A party atmosphere will once again take over the streets and neighbourhoods of Brussels during the Iris Festival this coming 6-7 May. Many free activities are scheduled. Concerts, Party in the Park, guided tours, etc. There will be something for everyone.
New this year:
TravelWireNews Chatroom for Readers (join us)
– This year Europe Day coincides with the Iris Festival so it will be a “Brussels and Europe” festival weekend.
– This weekend will also be the opportunity to explore a new Brussels museum: The House of European History in Leopold Park.
– Four Brussels communes will be in the spotlight: Anderlecht, Forest, MolenbeekSaint-Jean, and Saint-Gilles.
– 2017 marks the debut of the Iris Night after-party following the Place des Palais electro concerts on 6 May.
– As part of the MIXITY.brussels 2017 diversity theme year, the Iris Festival will host a grand show on the evening of Sunday, 7 May: “We are Belgium.”
On the schedule:
SATURDAY, 6 MAY
Discovering four Brussels communes
This year four communes will be featured: Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, Anderlecht, Saint-Gilles, and Forest. A chance to discover more of their hidden gems through three activities:
• The Iris Festival in the communes Diverse and original activities will get visitors acquainted with a hidden and out-of-the-ordinary Brussels. This event invites visitors, Brussels residents and tourists alike, to explore Brussels off the beaten path.
• Guided tours led by professional guides: Free guided tours, on foot or by bicycle, will be conducted in the four featured communes.
• Tour of Saint-Gilles accompanied by enthusiastic Brussels residents:
“Saint-Gilles tells its story through Greeters” offers a chance to meet Brussels resident volunteers (Greeters) and explore Saint-Gilles in a relaxed and friendly way.
Saturday, 6 May is also the opportunity to (re)discover the European District in Brussels. The European institutions will be holding their Open House Day, which lets European citizens explore the sites where decisions are taken at the European level and get a better understanding of the challenges, successes, and what is at stake with the European project. From Schuman Circle to Place du Luxembourg, six institutions will offer guided tours, debates, information booths, activities, and concerts throughout the day. The brand new House of European History will open its doors to the public in Leopold Park and various activities will enliven the district’s streets such as the Bread Festival at Schuman Circle.
Dance floor aficionados will also take part in the festival thanks to Electro Night which will close out this first day on a high note at Place des Palais from 7 PM.
Brussels boasts wild nightlife and the Iris Festival will be the ideal opportunity to spotlight its teeming array of Brussels clubs and parties.
Iris Night invites party-goers to dive into the nightlife of Brussels.
SUNDAY, 7 MAY
Party in the Park: all kinds of activities for young and old right in the middle of the Parc de Bruxelles (from 12 PM to 6 PM)
The festival will be in full swing all through the afternoon thanks to the Belgian and international troupes on hand. On the schedule: circus arts, street theatre, interactive games, workshops, dance demonstrations, children’s activities, and much more! Parc de Bruxelles will be adorned in all its finery and will enthrall visitors of all ages!
From trampolines to adventure courses and climbing, a multitude of specialised activities will be offered throughout the afternoon.
In order to put the communes in the spotlight, about a hundred associations from all over the Brussels-Capital Region will be on hand to participate in this day by sharing their treasures and activities.
New this year as part of MIXITY.brussels 2017: We are Belgium!
As part of MIXITY.brussels 2017, the theme year devoted to the abundant diversity that characterises Brussels, Place des Palace will play host to the “We are Belgium” project.
Forty choir singers will draw the audience into a show that transcends all musical and social boundaries. The choir, hand-picked for the occasion by Stijn Kolacny, founder of the famous Belgian choir Scala, will be accompanied by great Belgian artists as well as the National Orchestra of Belgium, conducted by Dirk Brossé.
Belgian artists in attendance: Ozark Henry, Marie Daulne, Sandra Kim, Starflam, Natalia, Jef Neve, Christoff, Els de Schepper, Merdan Teplak, Will Tura, Binti, Viktor Lazlo, Typh Barrow, and many others.
Place: Place des Palais starting at 5:30 PM
Brussels Parliament opens its doors
Each year the Iris Festival is an opportunity for the Brussels Parliament to open its doors to the public. Visitors will be able to get a behind the scenes look at the Brussels Parliament on Sunday, 7 May from 11 AM to 6 PM: the historic rooms, the Mirror Room, the assembly room, and the commission rooms will be open to the public.
This year, the highly diverse program on offer in the building and the courtyard will be fully in keeping with the festival atmosphere through a number of family-oriented activities. Visitors will be able to attend different performances like Bert Kruismans’ comedic monologues, classical guitar, an improv competition, and a circus workshop. For more adventurous souls, a climbing wall will be set up in the courtyard. The Swing Festival will rule the terrace until 8 PM.
A Béjart exhibiton will be on display in the Brussels Francophone Parliament Building. For its part, the Raad van de Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie, will host a HIP & RECUP exhibition and saxophonist Ilia Vasiachkin.