Bloomsday in Oostende 2024: sneak preview

We have some beautiful surprises in store for this year’s Bloomsday in Oostende. Literally. Philippe Braem @philippebraem is launching his new gallery in Oostende with work by Philippe Tonnard @philippetonnard. The theme? James Joyce (who holidayed here in 1926). The artist is also making a unique souvenir for the event. The Bloomsday celebrations commence at 11:00, at the gallery on Torhoutsesteenweg, followed by lunch on the beach and a full programme of talks in KAAP, starting at 14:00.

Free admission, but reservation essential (seats are limited). Book via @kunstencentrumkaapto save your spot. See you on Sunday 16 June! Photo: artist Philippe Tonnard with his work on Ensor. Bloomsday in Oostende 2024 is supported by Stad Oostende @oostendedestadaanzee The Embassy of Ireland in Belgium, Oostende Leest, Exil vzw and KAAP.


Photo: Jef Van Eynde

Bloomsday – the festival in honour of writer James Joyce, his novel Ulysses and its protagonist Leopold Bloom – is celebrated worldwide on 16 June.  And also in Ostend, because Joyce and his family enjoyed a long holiday in the city during the heat wave of 1926. The third edition of Bloomsday in Ostend is yet another unique opportunity to immerse yourself in Joycean plaisanterie. On the programme

11:00   Opening of James & James in the new gallery [bu’ro], Torhoutsesteenweg 49, Ostend. Artist Philippe Tonnard (lives and works in Ghent) pays a unique homage to James Joyce in this new exhibition.

12:00   Walk towards the Promenade 

We’ll have lunch on the beach. Bring your own sandwiches and drinks! 

14:00 Bloomsday in KAAP, with:

Joyce and the Sirens by Geert Lernout. Otherwise known as THE Joyce expert. Founder of the James Joyce centre at the University of Antwerp. Author of numerous texts on Joyce in Dutch and English.

Music in the 1920s by Kurt Van Eeghem, a well-known figure from radio and TV. Author of the recently published book Oostende in de Belle Epoque, he’ll be taking a deep dive into the interwar period.

The Joyce family snapshots by Dirk Beirens. The renowned city guide shows how much Ostend has changed over the last century.

NB: all lectures are in Dutch

Open Mic. Over to you! Step onto the stage, or stand up from your seat, and read your favourite lines by Joyce. In English, Dutch, French, German or any language you love!

And last but not least: enjoy a drink and a chat.

Dress code: ‘James and Nora Joyce, Ostend 1926’ (not obligatory). For James, that’s a straw boater, blazer, white shirt and walking stick. For the Noras, as quirky as you like!

Free admission, advance registration essential via KAAP 

The Joyce family on holiday in 1926 (copyright: The University at Buffalo, New York)

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A collaboration between the Portiers van de Oceaan, KAAP, Oostende Leest and the non-profit organisation Exil. 

With generous support from the City of Ostend and the Irish Embassy.