The Smurfs come to Brussels11/06/2018

Smurf-tastic! A unique and immersive experience awaits visitors to the Heysel. A Smurf village, created by using innovative technologies, has been set up in Hall 4 of Brussels Expo until 27 January 2019.

With some 50 million comics sold in over 90 countries, a 272-episode television series broadcast in over 100 countries, 41 YouTube channels, three feature-length animations, an aeroplane and four amusement parks, may anyone who is not yet familiar with the Smurfs be instantly turned into an elf by the cunning Gargamel!

Only a country as surrealist as Belgium could declare 2018 “the official year of the Smurfs”, with the country's various networks of diplomats being mobilised throughout the world, while a Brussels Airlines Airbus A320 was transformed into a multicoloured “Aerosmurf”. In recent decades, Peyo's little blue creatures have become the most authentic ambassadors for the positive values and the humour that are characteristic of the Belgian people.

In order to celebrate this 60th anniversary, the company IMPS, which manages the rights relating to the Smurf universe, wished to create a major event glorifying Peyo's heritage. Thus, the Smurf Experience was born, with experienced event professionals at the helm. It has been designed and produced by the non-profit organisation L’Usine à Bulles in a co-production with DC&J Création. It is being run by Cecoforma (Uhoda group), a company specialising in communication and events that is well known in Brussels and Wallonia, and has a major international network. The person in overall charge of the project is Stéphan Uhoda, President of L'Usine à Bulles and CEO of Cecoforma, who is also incredibly passionate about culture and heritage.

To bring the Smurf Experience to life, L’Usine à Bulles has surrounded itself with specialists, starting with the scenographer Marcos Viñals Bassols, from Barcelona, who studied interior architecture at the Institut Saint-Luc and then scenography at La Cambre. He has worked extensively with Belgian film-makers and directors.

From 9 June, the Smurfs are moving into Hall 4 of Brussels Expo to bring you, for six months, a unique adventure and a truly immersive experience that is both fun and educational. Visitors will be gradually reduced to the size of a Smurf (a illusion created using oversized scenery and characters) and enter an enchanted world with a host of things to discover but also dangers. In nine spaces with a special atmosphere, spread over a total area of 1500 m², visitors will adopt the Smurf lifestyle, speak their language and fight with them against Gargamel, their enemy of old.

Through the use of the latest technological innovations, this immersion into the world of the Smurfs takes on a dimension that is as interactive as it is “real”. Animated Smurfs are incorporated into the scenery in the form of holograms. A computer-generated Gargamel interacts with visitors, who are held prisoner in a cage, using live motion capture. Video mapping is used for giant projections onto sheets. Thanks to the technology developed by Faceshift, visitors can gaze in a mirror at their virtual double with a Smurf's head. In addition to this, there are some extraordinary achievements in augmented reality... The performing arts are also present throughout this complete experience. Throughout the experience, various performances are put on by costumed actors.

Starting in 2019, the Smurf Experience will embark on a five-year world tour. The scenography, the narrative thread and the technologies used have been designed so that the concept can be presented to diverse audiences on the five continents. Even before the opening, there has been a great deal of interest shown in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Peyo's little blue creatures have achieved the amazing feat of becoming ambassadors for Belgian heritage worldwide!

Awex, the Walloon Export Agency, and WBI are participating in the Smurfs' 60th anniversary and their teams in Wallonia, Brussels and abroad are available to help make this world tour a success.

Practical information

Where?

Brussels Expo – Hall 4

Place de Belgique

1020 Brussels

When? From 9 June 2018 to 27 January 2019, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m..

Tickets: on sale at www.smurfexperience.be

Children (aged 3-12): €11 - Young people and students (aged 13-18): €14 - Adults: €17 - Families (4 pers.): €52.

“Collector” tickets are also on sale, at an additional cost of €4.95 (or €10 per family) per ticket.

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