Rotterdam gears up for exciting 2020 festival season

Rotterdam gears up for exciting 2020 festival season

Rotterdam welcomes back iconic fan favourites as well as various newcomers to its 2020 festival calendar, with highlights such as the Eurovision Song Contest and Delfshaven400.
"It was quite a challenge to put the puzzle together, but we did it again! The 2020 season offers all Rotterdammers a varied festival offer". With these words, Johan Moerman, director of Rotterdam Festivals, together with alderman Said Kasmi (Education, Culture and Tourism) proudly presented 2020's new events calendar; a balanced calendar that strives for a good balance between tranquillity and liveliness in the city.
The Rotterdam event calendar is set annually by the city council. In general, they aim to ensure a good spread of time and space, a balance between tranquillity and liveliness, and the necessary deployment of security and emergency services.

Peace and excitement

Johan Moerman, Rotterdam Festivals: "As a festival city, Rotterdam is highly appreciated by its residents and visitors. We want to keep it that way. Festivals make the city more fun. They create solidarity, are good for Rotterdam's image and strengthen the bond that people feel with their city. The increasing interest in festivals and the limited space in our growing city demand creativity from us and the organisers. Together, we have now made great strides, with festivals developing successfully at new festival locations. A positive development for the future".
Alderman Kasmi is also enthusiastic about the new festival agenda. "Rotterdam will continue to live up to its name as an attractive festival city in 2020. A wonderful festival and event season is approaching, which reflects the diversity of our city and its inhabitants. I am proud of the organizers, Rotterdam Festivals and the municipal services that have worked together on this. It's quite a job to create a varied festival offer in a more densely populated city in which we strive for a balance between peace and quiet and excitement. If I look at the calendar of events, I have succeeded. Rotterdam will also be the beautiful festival city in 2020 that we would like to stay in!"

Icons versus newcomers

The festival calendar for 2020 continues to feature familiar iconic events such as the International Film Festival Rotterdam, NN North Sea Jazz Festival, Rotterdam Unlimited and the NN Marathon. Among the newcomers are I Love Urban, Parkzicht Outdoor and Het Weelde Festival. They have all been given a place at new festival locations such as Oeverpark Nesselande, Park de Twee Heuvels IJsselmonde and in the Merwe Vierhaven area.
Due to their great success, the POW! WOW! festivals in the Rotterdam Street Culture Weekend and the Rotterdam Bluegrass Festival are back on the calendar. Both festivals continue to grow and excel in reaching new target groups, at new festival locations such as the Afrikaanderwijk in Rotterdam Zuid and the Pijnackerplein in Oude Noorden (Rotterdam Noord).
The new festival locations are important. In 2019, complaints from people living in the residential areas nearby popular festivals hit a boiling point. Therefore, in 2020, some festivals will be spaced about three to six weeks apart while others will be moved to different districts.

Maassilo location for Euroclub

The Eurovision Song Contest, which takes place in Ahoy on 12, 14 and 16 May, is proud to be a big newcomer to the calendar. In addition, from 8 to 16 May there will be an extensive city programme with dozens of parties, public viewings and performances by artists and Rotterdam's talent in many places in the city. The official afterparties of the song festival take place in the Maassilo during this period. The former grain silo is then transformed into a Euroclub.

Commemorate and celebrate

In addition to celebrating the 65th anniversary of the Eurovision Song Contest, in 2020 the celebration of 75 years of freedom and the commemoration of 80 years of bombardment will be commemorated. Together with the Liberation Festival in The Hague, the Zuid-Holland Liberation Festival will host the National Opening of the Liberation Festivals and will be given a prominent place in the activities surrounding the celebration of 75 years of Freedom in Rotterdam.


In 2020, it will also be 400 years since the Pilgrim Fathers left for their promised land via Delfshaven. Under the title Delfshaven400 from 17 July to 9 August, extensive attention will be paid to Rotterdam's share of this world history with music, dance, stories, exhibitions and guided tours, and the arrival of the museum ship De Halve Maen (from May 2020) as one of the major attractions for the public.

One of the best festival cities in the world

Together with the municipality of Rotterdam, Rotterdam Festivals strives for a diverse and attractive festival offer for as many different Rotterdammers as possible. Together, the events tell the story of the city and thus contribute to the (inter)national image of the city. Rotterdam is known as one of the best festival cities in the world and was awarded the IFEA World City & Events Award in 2019.

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