How Brussels responded to the dance tax

With Brexit and Britain’s impending exit from the EU, Brussels has been in the news a lot lately. Club owners in the city have been grappling with another problem altogether though, one which now sees them required to pay a “dance tax”. The tax imposed by city authorities two years ago means that for every dancer, establishments now have to pay 40 cents per night. Many club owners in the city initially thought it was a joke, but at 40 cents per dancer, the tax can quickly add up to £1,700 a year, which is quite substantial for small businesses.

City authorities point out that music cafes and clubs create added expenses for the city with respect to security and public order and that the tax is necessary to cover the extra costs.

Some establishments in the city have responded with humour including the owner of the Bonnefooi café who responded by posting a sticker in the window playfully stating: “Can you stop dancing guys?” Bonnefooi also said that he might now organise a “fun dance protest” against the policy.

So where in Brussels can you dance?
While the tax has been derided and laughed at by some, clubs and cafes in Brussels continue to provide spaces to dance. The following clubs and cafes offer some great nightlife options…

This is an electronic music favourite which hosts famous artists, labels and promoters on a regular basis. Now very much an established venue in the Marollen/Marolles district after opening back in the 90’s.

You Night Club
This club has long been a favourite haunt for the Brussels youth. With a set list of commercial hits, this is a big club with plenty of space to dance the night away.

Bloody Louis
Situated in the heart of Brussels, this club plays host to some of the biggest names in the music industry. Catering to electronic music fans, Hip Hop aficionados and Hipsters, the club is very much open for dancing.

The Music Village
Located a few metres from the historic Grand’Place, the Music Village takes music fans back to the classic days of jazz clubs. With over 250 concerts a year, the venue has become a home to the best Belgian and international jazz musicians.

Café Kafka
Café staging regular Thursday night jam sessions. A wide selection of Belgian beers are available along with a selection of cigars. Friday night concerts and Saturday DJ sets provide plenty of opportunity to dance.

And for those that don’t like to dance…

Café Capitale
This café offers a more relaxed vibe with a coffee focused setting. With beans roasted on site and coffee based events, this provides a laid-back alternative to the more hedonistic clubs in town.

Café Metropole
Situated on the Place de Brouckere, the café provides high end cuisine from the Brussels tradition. With a range of craft beers available and an Art Nouveau environment, this is another chilled out alternative.

Cheese Cake Café
Right in the heart of Brussels, this café bar serves a variety of drinks and dishes. Styled on the traditional English pub, this is somewhere to enjoy quiet conversation with friends and family.


For more information on lifestyle options in Brussels, head over to the Angloinfo Brussels lifestyle page.