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Espace Catastrophe presents

UP! The circus festival
     in Brussels 19 > 29 | 03 | 2020

Festival UP! is the main event in Espace Catastrophe’s calendar.

See the circus like you’ve never seen it before – all over the city! Over 10 days, 30 shows and 55 performances, Festival UP! will showcase new generations of circus authors and creators from Belgium and all over the world, by performing in some of the most beautiful locations in the capital.

UP! takes its audience on a journey to discover the unexpected. As a winner of the Best International Event for its previous edition, UP! continues to demonstrate the richness of its performances. This 16th edition will immerse you in unique live experiences in theatres, the big top, public areas, and delightfully unexpected places, with new and bold concepts on site, in a caravan and even in a flat.

It will soon be clear to see that the circus has kept its appetite for risk and daring, and has added to it, with an incredible variety of forms and techniques that make it a contemporary art in its own right. The modern-day circus invents, surprises, amazes, moves, delights, grasps any object within its reach, explores all spaces and constantly pushes its own limits in order to hold up a compelling mirror to the audience and make us reflect on who we are.

With 30 shows being performed all over Brussels, Festival UP! has its finger on the pulse of an art whose rhythm will capture your heart. Over the 10 days, UP! will turn you into an explorer. The festival will lead you to the most beautiful parts of the capital as well as to some unexpected places, such as a flat where two acrobats are waiting, letting the mesmerising strength of their bodies do the talking. Try not to stay stone-faced, like the flat’s bathroom sink, as the performance might even move you to tears, like its leaky tap.

Whether it uses the latest technology or relies on simpler means, the exploration aspect of the circus draws parallels with our world and the issues that are itching or needling at our society. This 16th edition of UP! is led by artists who talk about their surroundings and share their issues about a world that seems to have lost its balance. Walking a tightrope of emotion, Festival UP!, the main event of Espace Catastrophe, takes you on a journey to explore these gems of inventiveness and feeling, carved from the love in the acts performed.

Loyal to its guiding values which won it the prize of Best International Event awarded by Visit.Brussels, UP! is suitable for all audiences young and old, lifelong circus fans or new to the scene. This is art that defines us and unites us, and it’s in this spirit that the performances are occupying the city while using a host of partner venues as a backdrop. From a large 500-seat auditorium to an intimate gathering in a caravan, from the big top to a small flat, get ready to enjoy the circus as you’ve rarely had it served: raw and subtly done! For those of you with big appetites, the festival programme will let you enjoy one, two or even up to five shows a day (at the weekend). It’s a menu filled with energy, creativity and humanity!

Espace Catastrophe thanks the media partners [Le Soir, La RTBF (La Première & La Trois), BX1, BRUZZ] & institutional [La Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, La Région de Bruxelles-Capitale, La Commission communautaire française, Wallonie-Bruxelles International, Wallonie-Bruxelles Théâtre Danse, Visit.Brussels] for their loyal support.

10 days
18 places
30 shows
55 performances