This weekend in Antwerp: 17th, 18th & 19th August

 

bfsp2018Greetings! I hope you are having a great summer in Antwerp and that readers survived the heatwave, and enjoyed safe travels. Weekly posts are back, but some of the information on the Big Fat Summer post may still be useful to you.

This weekend the most important event is the annual Bollekesfeest -for newbies, a ‘bolleke’ is the local name for a glass of Antwerp’s best known beer: de Koninck, which obviously will be flowing in copious quantities this weekend. Bollekesfeest takes place over all three days, and over a few different locations, most notably round the Historic Centre: Suikerrui, Groenplaats, Grote Markt and Steenplein, with smaller events on Sint Andriesplaats. It’s about a lot more than beer: this is a hugely social and popular event, also featuring music, DJs, foodstalls and additional events, some of which connect to the Baroque Season. Check the program carefully to see what you would like to do, or alternative just show up and wander from location to location. If you have kids to entertain, the Steenplein will be the best venue for you, where as well as the beers, food and music, there is a Kidzone and a play fountain (tip: bring a change of clothes and a towel).

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dancing at Bollekesfeest

It is free to attend Bollekesfeest (food and drink purchases are made with a Betaalkaart this year). Here are the opening times:
Friday 17/8: 16.00 – 24.00 uur.
Saturdag 18/8: 11.00 – 24.00 uur
Sunday 19/8: 11.00 – 20.00 uur

 

Friday

Here the Friday programme for Bollekesfeest.

The Zomer van Antwerpen (ZVA) is by no means over and there are still a number of free music events taking place on squares around the city. This Friday night the band Handkerchief (blues, ska, gypsy, gospel, surf, calypso and rumba influences) are playing on Dageraadplaats from 7.30pm. Or show up earlier, as there are kids’ activities from 3pm.

The OLT free music event this week comes courtesy of The Mambo Queens and starts at 8.30pm.

 

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Bollekesfeest on Steenplein by the River Schelde

 

Saturday

Here is the Saturday programme for Bollekesfeest

 

 

 

Sunday

Here is the Sunday programme for Bollekesfeest

Your Rommelmarkt this weekend comes courtesy of SNITT and Goegekregen and takes place along the Singel from 9-6.

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Permeke Library

Secondhand goodies can also be found at the monthly Strip -en- boekenplein (second hand books, comics, graphic novels and more) on De Coninckplein just in front of Antwerp’s Permeke Library, from 10am -4pm.

Sunday is also a good day to head to FOMU if you have kids to entertain. They offer special activities for children as part of their Zomerse Zondagen.

The weather is likely to remain somewhat cloudy and overcast this weekend, but nonetheless dry and warm with top temperatures around 23- 24 degrees.

 

Miscellaneous

Baroque Antwerp season continues until January 2019.

The OLT (Open Air Theatre) concert season program is here. To go for free, see events entitled “Gratis Vrijdagen” (Free Fridays).

Over summer, Stad Antwerp offers two outdoor swimming pools (Boekenberg and de Molen)


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This weekend in Antwerp: 6th, 7th & 8th July

If you live in or close to the centre, you don’t need to go far for a full weekend of entertainment this weekend. Feesten in het Stadspark is a free event in the Stadspark over both days. There’s food, drink, kids entertainment, live music, performances and dancing to be had. On Sunday, things kick off quite early with a big second hand market from Goegekregen (from 9am).

The hot weather is going to continue, so there is nothing to spoil your fun at this event: as ever don’t forget water-bottles, sun hats, shades and plenty of sunscreen for the whole family, especially kids.

Here is your GOOGLE MAP for this weekend!

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There’s a huge second hand market on Sint Jansplein from 10am -6pm.

 

 

Sunday

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Hungry? head to Brilliant Foodies at Felix Pakhuis (this is near MAAS museum, Eilandje). Felix Pakhuis is a beautiful venue for this free multicultural food event. In addition to the amazing food, there will be live music, diamond and jewelry workshops and fun activities for the whole family. Brilliant Foodies is hosted by Diamonds and Antwerp.

Another really nice part of the Zomer van Antwerpen is the “Muziek in de Wijk” events, which bring local bands to the local squares and parks of the city. This weekend on Sunday Muziek in de Wijk is on Krugerplein from 2.30pm with the main program beginning at 4pm.

Miscellaneous

On Wednesday 11th July Vlaanderen Feest will be held on Grote Markt with a busy party program that starts at midday. This is a fun local event, and definitely one to enjoy if you are recently arrived and want to enjoy an authentic part of Antwerp cultural life. You can read about why this is celebrated as an important day for Flanders here.
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Have you noticed the life-sized statues of zoo animals (pic right) around the town? These commemorate 175 years of Antwerp Zoo. Happy birthday, Antwerp Zoo!

Also from the zoo: every evening on the Flamingo Plein  (zoo entrance) live music and -yes, you guessed it – a summer bar, between 5pm -7.30pm. A perfect summer after-work for when you step off the train -until 23rd September.

 

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bumper summer post coming on the 11th July

The Big Fat Summer Post is coming out on the 11th July, while I take a break for about a month for my own summer holidays, and to enable me to get out and enjoy some of the events and places I blog about!

I hope you have a lovely Antwerp summer and I am very grateful to everyone who reads the blog, and who takes the time to contact me with events, information or a positive comment.

Don’t forget that if you would like to write a special post for Nessascityblog or do a short interview (in person, or via email) then please get in touch: nessascityblog@gmail.com or via the other social media in the Find & Follow section. I’d love to hear and share your Antwerp story!

Recently I have shared guest posts from Timo: Five Places to Read & Relax in Antwerp and Sonny: Take Five With Sonny Dhanowa.

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Take Five with Sonny Dhanowa

 

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Photo credit: Hans van der Linden

Meet Sonny Dhanowa from Trowbridge in the UK.

 

After studying Biological and Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Exeter, then working for ten years, Sonny (pictured right) decided on a total change of field and direction and pursued a new career in music and business. If you are familiar with the social media of Antwerp’s vibrant music scene, you may have noticed Casa De Sonny events on your feed. These evenings take place for free in Sonny’s stylish Italiëlei apartment, and showcase local and visiting musicians. 

Having been to one of these, I was curious to learn about what inspired Sonny to do this here in Antwerp …

So who are you and what are you doing here in Antwerp?

I’m Sonny Dhanowa from Trowbridge, UK (nearish to Bristol). I was living in Barcelona, Spain for thirteen years before coming here three years ago, and before that I was in London. I’m a DJ/ producer and general music lover. I’m using Antwerp as a base of operations while I kick start different music related projects.

 I went to a Casa de Sonny evening, and would love to come again. It seemed a very unusual event -what prompts someone to open the doors of their home for free and making no profit, as a hang-out for people who they do not know?

I’ve been promoting nights- on and off- for most of my adult life; from the standard party with DJs to more elaborate and unusual nights involving different cultural aspects such as bands /film /dance/spoken word. I was extremely fortunate to move into a nice large loft-style apartment when I arrived in Antwerp, so the decision was basically made for me. And as I’ve found Antwerp to be quite an expensive city, it was easy not-charging people entrance and tell them to bring their own drinks. I believe in uniting people through community projects regardless of age, race, gender, language … but also regardless of wealth. I also LOVE meeting new people!

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What should we be looking out for at Casa de Sonny, or on the Antwerp music scene in the near future?

As per usual, I’ll be holding an eclectic mix of events over the following months: singer-songwriters, comedy nights, African music nights, and even album launches from local hip-hop artists. From an Antwerp perspective, there is way too much going on, I actually have a hard time keeping up with everything!

My next night is on the 14th of July – Ants Jeffares (NZ) & Jo Laureys (BE)

What are your favourite Antwerp hang-outs and venues & why?

My favourite hang-out is my flat! But apart from the obvious, I love chilled out bars, Crossroads Café is a personal favourite -mainly because it’s the closest bar to where I live, but also because they have live music events and jam sessions.

 

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logo design by Zwarfprod

What are your current (or near-future) projects and aspirations?

I’m gearing up to release an album in September on a small record and apparel label I’m in the process of setting up: Blue Ghost Records and Apparel. 

With my long-time collaborator, Daniel Roberts, we form the duo, “Dekalog”. Our first release, “Een: Bread and Circuses”, is with Antwerp jazz singer, Fien Desmet, and Ghent/London based rapper Amazumi, and also features contributions from musicians from various parts of the world.

 

Intrigued? Check out these links to find out more:

Casa de Sonny on Facebook and on Instagram

Blue Ghost Records on Instagram

With many thanks to Sonny Dhanowa for this interview and for the images used in this post.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 15th, 16th & 17th June

Just a brief post this time as I am away (again) and starting my summer holidays with a weekend in Namur (insta pics will be hashtagged #nessascityblognamur – last weekend’s were #nessascityblogaachen)

HERE IS THE GOOGLE MAP -it includes all the venues listed for World Cup Football, and for the Jazz Kroegentocht.

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Alfresco drinking to start the weekend takes place at Apereau Boeienweide this week -just across the water on Linkeroever, from 5pm. Take your bike and enjoy the fiets tunnel.

Alternatively check out CoSintAndries Jazz Kroegentocht– (jazz pub tour): eight bars between the Sint Andries neighbourhood and the Schippenkwartier bring you live jazz music from 8.30pm. See the link to check the program and plan your evening: it’s all very walkable from bar to bar -these bars are all marked on the Google Map for this post.
And very happy holidays to students and staff at Antwerp International School who start their summer break today!

 

Saturday

swaajplogoImpro theatre from local group Swaajp: Swaajp Invites Gael Perry (France) at 8pm at the BATS Little Theatre.

Sunday

Regular fixture for bibliophiles Boekenplein takes place at de Coninckplein just in front of Permeke Library from 10am -4pm: second hand books, magazines, graphic novels, picture postcards and children’s books at low prices.

More second hand bargains at Goegekregen’s Rommelmarkt in ‘t Park (Park Spoor Noord) from 9am- 6pm

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If you are feeling sporty check out the Antwerp Triathlon at Eilandje, or just go along to support the participants and enjoy the atmosphere. If you are not familiar with this part of town (near the city’s iconic MAS museum) it will be a good day to check it out as there will be DJs and a foodmarket as well as the sporting activities. There is even a free Kids Triathlon organised by Jespo: register your child(ren) here 

Temperatures this weekend are predicted to be between 21 -23 degrees. It should be dry and warm, but cloudy

politieprideMiscellaneous

As Pride month begins, and in preparation for Antwerp Pride (August), iconic locations around the city are lit in rainbow colours this weekend! Look out for the rainbow version of the Stad Antwerpen logo (right), and posters with the motto “In Antwerpen Kan Iedereen Stralen” (“Everyone Can Shine In Antwerp”).

Tickets for the ticketed events on the Zomer van Antwerpen agenda are now for sale via the program page of  the ZVA website.

The OLT (Rivierenhof) has a summer music program. Info and tickets here.

The Baroque Antwerpen program is now underway and continues until January 2019.

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Sinksenfoor (annual funfair) is underway in Park Spoor Oost and it is HUGE. We went  and had a great time. It’s on until 24th June. And you can print out some vouchers for deals and reductions on rides & food here.

For World Cup Big Screen action try the Irish Bars (An Sibhin, Molly’s, Irish Times & Kelly’s). Games are also being shown on the big screen at Dagerraadplaats, The Hyundai Fan Village, Bar Nord, Bar Leon and at de Koninck brewery. Some games are showing at Bocadero. Here is the schedule of World Cup matches. Do you know of other fun venues to watch the games? Let us know in the comments below.

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Photo by Fauzan Saari on Unsplash

 

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This Weekend in Antwerp: 9th, 10th & 11th March

Friday

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Band 110 & Fabrik

Nessascityblog’s absolute favourite Antwerp band –Band 110 – are playing Fabrik, starting at 9.30pm. 110 are a three-piece improvisational electro-rock band from Antwerp described thus: “sometimes downtempo and haunting, other times whirring with energy, 110 make atmospheric, trippy instrumental music based around sampled loops”.

 

 

Saturday

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image courtesy of Retrodag

If you are a bargain hunter head to your nearest second hand or thrift store (‘Kringwinkel’) -it’s Thrift Store Day; an ideal time to pick up a bargain and keep your carbon footprint a little smaller. The theme is retro and vintage -so if you are keen on old-school furniture, decor, household items, clothes and shoes, today (‘retrodag’) is your day. Each shops has a focus (e.g. musical instruments in Deurne; wooden toys in Merksem) as well as a range of other second hand goods. You can see a list of the participating shops and their locations here.

Sunday

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It’s the Antwerp Urban Trail -the walk is fully subscribed, but you can register for the run right up until the 10th (Saturday). The route takes in some Antwerp landmarks, with participants running inside (through offices and bars!) as well as outside around the city. It starts at Park Spoor Noord (in the shelter) and ends at nearby Park Loods Sport Hall.

Last Day to register for the Antwerp Spring Clean (‘Lentepoets’)-this is a neighbourhood initiative that you can do along with others in your street. The idea is that you clean up your street (doorsteps, doorways, pavements, benches etc) while getting to know your neighbours better. All participants get a lunch box for taking part, and a flower pot with flowers.

The weather looks like it not be too cold but will be showery, on and off all weekend. So don’t forget your brolly.

Miscellaneous

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Street art in Antwerp (pic courtesy of streetart360)

Are you interested in Street Art in Antwerp? Here are a couple of links which may interest you: firstly this one on Facebook where Street Art enthusiast and expert Tim posts details of guided street art walks (keep a close eye though, as they often get fully booked quite quickly). My young son and I did one a while back and they are very good. I also received an email this week from Streetart360 who featured Antwerp recently in their Antwerp Street Art Guide.

There’s a funfair on Sint-Jansplein -I have no idea how long it will be there. They pop up from time to time and I noticed it, biking back from work today.

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Check out this month’s agenda for Colectivo Amorika for March (left). They provide cultural and language activities for Spanish speaking families in the Antwerp area, and those with an interest in understanding Spanish culture and language.

If you are a runner, you can now register for the Antwerp Ten Miles which takes place on  the 22nd April.

If you are a young reader, or parent of a young reader, you might be interested to know that March is Youth Book Month – this year with a science & tech theme.

 

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This weekend: 15th, 16th, 17th January 2016

Friday 15th

If you like live music there are a few choices this evening -you might want to start your weekend listening to Kollectiv playing jazz at Cafe Kiebooms on Conninckplein at 9pm; or singer Kuba Kesy at The Irish Times bar on Groote Markt at 10pm. Described as ‘melancholy folk pop’, Second Son Sam will be playing Bar Lucy also at 9pm.

For something a bit darker and edgier, try The Land of the Creeps at De Kleine Hedonist

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Image: publicity shot from De Kleine Hedonist

And if you are starting out immediately after work, head to Plein Publiek from 5pm

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Image: publicity shot from Plein Publiek

Saturday 16th

If you are shopping round the Meir area and are a fan of second hand and retro clothing, then turn down Jezusstraat and head to Think Twice to celebrate the branch’s first birthday from 1 -6pm.

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Think Twice

 

 

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Grand Bazar

 

More conventional sales continue in the shopping area, with the second round of reductions in the big stores on Meir and in Grand Bazar …

 

Sunday 17th

Art lovers will want to head to Antwerp’s gallery of modern art (MuHKA) for Art’s Birthday. There will be a selection of events and activities from 2 until 6pm.
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And very close by at the bar Chat le Roi is an exhibition of books and vinyl.

 

 

Crochet lovers may want to attend this workshop at Madam Woll (knitting café) on Sunday morning for 8 euros. Register by email beforehand.

For kids aged 4-8 there is story telling (Dutch) at Permeke Library at 11am. And at Het Steen from 1pm there is a free workshop  (in Dutch) exploring ( the theme of TIME.

Also for families with kids, here’s a heads-up for next weekend: order your tickets now for BATS panto (in English) next weekend. It’s Little Red Riding Hood this year! You can order online from the Arendberg Theatre.
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And a last reminder that the (renovated) cathedral is now free for Antwerp city dwellers …

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Have a lovely weekend – the weather is not likely to be glorious, with some showers on Saturday, but Sunday predicted to be dry.