This weekend in Antwerp: 28th, 29th & 30th September

Greetings, good folk of Antwerp.

Well last weekend certainly seemed to drive home the fact that summer is finished, and if that gives you the sad feelz, then maybe a couple of promos and the chance of some free tickets to Antwerp events will cheer you up.

3byonbeFirst of all this weekend its Puur Beleven at Antwerp Expo – a huge event covering all aspects of health foods, natural products, vegan, vegetarian and organic food. Thanks to Laura from Three By One a local business selling organic coconut products, Nessascityblog readers have the chance to win some tickets. Just email Laura at threebyoneeu@icloud.com and winners will be given a code for the website. Three By One will be launching new coconut products at this event!

 

image002Also at Antwerp Expo is the Antwerp Art Fair: over galleries from all around the world will be occupying 6000m sq of exhibition space. For the chance to win one of 5 pairs of free tickets to this event check out the Nessascityblog Instagram account and find the Antwerp Art Fair post.
Follow/ like/ tag-a-friend and the 5 winners will be contacted by direct message on Friday afternoon.

And here is your GOOGLE MAP for the Antwerp locations mentioned in this post. 

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All weekend

Have you noticed the white globe-like structure (pic left) at the Bonaparte Dock, down by MAS? Well this weekend the Port of Antwerp invites you to go and take a look, and learn about how ports -including the port of Antwerp – will look and operate in the future.  The Water Pavilion will be open at the following times until the 30th:  27/9 from 10h00 to 22h00; 28/9 from 10h00 to 15h00; 29/9 from 10h00 to 22h00; 30/9 from 10h00 to 18h00 and there will be various other stands and activities in the Eilandje area.

Also over the whole weekend is the Ganesh Festival. This is the 11th Ganesh Festival in Antwerp. Click the link for the full program. The Ganesh Festival takes place in the Stadspark (at the corner of van Eyklei and Rubenslei. The opening ceremony is on Friday at 6.30pm.

Artists all around Antwerp open up their work spaces and galleries this weekend as part of Open Ateliers on Saturday and Sunday.

Friday

Critical Mass takes place as usual at 18h, starting (and concluding) at Theaterplein. The theme this week is Bike To School. Join with your bike and your kids for an hour’s cycling en masse around Antwerp.

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Bar Paniek on the Kattendijkdok closes this weekend. It will be open from 11am -11pm for one last drink (or two?) by the waterside.

Kilo Verkoop is at HAAR on Montevideostraat: buy vintage & retro clothes and accessories by the kilo, from 2pm.

 

Sunday

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It’s the Antwerp Race For The Cure! Go on -come and cheer us all on -I’ll be running with my mum, and my son. If you want to join in, you can register online until the 26th, otherwise you can still join in on the day for 15 euros per person.  A lovely event, and support a very important cause, organised by Think Pink: the National Breast Cancer Campaign in Belgium. NB this year it happens on Linkeroever (Frederik van Eedenplein).

It’s the last Lambermontmartre of summer 2018. Take this last chance to come and appreciate the talent of local artists and creators, while enjoying some live swing music from Les Baptistes (at 2.30pm and 5pm). From midday, in front of KMSKA. Free.

Kilo Verkoop is at HAAR on Montevideostraat: buy vintage & retro clothes and accessories by the kilo, from 2pm.

The weather will feel autumnal and cooler. There are low chances of showers on Friday and Sunday.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 21st, 22nd & 23rd September

All weekend

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Antwerp Port Area

Part of Antwerp is a 10 day festival which started last weekend and finishes this weekend. It is focussed on the area from Eilandje, taking in Schengenplein, Sloepenweg, Red Star Line Museum … up to the Zaha Hadidplein (at the new port of Antwerp building). Expect events which celebrate the city’s status as a major port, as well as food, music and parties in this much gentrified and historic area of the city. See the full program here. There’s lots on but personally I am especially pleased to see the reopening of the wonderful Red Star Line Museum which has been closed over summer for some improvements, and which is also celebrating its 5th birthday.

Round the Grote Markt area you can catch the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) World Cup Trials. My kids and I have been impressed by the stunts and skills on display by the sportsmen and women who compete in this event -definitely a fun watch.

If skating is more your thing, head to the Jordaenskaai for the Nokia Antwerp Skate Contest 2018 taking place on Saturday & Sunday.

 

Friday

TheaterpleinColourPopFlying Pig  will be on Theaterplein to start your weekend with their usual line-up of drinks, DJs and food.

UPDATE: Alas this event has been cancelled 😦

Saturday

Come and have a uniquely local Antwerp experience at the Reuzenstoet (“Giant Parade”) in Borgerhout. This is a very old and annual tradition, involving a procession of giant puppet-like figures. The details (and map) are here. The parade starts at 1pm and takes the following route: Gitschotelhof, Vosstraat, Gitschotellei, Bacchuslaan, Berchemlei, K. De Preterlei, Lt. Lippenslaan, Morckhovenlei, Griffier Schobbenslaan, Collegelaan, Stenenbrug, Turnhoutsebaan, Helmstraat, Groenstraat, Laar. Tournhoutsebaan would be a good place to see the parade (from around 3ish). There will be other activities in the area around the Roma Theater, and many people like to follow the giants on their journey.

And while you are in the area, you might want to pick up some fresh and local produce at Farmers’ market Kraakvers.

If you have kids to entertain, head to de Coninckplein at midday for a day of fun activities for the smalls: “ConincksKinderen” will have outdoor play, a bouncy castle, henna and other activities for them to enjoy.

 

Sunday

Music, food stands and a market on Krugerplein: It’s Bouger Bouger from 10am -6pm in this attractive, family oriented square in Borgerhout. Good for kids.  UPDATE: bad weather expected so alas this event has also been cancelled.

It’s the last chance to enjoy a drink and some live music on Flamingoplein (zoo entrance) at the zoo summer bar from 5 – 7pm.

Weather …. hmmm, it should remain mild (and possibly dry) so we can continue to pretend that it’s still summer, but there may be some showers on both Saturday and Sunday

Miscellaneous

Antwerp Art Fair is coming to Antwerp Expo in October and I will have 5 pairs of tickets to give away to Nessascityblog readers, so watch this space for more info and a chance to win soon!

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Runners! still time to register for the 6km Race For The Cure (there’s also a 3km walk if you don’t fancy running). A lovely event, and a very important cause, organised by Think Pink: the National Breast Cancer Campaign in Belgium. I will be running again this year, having had a great experience last year  Come and support survivors, runners and supporters of this cause.

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Race For The Cure

Click here for Bats Variety show info & tickets. “Around The World” on this weekend: Friday, Saturday & Sunday night.

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Next Wednesday is the last Wednesday of the month which means free access to city museums:  Plantin Moretus,  Rockox, Museum Mayer van den Bergh, & the MAS.

 

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This weekend in Antwerp: 14th, 15th & 16th September

HERE’S THE GOOGLE MAP WITH THE LOCATIONS FOR THIS POST!

All weekend

There are two ongoing events taking place this weekend both in really nice areas of the city, so it’s a good chance to explore one or both of these neighbourhoods

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Zuiderburen (literally, southern neighbours) takes place (unsurprisingly) to the south of the centre and is a free street festival centred on the area which incorporates the kaaien, and Leopold de Waalplaats (in front of MUHKA). It’s a festival of music, sport, culture and food, with activities for kids too.

Part of Antwerp is a 10 day festival celebrating the port area of the city. It is focussed on the area from Eilandje, taking in Schengenplein, Sloepenweg, Red Star Line Museum … up to the Zaha Hadidplein (at the new port of Antwerp building). Expect events which celebrate the city’s status as a major port, as well as food, music and parties in this much gentrified and historic area of the city. See the full program here.

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Port of Antwerp – Zaha Hadid building

Friday

Aper’eau  joins forces with Part of Antwerp festival to begin the program with their usual brand of open-air drinks and music on Zaha Hadidplein from 5pm.

Saturday

There’s a Free film showing at Het Roze Huis at 8pm. This week it’s BPM (aka 120 battements par minute)

Kilo Verkoop is a different way of buying vintage and second hand clothes -by the kilo. This sale takes place at HAAR (in conjunction with Goegekragen) on Montevideostraat from 2pm.

Screen Shot 2018-09-12 at 20.45.46The Klappeistraat Rommelmarkt will be something of a street party as well as chance to pick up bargains. The street will be car-free from 9am, and the “Klappei Bar” will open at midday to further encourage the festive atmosphere.

It’s the opening night BATS variety show (see below for details and tickets)

Sunday

Antwerp Car Free Day is an annual event which my family and I always enjoy. Between 10am- 6pm the  city centre and surrounding streets are car-free, and replaced by a variety of stalls and activities which centre pedestrians, kids, cyclists, skaters and loiterers. Start on Meir and see where you go from there. Here’s the full programme. Enjoy experiencing a car-free Antwerp. Great for kids, with some surprising and fun alternative ways to travel around city streets .

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Autovrij (car free) Antwerp

Boekenplein on de Conninckplein is a regular monthly fixture for secondhand book lovers and browsers -from 10am -4pm.

Goegekregen (second hand market) is yet another opportunity to get your second hand, vintage and retro bargains; this time in Stadspark. A huge and very sociable occasion, with a decent food and drinks stand too. From 9am -6pm.

The weather this weekend should be warm and dry again -Sunday should be really warm, maybe going up to 24 degrees.

Antwerp Art Fair is coming to Antwerp Expo in October and I will have 5 pairs of tickets to give away to Nessascityblog readers, so watch this space for more info and a chance to win soon!

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Screen Shot 2018-09-03 at 20.27.00Miscellaneous

Recently I pressed Buskers and Street Musicians in Antwerp  a guest blog post by Dave Llewellyn, now returned to Scotland who played music in the streets of Antwerp between 1998- 2012: read all about his fascinating memories of our city.

Get in touch if you have an Antwerp story to tell!

 

Click here for Bats Variety show info & tickets. “Around The World” opens this weekend, on Saturday night.

BATSaroundtheworld

 

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This weekend in Antwerp: 7th, 8th & 9th September

Part of Antwerp starts this weekend, although most events take place from next weekend, and I will post again about it next week. It’s a series of events over September which centre on the Port and the Eilandje area of the city. Eilandje is always a great area to visit or take guests -if you are recently arrived, it is the area where the well-known MAS museum is situated; there are also lots of nice bars and cafés around the water.

Here is the GOOGLE MAP for this weekend’s post.

Friday

Flying PigStart your weekend with Flying Pig who are on Bolivarplaats from 5pm until midnight – got to make the most of what might be the last chances to enjoy al fresco drinking…

For a more old-school event try the Bal van de Bevrijding (Liberation Ball) on Groenplaats. It’s on from 5pm and is free. Dress retro to join in with the spirit of the occasion and to commemorate the liberation of Antwerp in 1944.

Saturday

Following on from the Liberation Ball, there are also Remembrance ceremonies for the Liberation of Antwerp all over Antwerp this weekend (starting at the monument in the Stadspark at 10:00 on Saturday) and a tattoo on the Grote Markt on Saturday evening with marching bands from the US, Russia & Belgium..

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It’s the annual Damse Feesten around the Dam area of Antwerp: a neighbourhood street party with fun competitions, a flea market, performances and kids’ fun in streets near Park Spoor Noord (Lange Lobroekstraat, Twee Netenstraat and Ijzerlaan) from 9am, with the last performance starting at 8pm.

If you have children interested in theatre, take them along for some taster sessions at BATS VZW to meet the Pipistrelle Youth Theatre.

Paardenmarkt 111, Antwerp
12.30 – 14.00 Group 1. 7 – 10 y
14.15 – 15.45 Group 2. 11 – 14 y
16.00 – 18.00 Group 3. 15+

And a must for skaters: the Belgian Skateboarding Championship (BK Skateboarden) from 10am on the Jordaenskaai.

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Sunday

Heritage Day or “Open Monument Day” (Open Monumentendag) takes place across Flanders, with plenty to see and do in Antwerp. You can see the cultural centres and monuments which open their doors for free in the Antwerp area here -there are over 100 of them!

Markt van Morgen are on the Kloosterstraat again from midday until 6pm -you can find jewellery, stationery, household goods and accessories for sale.

There’s a second hand market on Dageraadplaats from 9am -6pm. This is also a good local square to know about, with a play area for kids, and numerous bars with terraces.

The roller-skating at the Dageraadplaats was fun -come and enjoy a similar event on Krugerplein this Sunday at 2pm.

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Miscellaneous

This week I pressed Buskers and Street Musicians in Antwerp  a guest blog post by Dave Llewellyn, now returned to Scotland who played music in the streets of Antwerp between 1998- 2012: read all about his fascinating memories of our city. Get in touch if you have an Antwerp story to tell!

BATS do shows in English. Their variety show “Around The World” is coming soon. You can read about it and order tickets here.

The weather this weekend should remain warm and dry with temperatures between 18- 22 degrees, and some clouds.

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Antwerp memories: buskers and street musicians in Antwerp – a guest post by Dave Llewellyn

Dave Llewellyn was part of the scenery on the streets of Antwerp between 1988 and 2012. Before the Metro played recorded music if you walked through Diamant, Plantin or Groenplaats the chances are you threw a couple of Belgian Francs (or latterly Euros) into his guitar case. Dave not only knows so many of the stories and the people who inhabit the Diamond City but is interwoven into many of them, as Antwerp became home for him and the families he started on the banks of the Schelde. Here he writes about his experiences and memories of his time in Antwerp:


My love affair with Belgium started with a portion of stoofvlees in Ieper that made it impossible to get the boat back to the UK from France, as we all got really bad food poisoning. Recovering before my family did, I realised that I really liked Belgian people so instead of heading for Oostende, I turned east towards the Diamond City arriving on a Thursday in 1988 just in time to rent a tiny flat on the Kattenberg in Borgerhout, from the priest on the Laar. I remember it was a Thursday because when I went out to get my car the next morning it had been replaced by hundreds of market stalls. Welcome to Belgium!

I had been a busker in France and looked forward to trying out some of my music for Belgian people. The first and most obvious difference I noticed was in the approach to bureaucracy and paperwork: France have a very “laissez faire” attitude to life. However, Belgian authorities need a paper for EVERYTHING, and in every “gemeente”. So having been stopped about five times by police on my first morning I found myself in the Diamant Metro where there were no police; just a couple of friendly security guards. We could finally make a living in the cultural car crash the locals call Antwaarp and become part of the blood that travels daily up the main arteries of the The Carnotstraat and the Leien, which when I arrived, still had the “kinderkopkes” on road surfaces into the centre, and the old town. 

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When I first arrived “straatmuzikanten” were  honoured as an art form and the quality was the best I have ever known; better than any other city I have ever played in. Each summer, the “terrasjes” would fill up with tourists and locals looking to be entertained whilst they relaxed in the sun with a “pintje” under the watchful gaze of Rubens who surveyed the square from his plinth in the centre of the Groenplaats.  Every busker would have their local and I settled in what at the time was called The Centra in the corner under the shadow of the Cathedral. It was run by a Dutchman who served trays of drinks on skeelers and I never witnessed him drop a thing in all the years I was there. Summers came and went, and in the winter we would go to a little buskers’ pub on the Kaai called the Muziekdoos run by Etienne who seemed to have been plucked straight out of 1967. The bar was cosy; the tables were barrels and they all had candles on them for ambience.  I remember one night when Stef Kamil Carlens in his pre Deus days had everyone dancing on the tables as he and another guy belted out a particularly bawdy Violent Femmes song. Those were the golden days.

Things changed drastically for street musicians in Antwerp and for the audiences on the terraces when new countries joined the EU. Unfortunately this caused some tension, and personally I do not think that audiences enjoyed the newly arrived musicians that much. The street music scene changed. Many of the real musicians left to go ply their craft in other cities. Others successfully formed bands: Deus, Zita Swoon, and Kiss My Jazz among others.

Me? I did something else…     

*     *     *

This picture shows a seat on The Groenplaats, informally known as “Buskers’ Bench”. Like me , you’ve probably walked past it many times without giving it a second thought. For Dave, it is strongly linked with his memories of musician and songwriter John Swift (“that was his bench”) who co-wrote the 1960s hit I Can’t Let Maggie Go. Behind the bench is a cafe/ bar called “De Kleine Post” -this was formerly Centra, mentioned above.

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