Baroeg Rotterdam: Demolition and new construction update

Baroeg Rotterdam: Demolition and new construction update

ROTTERDAM, 23 March 2024 – The iconic Baroeg, Rotterdam's oldest live music venue known for its (hard) alternative music scene, is set to undergo a transformation. A partnership between the city, artists, and fans promises a future-ready establishment.

Baroeg's redevelopment

In a significant move for Rotterdam's cultural landscape, the existing building of Baroeg, the city's oldest venue for (hard) alternative music, is slated for demolition and reconstruction. The project, supported by the municipality of Rotterdam, artists, and patrons, aims at modernizing the venue for future demands. Diederendirrix, an architecture and urban planning firm, has been selected through a tender process to design and further develop the new structure.

A historic venue

Since its inception in 1981, Baroeg has been a bastion for (hard) alternative music, garnering national and international recognition. As a platform for both established and emerging talent, Baroeg celebrates its 43rd anniversary this year, securing its place as Rotterdam's most venerable live music venue. Additionally, it has been designated as Cultural Rotterdam Heritage.

Audience dancing enthusiastically at Baroeg. Photo credit: GWMP.Audience dancing enthusiastically at Baroeg. Photo credit: GWMP.

A vision for the future

The current facility, owned by the city and originally designed as a youth center rather than a music venue, no longer meets the demands of the times. The forthcoming building will feature an upgraded concert hall and improved facilities, including a larger backstage area for artists and enhanced office spaces, designed to welcome both performers and visitors alike. The completion of the new premises will enable Baroeg to enhance its mission: to entertain, unite like-minded individuals, and foster talent, while preserving its unique 'living room' atmosphere.

Timetable for renewal

Demolition is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2024, with the grand opening of the new venue anticipated in the fall of 2025. During the interim, Baroeg will host performances at various locations throughout the city, including V11, Maassilo, Podium Grounds, Rotown, SoundVille, and the annual Baroeg Open Air festival in Zuiderpark.

Artist impression of the new Baroeg. Photo credit: DiederendirrixArtist impression of the new Baroeg. Photo credit: Diederendirrix

Farewell to the old, welcome to the new

To bid farewell to its current home, Baroeg is curating a diverse program in March and April, offering fans of every genre a chance to say goodbye. Highlights include the return of Toontje Lager, and the final editions of Festerfest, Downward Spiral, Submit Fest, and Live Hard Or Die fest, culminating in a weekend of celebrations in late April.

Baroeg on tour

From May onwards, 'Baroeg On Tour' will see the venue programming events in other Rotterdam locales, featuring a range of international acts from the dreampop, stoner, doom, and death metal genres.

For tickets and further information, please visit Baroeg's official website:, which also includes details on the temporary relocation during the construction period.

Directions to Baroeg

€1 million for innovation: CityLab010 backs 25 plans

€1 million for innovation: CityLab010 backs 25 plans

ROTTERDAM, 15 February 2024 – A new chapter unfolds in Rotterdam's innovative landscape as 25 plans receive a boost from CityLab010.

CityLab010 supports Rotterdam initiatives with €1 million

In an effort to foster innovation within Rotterdam, CityLab010, an initiative by the municipality, has provided financial backing to 25 pioneering projects aimed at enhancing the city's vitality. This marks the 9th iteration of the program, which saw over 117 proposals submitted, demonstrating the city's continuous drive towards innovative development.

An independent City Jury selected the final 25 initiatives to receive a collective starting budget of €1 million. This decision underlines Rotterdam's commitment to innovative urban transformation and community-driven projects.

Remarks from the city councillor

Councillor Robert Simons expressed enthusiasm for the city's vibrant innovation scene, highlighted by the latest edition of CityLab010. “The array of innovative plans showcases Rotterdam's dynamism and collective ambition to build a stronger city,” stated Simons. He further encouraged Rotterdam's residents to engage with the initiative, inspiring further contributions to the city's development.

Announcement of 2023 funding

The 2023 start-up budgets were officially announced at OASE, a former CityLab010 participant, by Councillor Robert Simons along with René Bouwmeester and Tania Bhulai from the City Jury. The announcement spotlighted the variety of creative and original initiatives, many addressing current societal issues, furthering CityLab010's goal to empower project initiators with knowledge, advice, networking opportunities, and potential funding.

Highlighted among the funded initiatives are Tide Watches, which repurposes Rotterdam's plastic waste into unique watches in collaboration with their customers, and YoungUP, a social employment agency aimed at assisting those facing employment barriers.

For detailed insights into all initiatives receiving start-up funding in the 2023 round, interested parties are encouraged to check out the full jury report.

Looking ahead: CityLab010's 2024 round

With Councillor Robert Simons overseeing the domains of Port, Economy, Hospitality, and Governance (districts and small communities), CityLab010 is poised for another round of applications in 2024, promising new opportunities for innovative project initiators.

About CityLab010

Since its inception in 2015, CityLab010 has supported over 200 innovative projects contributing to making Rotterdam a more enjoyable, beautiful, greener, more social, safer, and stronger city, with a total investment surpassing €30 million. This program underscores the municipality's commitment to societal advancement through support in knowledge, coaching, networking, and financial grants up to €50,000. 

Rotterdam defies national housing trend in 2023

Rotterdam defies national housing trend in 2023

ROTTERDAM, 26 January 2024 – Contrary to the national decline in construction activity, Rotterdam has experienced a notable increase in housing construction over the past year, a development attributed to the city's proactive measures.

Housing construction in Rotterdam sees an uptick

In an environment where the national trend has been a decline in construction production, Rotterdam has stood out by recording an increase in the construction of new homes last year. The increase has been facilitated by the Construction Agreement (Doorbouwakkoord) that Alderman Chantal Zeegers secured last year with housing associations and developers. The construction of 3,178 homes began in 2023, with over half of these in the affordable segment. The commitment to housing construction is set to continue into 2024, with projects like Slinge 303 in Zuidwijk and the transformation of the main building of the former Zuider Hospital (Zuiderziekenhuis) into homes, dubbed ZuideR Carré.

Alderman Chantal Zeegers, responsible for Climate, Building, and Housing, expressed satisfaction with the progress, stating, “This is very good news for all those searching for a home. That's what you do it for. I am extremely proud of the housing associations and developers who have put their shoulders to the wheel last year. They continue to build sustainable homes, more than half of which are in the affordable segment. This year too, we are unrelentingly committed to ensuring that as many new homes as possible are added to the city.”

The Construction Agreement

The Construction Agreement was finalized last year by Alderman Zeegers to prevent construction activities from halting amid rising interest rates, high material prices, and construction costs. Approximately 50 market parties and corporations collaborated, yielding fruitful outcomes in 2023. The agreement, along with the Start Construction Impulse from the national government and financial support from the Rotterdam Start Construction Scheme, has placed Rotterdam ahead in terms of construction activities compared to other municipalities.

Future prospects and challenges

Despite the success, the preparation for new projects continued vigorously in 2023, with almost 11,000 homes having their permits applied for. These homes are expected to be under construction in the coming years. However, despite these positive developments, concerns for the future persist. Rotterdam will continue to seek collaboration with market parties and housing corporations to ensure the realization of these homes.

End of an era: Mayor Aboutaleb stepping down

End of an era: Mayor Aboutaleb stepping down

ROTTERDAM, 9 January 2024 – Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb announces his departure scheduled for the coming autumn, marking the end of over 15 years of leadership.

Mayor Aboutaleb to step down this autumn

Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb has announced his decision to resign from his role as Mayor of Rotterdam during the upcoming autumn. After serving Rotterdam for more than 15 years, he believes it is time for a new mayor to take over the reins.

The decision, according to Mayor Aboutaleb, was difficult to time but was made with careful consideration. “I have discussed my decision with the Commissioner of the King over the past few months. The city council and the college are now nearly halfway through their mandate and are well-versed in managing the city. This timing also allows ample opportunity for the appointment of a new mayor before the next municipal elections,” he explained.

The precise date for the end of his term will be determined in consultation with the presidium. “Until the termination of my appointment is finalized, I will continue to fulfil my duties as mayor with undiminished commitment.”

During his New Year's speech at the city hall this afternoon, Mayor Aboutaleb was accompanied by fellow administrators, city council members, and citizens of Rotterdam who contribute positively to the city and its residents through their volunteer work and community engagement.

Mayor Aboutaleb expressed his wishes for everyone in 2024, emphasizing care, love for one's neighbour, and the importance of valuing and speaking positively about others. “The world is entrusted to those who, with positive effort, trust, and good intentions, wish to serve humanity.”

Baby naming: South Holland leads with Noah, Olivia

Baby naming: South Holland leads with Noah, Olivia

ROTTERDAM, 4 January 2024 – The latest report from the Sociale Verzekeringsbank (SVB) reveals the trends in baby naming across the Netherlands in 2023, highlighting the preferences of Dutch parents.

Popularity of baby names in 2023

The SVB, responsible for administering social security in the Netherlands, has announced the most popular baby names of 2023. Noah, maintaining its position from 2022, emerged as the top name for boys, given 888 times. Julia ascended from the second spot to become the most popular girls' name, chosen for 681 newborns. The report indicates that 164,269 babies were born in the Netherlands up to November 2023, comprising 84,195 boys and 80,074 girls.

This year, the SVB also highlighted the most gender-neutral names in the Netherlands, led by Riley, given to 84 girls and 82 boys. Sky and Jonne followed, emphasizing a trend towards names not specific to any gender.

Trends and changes in top names

2023 marked the fifth consecutive year that Noah has been the most popular name for boys in the Netherlands. Compared to 2022, it was chosen 17 more times. Julia, which rose from the second position, was selected 26 times more than in the previous year.

Luca and Lucas also saw increased popularity among boys' names, while Levi made a significant jump from ninth to fifth place. Noud is a new entry in the top 10. Among girls, Julia topped the list, with Olivia and Mila following closely. Notably, Mila maintained its position from 2022.

Regional variations and insights

The SVB's report highlights the varying preferences for baby names across Dutch provinces. In South Holland — a key region incorporating Rotterdam — Noah and Olivia were the most given names.

Other provinces also showcased their unique choices. For instance, Noah and Elin were most popular in Groningen, while Hidde and Lieke led in Friesland. The data reveals that certain names are favoured by specific groups of parents, according to Gerrit Bloothooft, a name expert at the University of Utrecht. He observed that siblings' names often influence these choices, though the top 10 names are given to only 7% of all children.

SVB's role and methodology

The SVB annually publishes a list of the most popular child names, a practice tied to the administration of child benefits in the Netherlands. Names given at least ten times are included to ensure privacy. 

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