a brainwash top 5

During the past years, we’ve experienced so many wonderful highlights. But in 2020 our options were limited. And yes, it’s making us miss the packed venues, our exciting speakers and thrill of sharing big ideas. So, we decided to shine a light on some of our favourite moments over the past six years.


5: ideas

Five has to be sharing the ideas of the world’s leading thinkers. Take for example Thomas Piketty, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Slavoj Zizek, Michael Sandel, Martha Nussbaum, Bruno Latour, Mariana Mazzucato, Louis Theroux, Naomi Klein, Richard Dawkins and Kwame Anthony Appiah. Basic income for all? Feminism 4.0? Exploring the Anthropocene? A climate emergency plan? Our speakers gave us plenty to think about.


In 2019, our festival had 144 programmes, 200 speakers and 12 locations.

4: wandering

Another highlight: wandering around the festival, not knowing who or what you’ll see in the next room. Being surprised by theatre makers and writers you didn’t know yet. Taking in ground-breaking ideas from leading philosophers or scientists. It’s what makes Brainwash Festival so utterly delightful. In 2019, our festival had 144 programmes, 200 speakers and 12 locations. Plenty to explore—and maybe get lost in.



3: encounters

And don’t forget the unexpected encounters. We love it when new ideas meet and thinkers exchange thoughts. It keeps us all on our toes. Remember the National Opera in 2018? The conversation between Frans de Waal and Dick Swaab about free will? Or how the Smartphone Orchestra brought audiences together in a collaborative performance on data in 2019?


2: media

All the remarkable television programmes and podcasts we made with Human. Haven’t checked them out yet? Here’s some tips: our Brainwash Talk with Dirk de Wachter on the value of adversity, Mariana Mazzucato on capitalism, Dalilla Hermans on hope, or the Brainwash Special with Thomas Piketty.

"We want capitalism and market forces to serve democracy, and not vice versa" Thomas Piketty during his Brainwash Special 2020

1: you

Finally, your enthusiasm! Yes, it sounds cheesy, we know. But without you nothing would’ve happened. We’re grateful you came back year after year (selling out the festival in moments), for your thoughtful responses to our speakers and programmes, your advice and compliments. And of course, we appreciate your support and kind messages in 2020 when we had to cancel the Wanderlust festival.


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