Bright Brussels, the festival of lights in Brussels, is back this autumn for a special edition. Ten nights and two routes through the heights of the capital enable you to discover many fun and immersive artistic works. There is also a fringe program of various colorful events alongside the festival.
From 28 October to 6 November, visitors will be guided by lights through the Royal district and European district to the Parc du Cinquantenaire. Bright Brussels is a magical festival that is totally free, illuminating the autumn. This year, the Royal and European Quarters will be illuminated by 16 luminous works of art from local and international artists for 10 consecutive evenings.
There are two important collaborations for this anniversary edition: the European Parliament has joined the event and will host a light installation on Esplanade Solidarnosc 1980. It’s a great opportunity for the public to discover the European Parliament’s visitor installations in a whole new light. In addition, Belgium’s Royal Palace on Place des Palais will be the scene of a large-scale mapping operation by Belgian artists.
The festival will offer a fringe program with various activities and entertainment. With night-time events in museums and shops, illuminated meetings for foodies, DJ sets and workshops, every evening will hold its share of surprises.
On the initiative of the Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region, Rudi Vervoort, and the Brussels Minister for Mobility and Public Works, Elke Van den Brandt, visit.brussels is coordinating the organisation of this event in the heart of the capital.
For ten days, instead of the usual four, the people of Brussels and visitors to our region can wander through its various neighborhoods and admire works by artists from Brussels and abroad, most of which have never been exhibited beforeRudi Vervoort, Brussels’ Minister-President
1. Artworks near the Royal Palace
Chiaroscuro – Dirty Monitor (Belgium) – Royal Palace
An artistic video mapping performance by internationally renowned Belgian collective Dirty Monitor. Digital art and contemporary art meet to illuminate the Royal Palace and its heritage.
The magic garden of Mont des Arts – Magic Monkey (Belgium) – Mont des Arts
Magic Monkey showcases the Mont des Arts garden with a light and sound creation that places the audience at the heart of the experience. A unique, ethereal and hazy aerial installation.
Shining a light on Brussels Heritage – Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Visuels de La Cambre – La Cambre School of Visual Arts (Belgium) – Garden of the Palace of the Academies
The La Cambre School of Visual Arts and visit-brussels are teaming up for the first time to showcase Brussels heritage through light installations created by the students. The 5 artworks will be visible in the garden of the Palace of the Academies.
Persistence of Times – Xavi Bové Studio (Spain) – Place du Grand Sablon
Persistence of Times is an installation that evokes how information is passed on and its persistence through time and in collective memory.
Halo – Tobias Zehntner (Switzerland/Denmark/Belgium) – Chapel Church
Halo is a minimal and poetic creation made of hanging lights that somersault above the audience.
LiminaLight (Belgium) – Antoine Goldschmit/Stib-Mivb
Travellers on the STIB’s metro lines 1 and 5 will be treated to a surprise between the Arts- Loi/Kunst-Wet and Parc/Park stops: their trip will be illuminated by a light show running the length of the tunnel between the two stations.
2. Artworks in the European Quarter
Firefly Field – Studio Toer (The Netherlands) – Square de Meeus
Firefly Field is a hypnotic light installation made up of many flying light spots which simulate the movements of fireflies.
HORIZON – Loïc Marafini (France) – Leopold Park (Garden of the Museum of Natural Sciences)
Horizon is a sound and light show that draws inspiration from nature’s color palette.
Lightbattle III – Venividimultiplex (The Netherlands) – Esplanade Solidarnosc 1980 Lightbattle III invites you to discover the Dutch cultural heritage of cycling in an original way. Under three interactive light arches, six bicycles face each other from one side to another. Visitors are invited to take a seat in the installation and compete against each other.
The Wave – Vertigo (Belgium) – Cinquantenaire Park
The Wave is an 80m long immersive exhibit made of 40 doors that are sensitive to movement. Visitors walk through and around the installation and influence its auditory and visual content.
The Performer No5 – Ha Suk-jun (South Korea) – Square de Meeus
The Performer No5 is an installation with a solar panel supported by two sculptures in human form. Electricity, produced during the day with the solar panel, illuminates the statues at night (in collaboration with the Korean Cultural Center in Brussels).
Dites-le avec des fleurs – Allumeurs d’images # Spectaculaires (France) – Leopold Park Dites-le avec des fleurs is an installation by the “Facéties” family developed by Olivier Davy and Les Allumeurs d’Images within Spectaculaires. For the Léopold Park, it’s an installation with a poetic tone based on 9 giant flowers, around 6m high.
CUBE3 – Ofer Smilansky and Antoine Goldschmidt (Belgium) – Cinquantenaire Park “Simplify, simplify some more and simplify again. And once you’ve simplified everything, simplify it even more”. This principle of apparent simplicity from architect Alphonse Balat guides the approach of the Brussels artists Ofer Smilansky and Antoine Goldschmidt, who present a monumental cube with mirrored faces.
3. Late-night openings of Brussels’ museums
Seven museums and institutions, located near the Bright Brussels route, will keep their doors open late into the night. Some evenings, they organize special events and offer reduced rates.
KBR Museum: Witches avant la Lettre
KBR’s focus on “Witches avant la lettre” and a free workshop to become a miniaturist. When? 4/11, 5/11& 6/11, 19:00 until 23:00.
Vanderborght building: Witches
A torchlit tour of the exhibition, which guides the public through the witches of yesteryear and their modern-day descendants.
When? 30/10, 31/10 & 6/11(three sessions per night)
Art & History Museum: Before Time Began
Exhibition about the history of aboriginal Australian art and the mysteries that surround it When? 28/10 & 4/11, 17:00 until 23:00 (last ticket at 22:00).
Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History: Cinquantenaire Arcades The Cinquantenaire Arcades late-night openings that offer a breathtaking view of the capital. When? 29/10, 30/10, 5/11& 6/11, 19:00 until 23:00.
A night visit of the extraordinary collection at this temple of the automobile. When? 29/10, 30/10, 5/11& 6/11, 19:00 until 23:00.
ING Art Center: Hahaha. The Humor of Art
Extraordinary exhibition on humour’s place in the art world. When? 29/10 & 5/11, until 23:00
The Korean Cultural Center: What Makes Me Wander
Exhibition to mark the 120th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Belgium and the R epublic of Korea. When? 28/10 > 6/11, until 23:00.
4. The Fringe Program
Brussels’ Festival of Lights will be punctuated by numerous events open to all. Visitors who are keen on culture will be able to choose from various museums participating in the event. Food lovers will be able to stop at several great spots along the way to pick up a bite to eat. Shopping enthusiasts can take advantage of late evening openings in a number of shops.
The richness of this year’s program, its exceptional ten-night duration, its many cultural and tourism partners, and the particular attention paid to mobility to and from the event are all parameters that make it possible to focus on Brussels, attract large numbers of visitors during this holiday period and contribute to the revival of sectors that badly need it.
The enclosed areas of the routes will only be accessible on presentation of a valid Covid Safe Ticket. Health measures will be applied for the rest of the event area.
Place d’Espagne I Spanjeplein
Tipik is organising exclusive DJ sets on 29/10, 30/10, 5/11& 6/11, from 18:00 to 23:00. A valid Covid Safe Ticket is obligatory for these events.
ING, AXA and DEUTSCHE BANK illumination
Unusual dynamic lighting of the ING, AXA and DEUTSCHE BANK buildings.
Atomium – ID#2021- Symbol
Place de l’Atomium 1 Atomiumplein
The Atomium offers a sound and light show that immerses the pubic in digital creation, and a discount on the entry ticket.
Illumination of the Cinquantenaire Arcades
Beliris, the Brussels public-sector construction expert, recently renovated the lighting in and around the arcades under the Cinquantenaire quadrangle.
“Lucioles” by ‘T Licht Zien – Voir la Lumiere
Place Royale I Koningsplein
Guided by a conductor, the public reproduces a light ballet on the side of the Museum of Musical Instruments (MI M). A unique participative experience. Every evening, 19:00 > 23:00
Marche BIO nocturne
Place du Luxembourg
The organic market on place du Luxembourg on Tuesday 2 November will stay open longer than usual for Bright Brussels. The organic farmers and producers will stay on site until 23:00.
Bright Brussels is an opportunity to discover Brussels from a new angle, wandering through the city as night falls. Several guided tour organisations offer ‘by night’ tours of the capital.