Jumet, and Anderlecht.

Cars on the stroll!

On Sunday, 3 September, period cars that have appeared in Tintin Magazine and Spirou Magazine since 1946 will lead the way. At about 2 PM, after completing a nearly 100 kilometre course, these legendary cars will arrive on Place des Palais. It’s a wonderful opportunity to immerse in the comics of yesteryear and rediscover these rare gems.

with all the characters!

Two people per car will be invited to dress up and join the rally and take part in a meal among fans. At the end of the rally, a panel will award prizes to the teams and cars that were the most faithful to the two magazines’ original illustrations.

…also top of the class designs!

So if you are fascinated with anything related to comics and cartoons or want to give your cartoon loving kids a treat, than plan a trip to Brussels this September.

Wanna Beered up! Brussels coming up with many festivals!!

If you would have thought that Oktoberfest was the only thing corresponding to a beer festival in Europe and Bavaria was the only place to get best chilled beer on this planet than think again. Here is some quick fact checking- In 2016 UNESCO recognised the important role played by beer culture in Belgian everyday life and celebrations by proclaiming it an intangible cultural heritage. Throughout the year, Brussels residents and visitors can come and discover this delicious heritage during one of Brussels’ many beer festivals. And in these festivals, you will not only be served amazing Belgian beer but also the best beers other countries in world have to offer.

So, here are some of the festivals celebrating Belgian Beer that will take place in coming months this year:

BXLBeerFest – The Crossroads of Beers and Friends: 26-27 August 2017

BXLBeerFest brings a number of independent, artisanal brewers closer to the guests. The selection of Brussels breweries will be supplemented by some of the best that Belgium and other countries have to offer, with 50 breweries from ten different nations presenting over 200 beers to the public. BXLBeerFest also pays attention to the culinary aspect, with food trucks and an actual on-site restaurant led by chef Dirk Myny of Les Brigittines.

Belgian Beer Weekend 2016, Belgian Brewers

Belgian Beer Weekend: 1-3 September 2017

From Friday 1 to Sunday 3 September 2017, the “Ridderschap van de Roerstok der Brouwers” and the Belgian Breweries, in cooperation with the City of Brussels and the Brussels-Capital Region, present the 19th edition of the Belgian Beer Weekend. This year the Grote Markt (Grand-Place) in Brussels will serve as a unique backdrop for this event, which has been dedicated entirely to Belgium’s national beverage.

Belgian Beer Weekend 2016, Belgian Brewers

This will allow 60,000 beer lovers to partake of fine Belgian beers in one of the most beautiful squares in the world (UNESCO World Heritage). Throughout the weekend, numerous small, mid-sized and large Belgian breweries will have a large selection of their products on offer. Here, one can discover the various types of beers that give this country its well-deserved reputation.

Belgian Beer Weekend 2016, Belgian Brewers

International Craft Festival: 20-21 October 2017

The Brussels Beer Project brewery will hold the 2nd edition of the International Craft Festival on 20 and 21 October. This festival will bring together ten artisanal breweries from Europe, the United States and Asia in a festive atmosphere at an exclusive secret location.

Read More: Getting Tipsy in Belgium

Vini Birre Ribelli. Salon of rebellious wines and beers: 25-26 November 2017

Just like with the previous editions, this salon is once again all about artisanal, sustainable, organic and – whenever possible – natural products. Though the emphasis is on wine, the alternative side of beer brewing is also represented. Bringing these two worlds together offers a unique perspective. Also noteworthy: Vini Birre Rebelli is Belgium’s first salon bearing the label ‘zero waste’.

Being Indian? Looking form some desi spirits! Read: Getting ‘high’ on hills!

I would also like to mention that even without any festival, Belgium in general and Brussels specifically has one of some historical breweries worth visit and some exclusive beer bars and cafe with beer collection which you won’t find anywhere else on earth. So if not to Oktoberfest, than now perhaps you know where to head for that exclusive beer fest this year. You have the time… go and plan it!

Time for some wine & food indulgence!

Immediately after the Comic Strip Festival at start of September, European Capital Brussels will get ready for another extravaganza, this time for the connoisseurs of food and wine. From 7 to 10 September this year, Brussels Park will once again serve as the setting for the eat! Brussels, drink! Bordeaux festival. Twenty Brussels chefs will slave over their stoves to share their signature dishes with the public. Fifty Bordeaux wine growers and sellers will also be on hand to provide the accompaniment for these delicious foods. They will offer the optimal wine pairings to complement the chefs’ dishes. There’s sure to be plenty to delight the senses of their foodie visitors! For its sixth edition, the eat! Brussels, drink! Bordeaux Festival has once again invited a selection of Brussels’ best chefs to the heart of Brussels Park. There will be new workshops: Wine & patisseries; Wine and chocolate.

Also Read: Comic Strip festival gets bigger, bolder and rewarding too!

Photo: VisitBrussels/ ©E.Danhier

A sixth edition with its fair share of new offerings

  • Restaurant offerings are expanding. Several chefs on the Brussels scene are joining in the fun to present their iconic dishes to the public.
  • A central “square” will be set up right at the heart of the festival grounds. It’s a chance for visitors to partake and socialize with family and friends.
  • This year, the eat! Awards are making their debut. These prizes will be awarded to chefs whose dishes enjoy the greatest success over the course of the event.
  • In this latest edition, several pastry chefs will complement the event menu with dessert plate suggestions.
  • The Ecole du Vin de Bordeaux invites amateurs to discover new wine workshops that focus on patisserie and chocolate.
  • The Tchin Vittel! space will offer cooking workshops to visitors. Accompanied by talented chef Bruno Antoine, they will concoct their “bistronomy” box together, which they will then be able to savour in this friendly atmosphere.

Also Read: Getting tipsy in Belgium

New iconic Brussels chefs are joining the party and enhancing the festival’s offerings. The will offer visitors a signature dish representing their culinary identity at the special price of € 9. Several pastry chefs will also enhance the festival’s menu. They will offer sweets aficionados delicious desserts by the plate at the special price of €9.

The perfect pairing

Vins de Bordeaux, the festival’s essential partners, are coming together once again on this journey through fine cuisine. For the occasion, nearly 50 Bordeaux wine growers and merchants will meet in Brussels to reveal the history and secrets of their wine.

These elegant and unique wines, the fruits of the meticulous blending of several grape varieties, will thrill the public’s taste buds. It’s a singular chance to discover the new Bordeaux reds, fresh and fruity, the dry whites, the rosés, the clairets and the sweet wines that can be paired with all cuisine, whether simple or refined. A wine pairing carefully selected for the occasion will also be offered for each dish, sweet or savoury, presented at the festival.

eat Brussels

The Bordeaux pavilion, the Belgian selection

For the second year running, the pavilion will present the 2017 selection of Bordeaux wines chosen by a panel of Belgian wine and gastronomy professionals. These wines, selling for €4 to €25 are all available in Belgium. eat! Brussels, drink! Bordeaux will be the only opportunity to sample the sumptuousness of this 2017 selection.

The Ecole du Vin de Bordeaux pavilion

The Ecole du Vin de Bordeaux will once again be on hand to conduct a variety of workshops for Wine Pass holders. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the public, expert or novice, to (re)discover Bordeaux wines in an original, fun way and participate in tastings.

Comic Strip Festival gets bigger, bolder and rewarding too!

The Annual feature for the comic lovers of the world is here again. If you love comics, than you have enough time to plan for this once in a lifetime trip to the European Capital as Brussels is holding its 8th annual Comic Strip Festival from 1st to 3 September 2017. From their beginning at the turn of the century, Belgian comics have really become famous the world over. Many illustrators and writers from our country and its capital are well-known beyond its borders. That is reason enough to dedicate a weekend to this rich cultural heritage.

Bande Dessinée Mur BD Stripmuur Le jeune Albert (c) Olivier van de Kerchove

For its 8th running, the Brussels Comic Strip Festival is marking the occasion with its fair share of new things. Beyond the traditional Balloon’s Day Parade, conferences, and autographs, the event will literally expand its scope. The festival will award Europe’s biggest prizes, offer premiere film and manga screenings, madcap performances, and many other original activities.

Fete de la Bd – Stripfeest (c)VISITBRUSSELS -E.Danhier

Since its debut in 2010, the Brussels Comic Strip Festival has become the main event for comics fans. Young and old, novices and experts, all share a passion for the ninth art and come together each year to participate in the variety of activities on offer. More than 100,000 people and some 250 famous authors gather every year. For this 2017 edition, the essential events are definitely on the schedule: autograph sessions, the predecessors of the great Oldtimer Rally, the Balloon’s Day Parade and many more. There’s a whole range of activities to delight everyone.

© visit.brussels – Eric Danhier – 2017

Festival also gets a new prestigious location. Besides the Parc de Bruxelles, le Brussels Comic Strip Festival will take over the prestigious setting of Brussels’ Palais des Beaux-Arts, BOZAR. Two new places that pair phenomenally well together for the Brussels Comic Strip Festival. Festival-goers will be able to stroll along as they please, enjoying countless activities and novelties on offer wherever they go. From hundreds of autograph signings to premiere cartoon screenings and multiple exhibitions and encounters with professionals, ninth art fans will have plenty to keep them entertained. For the first time in its history and thanks to its new set-up at Bozar, the Brussels Comic Strip Festival will also be able to offer premiere film screenings!

Fete de la BD – Stripfeest

Comic strip writing has become something of an endangered activity in these last few years, with the industry’s professionals often finding it hard to make a living from it. As the organisers of the Comic Strip Festival, visit.brussels has been working in close collaboration with the Brussels-Capital Region in a bid to show its support for the creative process and bring existing initiatives together by launching a series of awards, most of which will be in cash and will allow the winners to fund their work. Offering €100,000 in prize money, a total of seven awards have already been confirmed, with several more in line to be added to the list between now and September.

Jean-David Morvan

Brussels Comic Strip Festival will award some brand new comics prizes for the first time: The Atomium Prizes, during a gala evening when no less than €100,000 will be awarded for the best new works from the past year. French comics writer, Jean-David is the sponsor of the Atomium Prizes. Jean-David Morvan will be on hand at his exhibition throughout the Brussels Comic Strip Festival. There he will discuss his work and welcome his main contributors to his couch. His contributors will come and show him (as well as the audience) their new panels, answer questions, improvise autograph sessions and other original performances.

This year the Brussels Comic Strip Festival is also celebrating good old Gaston’s 60th birthday. To mark the occasion, the Spirou Festival is inviting the famous, sixty-year-old lazybones to the Brussels Comic Strip Festival. An exhibition, a musical performance, conferences – it will be impossible to miss this perennial blunderer.

Over these three days, the European capital will eat, sleep, and breathe comics. A little train will travel around town and stop at the essential Ninth Art destinations around Brussels (Comics Art Museum, the MOOF, murals, book stores, etc.), free guided tours will bring visitors to see comics murals, many organisations from the Brussels-Capital Region will offer activities and discounts related to the Ninth Art. In short, from 1-3 September 2017, comics will be on the menu just about everywhere!

The Brussels Comic Strip Festival has become more international over the last two years. As part of the MIXITY.2017 year and in keeping with the diverse nationalities that call Brussels home, the booths and activities on offer are multi-cultural and multi-lingual. Languages will be well represented: in addition to the three national languages, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, and even Korean will be heard. Clear information available in several languages will be included in the Brussels Comic Strip Festival programme. The Brussels Comic Strip Festival is a Brussels-Capital Region initiative with the support of the City of Brussels and the COCOF, coordinated by visit.brussels.

Eroticism in comics

The 2017 Brussels Comic Strip Festival is taking advantage of its new setting to offer a number of comics-themed exhibitions. Numerous exhibitions will be held there, allowing visitors to explore certain iconic realms of the 9th Art. There will even be an exhibition devoted to eroticism in comics behind closed doors.

Young tourists look for kicks other than waffles

Well, these are maps which are as good as any tourist guide but actually they are so good that they are also souvenir in themselves. That means, when you are visiting a city then in search of a good souvenir, you first get a souvenir in form of a map. And these are no normal maps. These maps are now turning 10. USE-IT, the tourist info for young people, will soon celebrate its first ten years in European capital Brussels. They’re a household name for city maps made by young locals, with no-nonsense tips for how not to be caught as a tourist in Belgium. (Nope, we don’t have fruit on our waffles.)

These maps are starting to conquer Europe, and the research team Expeditions has measured the impact on tourism in the entire network. Does alternative city info really make people move outside of the city centre? Do they stay longer? And what does this imply for the local economy? The results were very positive, and Brussels stands out. 59% of users say they went further from the centre indeed. Desk personnel at hostels and the tourist infos confirm. 86% think also that off-the-beaten track information boosts the investment in the local economy. Furthermore, 14% of the young tourists extended their stay with one or more nights, and nearly everybody (97%) would like to get the same kind of no-nonsense info on their next city trips.

When asked about their best experience in Brussels, the maps’ local tips are mentioned more often than the tourist classics. Highlights include the panorama on top of Parking 58, the vegetable garden on top of the Albertina library, a walk through Molenbeek, going out at Bonnefooi until the morning, and pissing in the public urinal that’s built against Sint-Katelijne church.

The survey ran in the entire European USE-IT network (more than 40 cities) and Brussels came out on top. Of the 4,000 respondents, one out of three had already used the Brussels map. Strikingly, a large number of them (38%) was also motivated to start up a USE-IT map for their own city.

ALSO READ: Travelling to Where Locals Go

“The creative side of Brussels speaks to many tourists’ hearts, and USE-IT embodies that side well. As Alderman for Tourism it’s important that we support young innovative teams. So we’re proud that these city maps have spread out all over Europe from Brussels,” says Philippe Close, the Alderman of Tourism in Brussels.

The USE-IT headquarters is stationed in the Galerie Ravenstein, where it attracts more than 20,000 travellers per year. Apart from all the European free maps, visitors also get tips about nightlife there from the young Brussels volunteers, or they head out together for a walk along the Anderlecht supporters’ bars or the latest genital graffiti in town. Anything but the Manneken Pis.