18 March 2023, by Victoria Séveno

Have you ever been at a festival and thought “hey, this is great, but it would be even better if it was on water”? If so, this is probably the event for you: this summer, the city of Rotterdam will be hosting a free festival on three floating barges in the Maashaven in honour of Rotterdam Architecture Month. 

Celebrating the future during Rotterdam Architecture Month

Pinkpop, the Amsterdam Tulip Festival, TREK  – the Netherlands is certainly known for its extensive and varied selection of festivals, celebrating everything from music, theatre and dance to flowers, art and food. This year, the country is set to add another new and unique event to its festival calendar. 

Rotterdam Architecture Month celebrates and explores the future of architecture in the city. Every June, the month-long festival includes one showstopping event – last year, that was the pink Podium on the roof of Het Nieuwe Instituut (a museum and cultural centre in Rotterdam). This year, organisers have announced something equally impressive: a floating festival. 

Festival shows how city’s infrastructure works with and around water

2023’s theme for Rotterdam Architecture Month is Natte Stad (“Wet City”), focusing on the city’s surroundings. The idea of a floating festival is therefore certainly on theme. Located on the Maashaven, the so-called floating festival heart will consist of three large barges, each with a different theme and focus. 

On one barge, visitors will be able to “enjoy the greenery in a temporary park and immerse themselves in lectures, debates, films and other events,” while another will be “devoted to urban sports such as freerunning and callisthenics.” The barges will be connected by a footbridge, which organisers explain will act “as one elongated vantage point” that “offers a unique view of the Maashaven and the rest of the city, and shows the possibilities of the water.” 

Organisers explain that the location of the festival heart not only bridges the gap between various development projects currently under construction in and around the Maashaven, but also helps to showcase some of the innovative solutions that are already being used by the municipality, designers and architects to tackle challenges related to water and climate change.

Thumb: Frans Blok via Shutterstock.com.

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