Festivals and events, Rotterdam
You must see some of Rotterdam's famous examples of modern architecture. Luckily, several of them are grouped together: the Cube Houses, the Bibliotheek, and the building that looks like a 12-story pencil. You can see the red Willemsbrug there, and a short walk will take you to the Erasmusbrug.
Fondest memory: My best single memory of Rotterdam came about by accident. It was a Sunday afternoon, and we were walking through Museumpark. The museums -- natural history, art, architecture -- were open but didn't appeal to us. But we heard the insistent beat of drums and followed the sound. At the edge of the park, there was a small family festival going on, with Caribbean bands, food booths, and a do-it-yourself circus for children. We had fun taking photos of all the cute kids trying out stilts, tightrope walking (a foot above the ground), giant rubber blocks, face painting, and juggling. I was crouched on the ground taking a shot of a band, and as I stood up, retracting the telephoto lens of my camera, a tiny girl toddled up and reached longingly for the moving lens. Her mother and I looked at each other and burst out laughing. For some things, you don't need a common language. :)
Metropolis is a festival which is held yearly near the Ahoy Complex in Rotterdam.
Here you find a market where the sell clothes, funny things and show some good causes.
There is also music on many different stages.
An ideal place to look around, enjoy the sun, sit in the grass and listen to the music.
Entrance to the festival is free.
Favorite thing: visit these 2 annual events: the multicultural 'Dunya Music Festival' and the 'Solero Summer Carnival'. Unfortunately you'll have to wait until next summer for the next editions. But for your comfort, I will put up a cute picture of last year's event.
Favorite thing: During the summer months there is a beach at the Maas near Leuvehaven metro station. Waterlife blvd is a beach pavilion. A host of acts from Rotterdam, but also national stars, will perform on the outdoor stage. The stage acts and other activities will be held from Wednesdays to Sundays.
Favorite thing: At the end of June the Parade means a lot of different and unpretentious theatre, visual art, film, dance, opera, music and amusement in the Museumpark (near Leuvehaven metro station). But also: classical forms of fairground and circus arts, kitsch and old-fashioned fun, and the Children's Parade in the afternoon.
Favorite thing: End of June at the Wilhelminakade a wide-ranging Jazz festival with a very varied programme, for music lovers of all eras. Internationally renowned artistes and new talent. Jazz, blues, soul, funk, Latin, world music, lounge, dance and poetry, and all at one of the most beautiful locations in Rotterdam - in the open air along the Maas. Get off at Wilhelminaplein metro station.
Favorite thing: The Zuiderpark is in the beginning of July the stage for performances by (inter)national pop acts. Under the motto 'the best you never heard', the festival gives innovative, trendsetting and promising acts a chance. The programme is devised through a unique partnership between a number of prominent Dutch clubs. Close from Zuidplein metro station.
Favorite thing: End of July Rotterdam turns into Rio de Janeiro. Hundreds of thousand of people come here to see the parade of dozens of groups with more than 2.500 participants showing their assets. If you like salsa, merengue, bachata, samba and rumba you just must be in Rotterdam that weekend. On Fridays the warming up is just to loosen your muscles. Various brass bands will liven up the city centre via different routes, all of which end up at a stage on Coolsingel. Saturday you just have to dance all day. The parade goes through the entire center so you cannot miss it. At the Coolsingel some stands are located with Latin music groups. Latin food and stuff you will be able to find in abundance as well. The start is near Leuvehaven.
Favorite thing: Berlin has its Love Parade. Rotterdam has its Fast Forward Dance Parade. About 40 wonderfully decorated trucks with many DJ’s drive mid August through Rotterdam. From progressive to two-step, from techno to drum 'n bass and from rap to clubhouse. Final party is on Katendrecht. If you love trance and techno, you will enjoy it. The start is near Leuvehaven.
Favorite thing: Classical and popular romantic music, gypsy music and opera arias. The Day of Romantic Music is known for its fantastic atmosphere in the Museumpark. The setting, the picnic baskets (for hire!), the romantic music and clothing. More than fifty concerts on eight stages. Depending on the weather the concert will be in Augustus. Get off at Leuvehaven metro station.
Favorite thing: The World Port Days have been a household word for years. In September there is a spectacular evening programme, various excursions and demonstrations on the Maas provide an interesting and unforgettable outing for everyone. On a floating stage in front of the Boompjes (near Leuvehaven metro station), top artistes will put on a wonderful show.
Favorite thing: The International Film Festival Rotterdam is one of the most spectacular cultural events in the Netherlands. Over 200 films are shown in a few weeks time. Many international directors and actors come to Rotterdam for this event. For more information look at http://www.iffrotterdam.nl/.
Party, parade's, restaurants and Movies
Fondest memory: There's not just one fondest memory...Rotterdam is...well just read the picture taken at the FFWD Danceparade 2000.