This weekend in Antwerp: 29th, 30th & 31st March

Friday

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Dokmarkt

Dokmarkt is back on Napoleonkaai, from 3pm -8pm. This is a local market which began last year and which sells food and drink products from local and small businesses, both to take home, and to eat on the spot with drinks.

 

It’s Critical Mass– bring your bike to Theaterplein at 6pm for an hour’s cycling en masse around the city of Antwerp. And  -if you are really keen -see Sunday …

Rude Awakenings (theatre in English) opens at BATS Little Theatre -tickets via the link for the spring production of this one-act play, described as comprising “broad and subtle humour with truthful insights into the pain and pathos that can sometimes lie beneath the surface of village life”. The ticket price even includes cottage pie after the show (send a message if you want the veggie option).rudeawakenings BATS

 

If you are a bookworm who hasn’t checked out Café Boekowski (Bolivarplaats 4) yet, then tonight from 9pm would be a good time to do so, as they celebrate their second birthday with live music and dancing.

Saturday

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This way to Linkeroever

Feesten op Linkeroever is a food truck festival on the Boeienweide (Frederik van Eedenplein) just next to the bike/ pedestrian tunnel. From 2pm, and also on Sunday

And here’s a newcomer to the closet sale scene which seems to have become popular lately: Clean Out Your Closet.

Round off your Saturday with a little comedy impro theatre from Swaajp at BATS Little Theatre at 8pm. Tickets can be purchased in advance.

 

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Sunday

Swan Market is on Grote Markt from 11am -6pm. Swan Market hosts standholders offering products such as clothing, jewellery, stationery, household items, accessories, and home-made food. There’s usually some music and a kids’ area too.

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Theaterplein

Meet at Theaterplein at 9pm and cycle with Critical Mass all the way to Brussels for Rise For Climate! The group will keep a steady pace, suited to a reasonably fit cyclist. You need to bring enough water and a picnic lunch for on the way.

Antwerp Fashion Exchange is an event idea which enables you to swap your used clothes. Bring them along, clean and ironed, and they will be added to the collection. You will receive token for your contribution which you are then able to exchange for other clothes which have been contributed in the same way.

The weather looks set to be dry this weekend, and quite warm on Friday and Saturday (up to 17 degrees) with temps dropping on Sunday (down to 12-ish).

Miscellaneous

If you have an eye on summer already, you may wish to know that the Open Air Theatre  (OLT) in Rivierenhof has finalised its program which you can see here. Tickets go quickly for the popular acts so get in early.

Similarly, Zomer van Antwerpen are getting ready for 2019 and they’re hiring. If you’d like a summer job with them, see their ‘vacatures’.

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Special post: Leandro Targon @ Hardrock Cafe Antwerp.

 

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Leandro Targon

 

Where are you from and what brings you to Antwerp?

I’m from Mendoza, in western Argentina. My city is the proud wine capital of South America and lays at the feet of the Andes.

I first came to Belgium in June 2016 for holidays and during that trip met my spouse, who is from the Netherlands. Ten months later we were married in Antwerp!

Tell us about your job.

I’m the Sales & Marketing Manager at Hard Rock Cafe Antwerp. I simply love my job: I’m responsible for the 100% of the sales figures of our cafe (groups, leisure, corporate and individuals) and contracting with business partners. Being the spokesman and image of the brand in the Flemish region, I plan, budget and execute the yearly event calendar. I’m also responsible for the marketing communication of our cafe.

You are right at the heart of an area very popular with tourists. What’s that like and how is the tourism business faring in Antwerp at the moment?

We are indeed at the core of everything that happens in Antwerp. Tourism figures are growing considerably every year in the city, but at the moment there is a big focus on the business traveler, weekdays and weekend visitors from neighbouring areas who come mainly for shopping, people interested in the cultural aspects of the city, and plenty of foodies. Like many in the hospitality industry, we’re aiming for major growth in the long-stay leisure traveler segment, mainly the international one. That is certainly one big area of opportunity compared to other destinations in the Benelux, and hopefully with the increasing number of cruise ships calling at the port of Antwerp, there will be much better results.

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Leandro with Santa at the kids’ Christmas Breakfast

Can a place like Hard Rock be something that is both for locals and tourists, or do you think of them as being very separate demographics?

Combining the two of them is the exact key for what an authentically genuine Hard Rock Cafe must be. We are a worldwide well-known reference for tourists, and as such our cafes are an attraction. But the strength of our business resides in the local community; both Flemish and expats. Therefore our events and initiatives welcome everybody, without putting our guests into boxes. Hard Rock Cafe Antwerp is our house, and that’s how we like to be seen.

What are you looking forward to in 2019?

2019 is a year full of ambitions for us as a cafe. In March we will have been open for two years and that is something we’re immensely happy about. My personal and professional goal is to enhance our fans’ experience, and create genuine experiences that rock. Undoubtedly it will be an amazing year!

What do you like best about living in Antwerp, and what do you miss about your home country?

I totally love that Antwerp is such an international city; a hub for business, its also offers plenty of heritage and culture, as well as amazing shops and museums to visit, and I love the fact that is so beautiful. I’ve lived in many countries before coming here, and been out of Argentina for more than seven years… I wouldn’t say I really  “miss” something about my country because I receive visits from friends and family at least once a month, and I go to Argentina twice a year. The nature over there is breathtaking, so I try to reconnect with that every time I’m back.

Hard Rock Cafe is on Groenplaats, Antwerp.

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