Bruges is buzzing this summer
The festival season is breaking loose again in Bruges as well. Late spring and full summer is the time of music festivals: from those rather more small-scale and focused on residents to grand, annual festivals that appeal to a wide audience. Something for everyone. Prefer gastronomy? The Bruges Beer Festival kicks off in early June, and the Foodtruckfestival Barrio Cantina and the Festival of the North Sea in Zeebrugge can also charm a gastronome. Fans of performing arts will be surprised by the Reiefestival's offerings. We are happy to list some summer festivities for you. And did you know that a fun festival can be perfectly combined with a city trip?
Bruges Beer Festival
The Valhalla for beer-lovers
10 & 11 June 2023
Highly recommended for those who want to get acquainted with a wide palette of beers, as presented by their brewers. Several beers from Chimay, La Trappe, Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle and Westvleteren on the Trappist stand. Lambic, (old) gueuze and kriek and some special editions can be found at the 'spontaneous fermentation stand'.
The venue is the BMCC, the Bruges Meeting & Convention Centre.
Anniversary edition with impressive poster
7,8 & 9 July 2023
The three-day, cosy, small-scale but internationally renowned Cactusfestival traditionally opens the music festival season. A fixed setting is the pleasant Lake of Love Park. Headlining on the first night is the iconic Belgian band Arsenal. Rock and alternative music by Tamino, The Libertines, Goldband and Loverman, among others, will also be on show.
Unique series of summer performances
July & August 2023
Every Wednesday there is live music at one of the many pubs in the centre of Bruges.
Grand free dance party
12 August 2023
Bring out the best dancer in yourself, during the 20th edition of Benenwerk. Live bands & DJs will take you in tow for a dance marathon along 14 stages.
Brand-new arts festival
18 through 20 August 2023
Various open-air locations on and around the canals will come to life very atmospherically this summer during theatre shows, performances, installations, concerts and processions. Inspired by the theme of 'Faith' and the rich heritage of Bruges, 14 national and international artists have made some new, unique creations. With some 50 performances by both big names and up-and-coming talent, any fan of performing arts is sure to get their money's worth. There are free and paid-for performances. The first edition of the triennial Reiefestival will also make for some atmosphere and culture outside the city centre as the festival travels to Zeebrugge beforehand (7 through 20 August) and ends in Bruges' districts.
The international festival for early music
4 through 13 August 2023
For 60 years, MA has succeeded in bringing early music to the present in an innovative and convincing way. A sophisticated selection of the world's most captivating performers – including Gli Angeli Genève, a nocte temporis, Les Talens Lyriques, InAlto and Hopkinson Smith – will guarantee some unforgettable evenings of music at the Concertgebouw Brugge and at several churches. There will be another musical trip to Lissewege on 12 August with concerts at the Church of Our Lady of Visitation and the Ter Doest barn. This year's international competition is themed around the harpsichord.
Festival of light
Fairy glow over Lissewege
18 & 19 August 2023
When darkness falls (from 9pm), the white polder village becomes even more cosy thanks to some wondrous installations and fun performances. Explore the trail around the majestic Church of Our Lady of Visitation , discover the most beautiful nooks and crannies of this beautiful village, and be immersed in a light-filled experience for young and old alike.
The most exciting boutique festival
5 & 6, 12 & 13 August 2023
By now, it has become a tradition in Zeebrugge that 'Music, fashion and food' come together during the two weekends of WECANDANCE. Tripping in a wonderful and magical world, full of hypnotic colours, psychedelic prints and seeing and hearing the best DJs at work. On seven stages, in addition to the genres of hip-hop, techno, desert house & disco, all-round, slow dance and the annual live acts, new sub-genres such as amapiano are now appearing. The theme of the 10th anniversary edition is 'Sea, Sand and Sun'. The special 'night train ticket' will get you smoothly from Zeebrugge to Bruges after the last act.
Festival of the North Sea
Sultry beats on the beach of Zeebrugge
25 & 26 August 2023
In the last weekend of August, Bomboclat will close the festival summer in Bruges with the best of contemporary African and Caribbean music: Afrobeats, Dancehall, Amapiano and much more. Children can have fun in the spacious children's zone during this family-friendly festival.
* Information subject to change.