Over the ten years since I have known it, Brussels has progressively turned into a city of concepts – starting with policy initiatives through urban ones and ending up with the increasing trend of conceptual parties.
No worries, I won’t talk about policy here but will rather focus on the parties. There are at least three types of them. First, the ones which happen regularly – every Tuesday (Bar Mardi), Thursday (Aperitivo Milano), once a month (Final Friday) etc. Then, some concepts are launched for a certain number of days such as Cointreau Fizz Garden – Private Cocktail Bar which was opened only for 16 nights. Last, there are the one off events.
Summer (yes, we call those 18 degrees summer here) comes with new concepts – Bruxelles les Baines, for example – which however puts a new challenge in front of their creators. Since the bruxellois start massively abandon the city and head to other places where there is, actually, summer. Besides it is also the time of festivals, as I have mentioned in an earlier post. What happens is that the competition grows high whereas the number of the potential attendees goes down.
Hence the concept-creators start uniting forces for one off events. The result however can be something which sounds exceptional and classy but turns out to be low key. Such as last Friday. HotNights, SecretNights & Just a Night united forces for “the ultimate coproduction” *NIGHT of the NIGHTS* at Autoworld which was supposed to be “an international party ride to remember”. In reality the most exceptional thing about it was its announcement.
The SPECIAL Aperitivo Milano for the opening of Karl Lagerfeld’s exhibition at Cassina Show Room was also a very pleasant after-work event. One could rest on the sofas which were part of the exhibition, comprised by furniture corresponding with Lagerfeld’s photos, or mix with the elegantly dressed crowd in the small garden where a DJ was playing chill out music and free cocktails and soft drinks were offered at two stands.
The funny thing about all these initiatives is that no matter how diversed and packed with people from all over the globe Brussels is, once you start going out, you inevitably would bump into many familiar faces.
This Friday sets another difficult choice in front of Brussels party lovers – at least four conceptual parties take place at the same time – the celebration of Croatia’s accession to the EU, the opening of Bruxelles les Bains , APEROS URBANIS and Eurobuble night.
Finally, concepts are inspiring when they come in flesh. And wasted when they turn to be empty shells. In this respect Brussels makes no difference.