Bright Brussels: A Mass Tourism Event with 300,000 people

Written by Juergen T Steinmetz

For its sixth edition, the Bright Brussels festival sublimated the streets of the capital for four consecutive evenings. This year, no less than 23 installations by national and international artists took over the Royal Quarter, the European Quarter, and the Flagey neighborhood. Once again, the festival offered a fringe program, which included late-evening museum visits and guided tours. A rich program that delighted some 300,000 visitors.

Ever since its first edition, Bright Brussels has offered offers visitors and residents a unique opportunity to discover or rediscover the capital’s neighborhoods in a different light.

This year, no less than twenty installations illuminated the heart of the capital. The Flagey neighborhood joined the festival routes and saw several of its emblematic sites embellished by light creations by Belgian and international artists.

New this year: Brussels park welcomed the Sibelga Light Market, which was dedicated to the repairing of damaged lights and the sale of second-hand light fixtures.

The STIB participated in the event once again, with interactive installation Traces, created in collaboration with Belgian collective Hovertone in Schuman Station. The artwork allows visitors to leave a digital imprint of their physical passage.

On top of this rich program, Bright Brussels gave visitors the opportunity to extend their night-time escapades thanks to its fringe program. Several Brussels museums opened their doors late and organized nocturnal guided tours.

As far as sustainability was concerned, every effort was made to minimize the environmental impact of the event. This was one of the criteria used by the festival jury to select the works exhibited and contributed to Bright Brussels being carbon neutral for the second time in a row. An additional step was taken this year with the carrying out of an external audit of the event’s environmental footprint.

This audit will enable us to further improve the event in the years to come.

The richness of this year’s program, its many cultural and tourism partners, and the special attention that was paid to mobility to and from the event were all factors that contributed to putting the Brussels-Capital Region in the spotlight. Our capital was, therefore, able to welcome a large number of visitors in complete safety.

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