Brussels’ Plaisirs d’Hiver, or Winter Wonders, Christmas market is a staple of the European capital and the best Christmas Market in the world. Building on this concept, the city of Brussels is launching a sunny counterpart with Plaisirs d’Été, Summer Wonders, with a packed programme from 14 July to 6 August.
“Building on the success of Winter Wonders, we are launching the sunny version this year with Summer Wonders. Envisioning the spirit of living together, the event is for both locals and tourists, with free and inclusive activities accessible to all audiences”, said Brussels Alderman for Culture, Tourism and Major Events, Delphine Houba.
Concerts, dance, art installations, gardens in the city… this summer it’s destination Brussels!Delphine Houba, Brussels Alderman for Culture, Tourism and Major Events
With this summer festival, the city aims to develop a long-term concept of ensuring a permanently vibrant city centre through a series of dynamic and sustainable events. “Brussels has the great ambition of becoming an international role model when it comes to sustainable events”, Houba explained.
The city has invested €350,000 to transform the central de Brouckère Square into an urban garden. An unexpected, original, surreal and, most importantly, plant village will be nothing but an oasis of relaxation in the heart of the city, offering visitors a “chill space for a refreshing collective experience”.
The idea behind the concept of the urban garden is to place nature back in the heart of Brussels, offering green spaces to those who maybe do not have access to them. At the same time, it aims to improve locals and tourists’ well-being by awakening their senses, be it sound, smell or taste.
A rooftop bar will border one side of the festival grounds, while the terrace of the Continental hotel will welcome guests on the other. Various food trucks will be prepared to delight visitors, including an ice cream parlour on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. A barbecue joint will be open on Saturdays, while a brunch place will await guests on Sundays. On 21 July, Belgium’s National Day, fries will of course be on all menus.
Several thematic islands will be built around a central greenhouse in the Place de Brouckère, where DJs and bands will perform from Tuesday to Sunday from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm, while any time of the day or week visitors can sit back and enjoy a drink or a snack surrounded by plants.
The programme will also include an array of inclusive sports, cultural activities around language expression, permanent installations on the theme of ‘the ideal garden’, live music, after work events and food courts. And, since 2023 celebrates the 125th anniversary of René Magritte, the first edition of Summer Wonders will be “sprinkled with a note of surrealism”.