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

Friday

 

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MEUG 2019

 

Hurrah! MEUG Tasting Festival opens at Zuiderpershuis with a one-day craft café from 4pm. It’s free but you need to purchase a tasting glass and jetons to buy drinks. photocredit: Meug – Frauke Photography.

BATS hold their spring open evening, from 8.30pm – a chance to find out about joining BATS, being involved in a production and hearing more about their current program. Join them at BATS Little Theatre on Paardenmarkt.

Dokmarkt starts up again at Eilandje (near MAS on the Napoleonkaai) from 3pm. With spring like weather forecast, Dokmarkt would be a nice place to start your weekend.

Saturday

Saturday is MEUG’s main day. Buy tickets in advance or on the door (if it’s not sold out) each ticket includes 4 jetons. I really enjoy this festival. There are loads of beers to try -and also whiskies, which Mr Nessascityblog enjoys. Zuiderpershuis is a great venue for this purpose and it’s always a friendly and relaxed event.

grotemarkt319For a real piece of Antwerp folklore, come and see the Seminiviering. This is a very local festivity, dating back a long time in reverence of Semini, a fertility figure who can be spotted (sadly, minus his original phallus) in the stonework above the entrance to Het Steen. You can read his story here. Couples who marry on this day are celebrated, and the festivities start on Grote Markt (pic left) at 11am with song and dance, followed by a procession which will set off for Sint Andriesplaats at 1.30pm.

Need something fixed? There are two possibilities: head to the Repair Café at Archipel from 10am – 4pm (entrance is via the Lange Lobroekstraat), or there’s this one at ‘T Werkhuys in Borgerhout from 12- 4pm, where you can also sell your own used items. Both are free.

On the shopping streets of Dambruggestraat- Offerandestraat they’re celebrating spring (to coincide with the Persian New Year) on both Saturday and Sunday -featuring extra stands, and  a bouncy castle.

Or head down to Plein Publiek (D’Herbouvillekaai 19) for this weekend’s rommelmarkt (second hand market) from 11am, courtesy of STULP.

Sunday

Music on Dambruggestraat- Offerandestraat (see above) from 18pm.

Take the kids to Cinema Zuid for “Gus” (in Dutch) for 5 euros at 10.30am -much cheaper than the mainstream cinemas, plus you have the chance to look around FOMU while you are there. Both Cinema Zuid and FOMU are holding events for Black History Month at the moment, and you can see these and other BHM events here.

There’s a big rommelmarkt at Kinepolis (indoor) from 10am- 6pm. There is a 3 euro entry charge for this one.

Weather’s looking up – Friday should be warm and dry, cooling off to a milder Saturday and Sunday (12- 14 degrees) but still staying dry. *crosses fingers*.

Miscellaneous

redstarlineNext Wednesday -being the last of the month -many museums are free in Antwerp.

March is Youth Book Month -encourage your young reader by checking out the agenda: there will be lots going on at Bib Permeke.

Write a post for Nessascityblog. Go on. You know you want to.

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

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skating on Groenplaats

The Winter In Antwerp season has started, bringing you winter warmers and festive cheer at various locations around the city, until the 6th January. If you have been in Antwerp for over a year, you will be familiar with the regular features of Winter In Antwerp, and will recognise many of them again this year, in their usual locations: skating on Grote Markt; the Christmas Market on Grotemarkt, Suikerrui and Steenplein; The Big Christmas Wheel also on Steenplein, and the Winterbar on Groenplaats. This year the tubing (2 euros a ride) will be at a new venue: Astridplein. If you have kids, then the Spiegeltent and kids’ corner might be best for you -on Steenplein. The funfair stalls will be along the riverside as usual.

On the other side of the water, there’s Club Cabane Winter Edition, also with Christmas food & drink, a skating rink and a Christmas Market.

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Mekanik

Saturday

From 11-6pm at Mekanik store there is a Christmas sale of graphic artworks and illustrations by local graphic artists. Mekanik is Antwerp’s best-known store for . graphic novels, graphic series, animé, comics & more.

SNITT are at CostA on Sint Andriesplaats with a sale of second hand and vintage clothing from 11am- 4pm. This is part of the “Krijg de Klere” event:

Krijg de Klere is an event which asks questions about the textile industry and its impact. There will be activities which encourage and support a more environmentally friendly way of living, and of re-using what we already have. Come dressed in your favourite second-hand clothes, bring your second hand clothes for de Collectie and take part in workshops run by MoMU, a repair café run by Circuit Antwerpen, a speakers’ corner and more (music; drinks; food).

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At Het Roze Huis on Draakplaats, it’s a free film night, starting at 8pm and this month showing I Love You Phillip Norris.  Het Roze Huis holds free film nights on the third Saturday of every month.

Or if you’d like to be the star of the show (or even behind the scenes) head to BATS Little Theatre on Paardenmarkt from 8.30pm to find out more about English speaking theatre in Antwerp, at their Winter Wonderland Open Evening -also a great chance to find out about their upcoming panto: Snow White and the Seven Dwarves in January 2019.

If you are ready for a full-on Christmas service with a Cathedral choir, then head to St Walburgiskerk at 8pm and enjoy the singers of the Portsmouth Cathedral Choir at this Christmas Concert. It’s free, but if you are certain you will be attending, you can reserve a place via this link.

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Sunday

Regular book-lovers’ secondhand market on de Coninckplein in front of the library from 10am: books, comics, etc and (if you are in that area with children) in the Permeke itself, it’s the read-aloud story hour in the library at 11 (free) for kids aged 4-8 (in Dutch).

More secondhand goodies in the Parkloods, courtesy of Goegekregen and the Christmas edition of their successful secondhand, retro and vintage markets. Free in, from 9am -6pm.

For shoppers -the shops are open in Antwerp on Sundays throughout December.

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Alas, it looks likely to be rainy again this weekend, particularly on Saturday and Sunday, and temperatures slightly colder than last weekend -down to 2 degrees on Friday; up to 6-8 degrees over Saturday and Sunday.

Miscellaneous

Two recent special posts: this guest post all about an Italian home-run business called Whisk & Scoop. Have a look if you haven’t read it yet: it’s a must for lovers of authentic Italian food.

heart-1348870_640… and the previous week Nessascityblog also had a guestblog post: a super-handy A-Z of LGBT Antwerp, listing bars, clubs, festivals, community groups and more -by Timothy Junes of Be Out.

 

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De Warmste Week

De Warmste Week (The Warmest Week) is an annual week of fundraising and charity events taking place across Flanders. If you wish to organise an event or activity you can do so and register it via the website. For more fundraising events, look for the Warmste Week logo (left). Charity runs are a big part of De Warmste Week and you can now register for the Antwerp Run which takes place on the 21st December. The first step is to pick the cause you would like to run and raise money for. You can do this as a group or an individual, and will need to be able to make a minimum donation of 15 euros when you register to participate.

If you are looking for carol services in English (also beyond Antwerp) this is a very helpful link from Discovering Belgium blog

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This weekend in Antwerp: 12th, 13th & 14th October

A very short post this week as I am away from Antwerp on a busy visit to London. However, here are a few ideas of what to do this weekend:

Antwerp Art Fair takes place this weekend. Congratulations to those who won tickets via Nessascityblog!

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If you would like to get involved with English speaking theatre productions in Antwerp, take the time to go to BATS Little Theatre on  Paardemarkt on Saturday for their Autumn Open Evening at 7pm.

This weekend’s rommelmarkts take place along the Singel on Sunday from 9- 6pm, courtesy of Goedgekregen and SNITT, or at Kinepolis from 10 -6pm

Markt van Morgen is on Kloosterstraat on Sunday from midday until 6pm.

The mild and even warm weather looks set to continue, although there is likely to be some rain on Sunday.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 16th, 17th & 18th March

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Antwerp Wine Festival is on all weekend at the times stated on the days/ times below. You can get tickets here and the event is held in the Park Loods sport hall in Park Spoor. Noord. As well as wines from around the world, the event promises music, wine workshops/ masterclasses and a kids’ space.

Here is the GOOGLE MAP for this post.

Friday

There’s also Aperotime After Work for free from 5pm at Park Loods; held in conjunction with the wine event (Antwerp Wine Festival from 16h- midnight).

Het Roze Huis holds their regular free film evening at 8pm. This time showing the film Three Generations. No entry charge, and no need to reserve.

Molly’s Irish Pub are warming up for St Patrick’s day with a pre- St Paddy’s Night promising live music & Irish food, plus Guinness & Jameson Promos from 7pm. Then they will be starting up again with more of the same at 11am on the day itself (Saturday)

 

Saturday

irish-845398_640Happy St Patrick’s Day!

An Sibhin on Nationalestraat will kick off at 11am with an Irish Breakfast, and there will be Oysters, Irish Stew, Guinness, and Irish Music all day long. Punters are urged to dress up in your finest green and put your dancing shoes on!

Also at The Irish Times they will be celebrating; music, promos and the Six Nations games on the Big Screen.

Closer to the station there is Kelly’s on the Keyserlei, where they will also be partying, and where the Red Hackle Pipe band will put in an appearance.

Check the Google Map -if you are determined, you can do all four of Antwerp’s Irish bars (Kelly’s, Molly’s, Irish Times and An Sibhin).

BATS vzw (British American Theatre Society) are revamping their open evenings which used to be held monthly. They are now seasonal, so if you are interested in any aspect of theatre production head along to the Little Theatre on Paardenmarkt from 5pm to find out more about what they do, take part in the quiz, hang out at the bar or even do a workshop on stage lighting.

Antwerp Wine Festival from midday -midnight

Sunday

 

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Jeugd Boekenmaand at Permeke

It’s Boekenplein as is usual for the third Sunday of the month in Antwerp. Come and browse second hand books, magazines and graphic novels on de Coninckplein from 10am, just in front of Permeke library.

There are still some places left in workshops and activities for the Children’s University at the University of Antwerp. See what’s available for free for kids aged 8+ and enrol here.

Antwerp Wine Festival from midday – 22h.

 Miscellaneous

The weather could be quite changeable, with a mild (but possibly showery) Friday, and temperatures dropping for Saturday (also showery) and Sunday (cold, but dry & bright)

Youth Book Month (Jeugd Boekenmaand) continues until the 25th March and has a science & tech theme this year. Here’s the information for related events in Permeke Library.

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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 register for the Antwerp Ten Miles which takes place on  the 22nd April.

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English speaking theatre in Antwerp: meet BATS!

BATS (British American Theatrical Society) has been bringing a wide variety of stage productions to English speaking audiences in Antwerp for over 60 years now. They have their own theatre (the “Little Theatre”) at Paardenmarkt 111 and recently I attended their production of Dracula. Here’s the review I wrote for them, and if that makes you think you should get tickets for their next show in January, then continue reading for all the info and links you need ….

A BLOODY GOOD NIGHT AT THE LITTLE THEATRE

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“Dracula” by Stephen Dietz, performed by  BATS vzw, at The Little Theatre, Paardenmarkt

Kids love Hallowe’en but for grown-ups, October and November can be a bit of a bleak time as the days get darker, yet Christmas cheer still seems a long way off.

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Getting with the program

This year, BATS production of Dracula (Dir: Robert Meyvisch) was -literally -just the ticket for anybody who shares my feelings of autumnal glumness. And it was most certainly not for children. I went to see it on Hallowe’en night and it was sold out, so I was pleased to have booked my seat.

I wasn’t familiar with this play version of the story by Stephen Dietz. Naturally as an English undergraduate, I’d read the novel, and also The Liz Lochhead play version, both of which I love.

BATS Little Theatre is a very small venue for a very big story, so the staging had to be cleverly done with characters frequently positioned on stage performing lines that also had a semi-narratorial function -for example, Jonathon’s accounts of his time at Dracula castle v. his fiancee’s experience back at home, at the point where she receives his letter. This really worked, and the feeling of the various settings -and the distance between them -was very successfully conveyed.

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Photo: Robert Meyvisch

Visually this production was very pleasing and stylish -again, this is an achievement in a smaller venue. The use of the bed as a central focus for much of the action was simple yet effective, emphasising -with its changing colour schemes of black/ red and black/ white – its association with illness, sex and death.

The combination of the traditional and the contemporary was spot on: the traditional elements were all there in the form of its Victorian feel, the madness, the inclusion of all the Vampire lore we would expect (plenty of garlic and unwitting invites to cross the threshold) and a satisfying quantity of blood, vampire-induced agonies and horrid red mouths. I delighted in the creepy hand shadow effect -a nod to traditional horror movies (especially Nosferatu, 1922). The more modern edge was provided by the costumes which I loved -these all had a steam-punk element: a carefully placed accessory on a boot or hat made all the difference.

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The enthusiasm, imagination and commitment of the cast to be faithful to the story was evident -it sometimes had the feel of a murderous pantomime because the story and characters are ones which as adults we feel as familiar with as children do about Cinderella or Peter Pan -but it was steam-punk, blood-bespattered panto for sure. For the grown-ups. I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope that BATS will consider doing something similarly macabre every Hallowe’en.

♦     ♦     ♦

AND NEXT …

Every year BATS stages a pantomime. If, like me you grew up with panto as an essential part of your childhood around Christmas and new year, you will be pleased to know that BATS delivers the traditional pantomime stories, in the traditional way, with plenty of corny jokes, songs, a Dame and lots of audience participation. If it’s not part of your childhood, well, I am willing to bet your kids will love it. This year’s production is the story of Aladdin, and will be shown at Theater ‘t Eilandje. You can order your tickets HERE, for one of three performances in January 2018.

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This is just a taster of what BATS is all about. If you would like to find out more, you can go along to one of their Open Evenings, which will resume next year: the first is the Spring Open Evening on Saturday, 17th of March 2018.

Images courtesy of BATS VZW

(except program image which is from @nessascityblog insta)

 

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This Weekend: 3rd, 4th & 5th June

(New Google Maps feature: this is in the Miscellaneous section at the bottom of this post)

Friday

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The first Friday of the month is always Open Evening at the Little Theatre at BATS. Go along and meet the crew if you are interested in being involved in English speaking theatre in Antwerp. It’s also a good chance to pick up tickets for their famous Variety Show, which has a 1950s theme this year.

From 6pm it’s Streat XXL at Felixpakhuis on Eilandje -free entry.

Over the whole weekend it’s the queer arts festival Strangelove at Het Bos. This begins on Thursday –check the full program here.

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Markies Book Fair

 

 

Also over the whole weekend, opening today is a stock sale of books at Zuiderpershuis -open from 10am -6pm each day (and next weekend too). It’s a good place to pick up bargains and gifts, with a wide selection of books for kids. Most books are in Dutch.

 

 

 

Saturday

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De Quaeye Werelt

Today and Sunday it’s the moment to time-travel back to 1477 and De Quaeye Werelt which is a thoroughly enjoyable event for people of all ages, and takes place at Sterkshof, part of the Rivierenhof domein. It’s on from 10am – 6pm both days. Many re-enactors travel from all over Europe to pitch their heavy canvas tents and set up home, or a stall for

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A market stall at De Quaeye Werelt

the weekend. There are demonstrations, re-enactments, music, market stands and a big noisy battle to watch (14.30pm). There is a lot for kids to enjoy, and the beer and snacks are always excellent.

MARTA, the famers’ market takes place on Kattendijkdok today, near the summer bar Bar Paniek and Born In Antwerp HQ, from 9am.

Head along to Sint Andriesplaats for Brasspartij at 2pm: six cafés in the area are going to be hosting this event and there will be brass bands from Belgium and The Netherlands, as well as food and beer trucks on the square.

There’s another big fleamarket on Sint-Jansplein from 8am -6pm.

For runners, it is the Deurne 10 miles (with shorter parcours for those who don’t want to run the full 10).  It costs 10 euros to register and starts at the Bosuilstadion.

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Het Geluk at Het Paleis

If you have any energy left after that, head to Club Het Geluk for the night which starts at 10 and is free until it’s full.

For something more off-beat, head to Dark Annie for a performance of light and video projections, with music, at the Eva Steynen Gallery.

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And a special shout-out to the best basisschool in Belgium: De Bunt who are having their school fête today!
Have lots of fun!

 

Sunday

Ongoing events (see Friday and Saturday) Book market at Zuiderpershuis, Strangelove & De Quaeye Werelt.

It will be your last chance to Tango Under The Bridge at Draakplaats at 3pm, with an extra long final edition of this event that includes live music starting at 8pm.

It’s the first Sunday of the month, so the shops in the city centre will be open for Sunday shopping.

More for runners: describing itself as ‘not the longest, but certainly the nicest’ the Sint Andries Run takes place today, with additional entertainment all day on the Sint Andriesplaats -be there at 11am to register at the tent. The first run begins at 1, and it is free to take part.

Catch the film Slumdog Millionaire for a mere fiver (4 euros if you order in advance) at Atlas Antwerpen at 11am.

… And Krugermarkt is taking place on the Krugerplein from midday.

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Apart from cooler temperatures and a little rain on Friday, it is mainly predicted to be warm and dry this weekend but with the possibility of a little storminess on Sunday.

(image: Pixabay)

 

Miscellaneous

*For all the locations mentioned in this post check the Google map for directions. Click on the red pins to get directions from a specific location.

*Summer bar The Next Level is now open above Coffee Labs on Lange Klarenstraat (off Meir)

*Thrillseekers -don’t forget that Sinksenfoor (fun fair) is open on Spoor Oost from midday until 23.30.

*Here’s a link to a .pdf with LOADS of sporting activities for summer 2016 

*Pictures of events in Antwerp from last weekend are now on the Nessascityblog Instagram page, with snaps of Apereau, Antwerp Strongman Run, AIS Graduation and Lambermontmartre, which unfortunately suffered due to the weather -hopefully it will be dry for this event next month.

new-instagram-logo_1-xlarge_trans++qVzuuqpFlyLIwiB6NTmJwfSVWeZ_vEN7c6bHu2jJnT8If you are on Instagram and attend an event in the area (or snap a beautiful Antwerp location) -especially if you read about it on this blog -please hashtag it #nessascityblog to contribute to a stream! I’d love to see your images, as it is impossible for me to make it to everything that I feature on the weekend posts. I usually try to get to 2-3 of them though.

 

Have a great weekend!

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