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Ghent is rich in cultural and arts festivals year round. Music, sports, film attract locals and travelers to enjoy events in the magnificent setting of the city.
In May, don't miss the Quadrennial of Contemporary Art. Organized by S.M.A.K. the Museum of Contemporary Art, it is forum of discussion of the latest tendencies in contemporary art.
Track 2012 is an upcoming temporary exhibition of work by thirty international artists. Their work will be displayed in the classical historical center, but also in some more popular neighbourhoods. The large-scale, city-wide exhibition will be held in Ghent from 12 May to 16 September 2012. It builds further on the existing tradition of previous controversial art projects outside the SMAK Museum such as Chambres d’Amis (1986) and Over the Edges (2000). http://www.track.be/en/
In July, take part in Ghent Festivities consisting of four festivals: Gent Jazz (before named Blue Note Festival), the International Street Festival MiraMiro,the International PuppetbuskerFestival and the 10 Days Off dance festival. Be prepared for ten days of continuous party in historical downtown. Bars and restaurants are open to ensure that the travelers and the locals have the best of times as they enjoy these free events. A fifth festival during the festivities is Boomtown, a 5-day alternative music festival with free and paying performances. Boomtown takes place on the Kouter square.
In October, don't miss the International Film Festival of Flanders. With more than 140 movies participating in the competition, the traveler wil be ensured a variety of styles and stories from filmmakers coming from all over the world. For details, check out the festival's website at: http://www.filmfestival.be/
September Heritage Day - if you think you've seen all Ghent monuments, then come over to Ghent on the second sunday of september. A dozen of historical buildings and monuments open every year their doors to the public. http://www.openmonumenten.be/
Ghent Light Festival - Every year, late january, a selection of international artists and light designers take visitors on a fascinating tour for the Ghent Light Festival. This event lasts three or four days and brings the historic city center to life with a series of light and projection installations. http://www.lichtfestivalgent.be/ The local government announced that in order to keep this event free, it will now be a once every three years event. So next one will take place in January 2015.
Check out the website of the Toursit Office of the City of Ghent for an uptodate overview of the most important events in Ghent (permanent and temporary exhibitions, ballet, fairs, concerts, festivals, opera, sports, theater) at www.visitgent.be. Or download the quarterly publication with a thrilling selection of fine, exciting and singular events in Ghent. These publications are available in English, German, French and Dutch.