On the 6th and 7th of May, the Brussels-Capital Region celebrates its 34th anniversary with the Iris Festival. A long array of events and activities await visitors, with the Iris Tipik Electro Night, the Iris Festival in the Communes, the Iris Food Corner and the themed villages. It’s a wonderful opportunity to rediscover the capital from new angles.
Every year on the 8th of May, the Iris Festival commemorates the birth of the Brussels Capital Region, which was established in 1989 as the third region in Belgium with its own regional government. Flanders and Wallonia established theirs in 1980.
On Saturday, the Iris Festival in the Communes and unusual guided tours punctuate the day, including in the European Quarter. It will end with the unmissable Iris Tipik Electro Night, which transforms Place des Palais into a genuine open-air dance floor.
On Sunday, the Royal Quarter and Brussels Park will be filled with a host of original activities to honor the region. Visitors will have the opportunity to treat themselves to a little culinary escapade at the Iris Food Corner, marvel at the performances of talented street artists and take their little ones to discover the Iris Kids Village, located on Place du Musée. It’s a whole weekend of unmissable festivities.
Open to everyone, the Iris Festival celebrates the Brussels-Capital Region. All the activities organized by visit.brussels are free of charge, including shows and open-air concerts.
Saturday 6 May
1. European Parliament on Europe Day
The European institutions are opening their doors so that citizens can discover their essential role. This is a unique opportunity to learn more about the EU through public debates, guided tours and original games.
A series of fun and educational activities will be organized on Esplanade Solidarnosc 1980 to raise awareness among young people of the democratic importance of the institution. A collaboration with the Iris Festival.
2. The Iris Festival in the Communes
Because the Brussels-Capital Region is nothing without its communes, the Iris Festival is honoring seven of them. The participating communes are as follows: Anderlecht, Etterbeek, Ganshoren, Ixelles, Saint-Gilles, Saint-Josse and Schaerbeek. Many secret or usually closed sites, including several Art Nouveau buildings, will open their doors to the public. A number of activities will also be held.
3. Iris Tipik Electro Night
Calling all clubbers. With the Royal Palace as a backdrop, the heart of Brussels will move to the beats of DJ sets by Belgian and French artists for the Iris Tipik Electro Night. This strategic collaboration between the Brussels-Capital Region, visit.brussels and RTBF started last year. This year’s explosive line-up includes Peter Luts, Simon LeSaint, Kid Noize and Martin Solveig.
Sunday 7 May
1. Celebrations in Royal Quarter
The Royal Quarter and Brussels Park will host seven themed villages. The associations and organizations present will offer family activities for learning more about their operations and commitments.
2. Street art
Street art in all its forms will be displayed in Brussels Park and on Place du Musée. Circus, street theater, creative performances and more – there’ll be something for everyone.
3. Iris Kids village
Children are being spoiled this year, with Place du Musée being transformed into a giant playground. The program includes face painting, unusual hair-styling sessions and activities.
4. Brussels Parliament
The Iris Festival at the Brussels Parliament is an opportunity to discover a key site for Belgian democracy. Activities will be organized for young and old.
Throughout the weekend
1. The Iris Food Corner
This year, the Iris Festival is offering a tasty two-day escape with its Food Trucks festival. Visitors’ mouths will be watering at the 40 Food Trucks.
2. Guided tours
Several original guided tours on foot or by bike will allow the public to discover Brussels in a different light.