Relax, refresh and repeat: that must be the ideal August routine, and the Benelux is the perfect place to do just that this month. Relax at one of the many urban festivals or musical celebrations and refresh at a beer fair or food pop-up afterwards. Don’t worry about running out of summer-proof things to do: the Benelux has more activities on the programme than there are days in the month.
TEXT: ARNE ADRIAENSSENS | MAIN PHOTO © NBTC
Photo © Hello Summer
Until 25 August, Brussels, Belgium
This summer, the laid-back Hello Summer village roams through the municipalities of Brussels. After having spent ten days in Brussels’ city centre in July, the event will now strike down in the European district, Laken and Neder-Over-Heembeek. With music, sports, food and fun galore, Hello Summer installs the perfect exotic oasis in the crowded metropole.
Photo © Flower Parade
Flower Parade Rijnsburg
10 August, Rijnsburg, the Netherlands
In the nation of tulips, flower parades are widely popular. One of the nicest ones is organised in Rijnsburg, where the villagers drive 65 blossoming vehicles through their streets. Adorned with no less than 250,000 flowers, all cars turn into colourful, mechanical pieces of art. This year, the central theme is ‘professions’, taking us from one exciting career to the next.
Flowertime. Photo © Wim Vanmaele
14-18 August, Brussels, Belgium
With the bi-annual flower carpet in Brussels and the Florialiën in Ghent, Belgium counts plenty of floral celebrations. This year, the teams behind these two events collaborate for Flowertime, a blossoming exhibition in the gothic city hall of Brussels. Spread over 13 impressive rooms and halls, 100,000 flowers give shape to a myriad of living installations which collide with their lush surroundings.
Photo © NBTC
15-18 August, Biddinghuizen, the Netherlands
For many a Dutchman, Lowlands is the magnum opus of the music festival season. And this year, again, they live up to that expectation. Tame Impala, Twenty One Pilots, A$AP Rocky, The National, Anne Marie and Giorgio Moroder are just a few of the big names adorning the line-up. Besides featuring great music, the festival also has room for comedy, literature, dance, theatre and science.
Bollekesfeest. Photo © Gianni Camilleri
16-18 August, Antwerp, Belgium
Every summer, the Bollekesfeest celebrates the city of Antwerp in all its aspects. Eat and drink its delicacies at the fairs and pop-up bars, immerse yourself in its culture at the stages or gaze at the city and harbour from the water during a relaxing boat trip. Make sure to drink ‘een bolleke’, as well: the city’s signature beer which lends its name to the cosy festival.
‘t Preuvenemint. Photo © NBTC
22-25 August, Maastricht, the Netherlands
At ‘t Preuvenemint, the biggest culinary festival of the Benelux, the country’s best chefs show the world what they are capable of at 23 gastronomical stalls. Treat your taste buds with plenty of refined dishes while enjoying the cosy and informal atmosphere. Also, the profits from every dish you order go straight to charity. This year, the festival supports Stille Armen, an organisation which treats economically challenged families with a festive and tasty surprise box during the Christmas period.
Schueberfouer. Photo © Tommi Lappalainen
23 August – 11 September, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
The Schueberfouer, the Grand Duchy’s biggest funfair, has been around for a very long time. The event was founded in 1340, making this year’s edition its 679th. Don’t expect any medieval activities, though: with 43 thrilling rides, plenty of shooting and fishing stalls, and even more dining spots to take the edge off your appetite, the fair has long entered the 21st century.
Photo © BXLBeerFest
24-25 August, Brussels, Belgium
At BXLBeerFest, artisanal brewers from Belgium and beyond fraternise. About 60 breweries present their unique hops to the world in a relaxed and informal atmosphere. With all of this in focus, the festival wants to give the legendary Belgian beer culture the attention it deserves. Go and try a few of the 350 extraordinary beers while chatting with the brewers themselves.
Jazz in de Gracht. Photo © The Hague Marketing
Jazz in de Gracht
29-31 August, The Hague, the Netherlands
No venue makes jazz sound as good as the open air. During Jazz in de Gracht, you can enjoy this soulful music while relaxing at the waterfront of The Hague’s canals. Small bands play their nicest tunes while they float by their audience in sloops. Let jazz be the soundtrack of the last hot days and nights of summer.
Concours d’Elégance. Photo © Alexandre Prevot
30 August – 1 September, Mondorf, Luxembourg
Classic cars, elegant outfits and a lot of philanthropy: that is the Concours d’Elégance in a nutshell. To raise money for Make-A-Wish (an organisation which fulfils the biggest wishes of terminally ill children), old-timer aficionados hit the road and explore Luxembourg’s beautiful countryside in their antique rides. During the following days, they exhibit their spectacular cars and motorcycles to the large audience in attendance in the lush Mondorf-les-Bains Thermal Domain Park.