Recapping Rotterdam Popweek 2023

Recapping Rotterdam Popweek 2023

ROTTERDAM, 13 November 2023 – The Rotterdamse Popweek, held from 3 to 12 November, once again illuminated the city's vibrant music scene, featuring a diverse array of performances and events across various venues.
 

Overview of the Rotterdamse Popweek

The 11th edition of the Rotterdamse Popweek (Rotterdam Pop Week) showcased an array of musical events, spanning from live performances to knowledge sessions and music documentaries. Over ten days, the festival saw approximately 840 acts performing across 255 events in 115 locations. An estimated 67,000 visitors attended various performances, reflecting the event's broad appeal and success in engaging the local community.

Recapping Rotterdam Popweek 2023Recapping Rotterdam Popweek 2023

Musical highlights and diverse genres

Originating in 2013 by the Popunie, the Rotterdamse Popweek has been a testament to the city's flourishing pop scene. This year's edition featured a mix of established and emerging talents, covering a wide range of genres and niches. Key highlights included Popronde, BIRDfest, Dutch Doom Days, Historische Herrie, D’Ω, 30 years of Rotterdam Terror Corps x Laurenskerk, Korsakov Weekender, Samodiva II: Wishing Well, Planet Füzz, and Pure Love x Dutch R&B Vibes.

Recapping Rotterdam Popweek 2023Recapping Rotterdam Popweek 2023

Notable performances included Wolfheart at Baroeg, Bohren & Der Club of Gore at Arminius, Contour at Rotown, and Leela Rosa at Café Dox. The sold-out concerts, such as Macy Gray at Annabel and Dawn Brothers at Rotown, demonstrated the festival's wide-ranging appeal and the city's robust music scene.

Programme and community involvement

A significant portion of the events were organized by local musicians and enthusiasts, showcasing the strong do-it-yourself ethos prevalent in Rotterdam. The Popunie also organized several specials, including the opening night with the Rotterdamse Popquiz at Baroeg and various knowledge sessions at MONO.

Herman Hell introduces unique mini club in Rotterdam

Herman Hell introduces unique mini club in Rotterdam

ROTTERDAM, 13 October 2023 – A new intimate club is set to open in the heart of Rotterdam's bustling nightlife district, Witte de With, offering a unique experience for those looking to dance the night away.

A new intimate club in the heart of Rotterdam

On 20 October, a new 'mini disco' club will be inaugurated in Rotterdam by well-known hospitality entrepreneur Herman Hell. Located in the vibrant Witte de With area, the club offers an intimate setting for visitors to showcase their dance skills. The venue is equipped with a slowly rotating disco ball, smoke machines, and classic disco tunes, providing a unique atmosphere for socialising.

The concept behind the club 

Herman Hell shared, “We've noticed a demand for shorter, yet high-quality nightlife experiences. This mini club introduces a new way of socialising in a compact setting with close friends, which aligns well with current trends.” The club aims to capture the essence of quality over quantity, offering a unique experience for those who find it.

Hidden gem in a bustling area

Finding the exact location of the club could be a challenge, as it is discreetly tucked away within a larger venue on Witte de With. However, those who do discover it are unlikely to forget the experience. “Finding a venue that not only offers quality but also suits your style has become an art. With the opening of this mini club, we now offer venues for every occasion,” Hell added.

Directions to the venue

The club is situated somewhere in the Witte de With area, known for its lively atmosphere and diverse range of bars, restaurants, and art galleries. It's easily accessible by public transport, including trams and buses. We think it might be in or near NRC Café, but we're not so sure.

Mick's Tiki Shack - Exotic pop-up bar at Breakaway Rotterdam

Mick's Tiki Shack - Exotic pop-up bar at Breakaway Rotterdam

In Rotterdam, everybody knows Mad Mick's Breakaway Cafe. But what if I asked you about Mick's Tiki Shack? The cosy pop-up bar, located on the first floor of the Breakaway is truly one of the hidden gems in Rotterdam's cocktail scene.
 
At Mick's Tiki Shack, expect a nice night out in a laid back atmosphere with friendly service and amazing drinks. Mick's Tiki Shack is a pop-up bar that first opened its doors in November 2018. It's a wintertime concept and will be shutting down sometime in March/April. The creative minds behind the shack are Allan Brown, Gyaan Khemradj and Rick de Groot. We dropped by on a Friday night in January and interviewed Allan Brown, head bartender at Mick's Tiki Shack.
 
 

What is Mick's Tiki Shack exactly?

"What we wanted is to recreate is a century or place you could go to, to escape reality even if it’s for one drink.  This is also the reason we use the quote “Paradise is much closer than you think.” As our slogan. What we do at the shack are Tiki cocktails. These are rum driven drinks with exotic fruits served in amazing handmade vessels. So what you can expect are fruity, fresh, playful but still complex drinks. You can call it rum mixology."
 
The Tiki Shack is a small and intimate hideaway that, theoretically, could seat a maximum of 15 guests. The bar has been decorated accordingly with a Hawaïan style interior. Similarly, the cocktail menu is inspired by the classic Tiki cocktails of the 1940s and 1960s. There's a twist though! The cocktails served at Mick's have been recreated in a fresh and unique style.
 
Mick's Tiki Shack RotterdamMick's Tiki Shack Rotterdam
 

What is there to drink at Mick's Tiki Shack?

"We specialize in Tiki cocktails and Caribbean concoctions but we also do tailor-made cocktails to suits our guests' flavour palates. So you tell us what you would like to drink and we will create this drink for you. We call this freestyling. Besides cocktails, you can sip on some amazing rums, either neat or on the rocks."
 
Allan explains that part of what makes the cocktails so unique and special is the number of ingredients that go into them.
 
"Most of the time it’s a six-ingredient drink or more. We start off with a rum blend of two to three different kinds of rum, different fresh juices combined with different sweetening agents. We use layers of flavours and try to play with your senses by using all of them at once. Not only taste but also sight, smell and feel."

The cocktail menu is a trip!

The cocktail menu is a total trip. It's like finding a message in a bottle. It actually even looks like an old treasure map. It's been in the bottle for so long, that it's hard to keep it straight. But that kinda adds to the Indiana Jones vibe that the place has going for it.
 
Micks Tiki Shack 2 of 1Micks Tiki Shack 2 of 1Micks Tiki Shack 3 of 1Micks Tiki Shack 3 of 1
 

Punch is on the house

He starts me off with the welcome punch. The welcome punch is always in the house and a great way to ease into the more complex drinks. The drink is decorated with a branch of rosemary. The punch's ingredients are Bourbon, Lemon juice, Green tea syrup, Honey and a cold infusion of thyme and rosemary.
 
Complimentary Punch at Mick's Tiki ShackComplimentary Punch at Mick's Tiki Shack
 

Queen's Park Swizzle

Next up is a drink that isn't yet on the menu: Queen's Park Swizzle. Allan describes this great tasting cocktail as the national drink of Trinidad & Tobago. The cocktail is mixed by rubbing a special 'swizzle stick'. The ingredients include lime, demerara sugar, Barbados rum and Angostura bitters.

Queen's Park SwizzleQueen's Park Swizzle
 

The Mezcal-Mulita has a fresh herbal taste

The next drink is special. The Mezcal-Mulita has a strong and fresh herbal taste. Its ingredients include Mezcal (Tequila but different), Basil, Lime, Gingerbeer, Ancho Reyes, Mexican bell pepper liqueur, Agave syrup and cucumber.

Mezcal-MulitaMezcal-Mulita
Mezcal-MulitaMezcal-Mulita
 

Take flight with the Jungle Bird

The Jungle Bird is a fresh twist on the original Tiki cocktail created in the 1970s. It's mixed with lime juice, strawberry jam, cognac, Campari, rum, pineapple juice and plum bitters. It's a bittersweet drink, thanks in part to the addition of Campari. "The Junglebird is like the Tiki version of a Negroni," says Brown. "It's a drink that bartenders often drink because of the complex taste."
 
Take flight with the Jungle Bird cocktailTake flight with the Jungle Bird cocktailTake flight with the Jungle Bird cocktailTake flight with the Jungle Bird cocktail
 

Which cocktail is highly recommended?

"If you're ever at the Shack, you must try our infamous Zombie." As it turns out, the Zombie Allan is referring to is a blend of seven different rums, three different juices, two syrups and two different kinds bitters served in a mug as big as your head. "What Mike Tyson is for boxing, the Zombie is for our menu. It’s a heavyweight if you know what I mean!" Due to the cocktail's potency, there's a maximum of two servings of Zombie per guest.
 

When is the best time to visit Mick's Tiki Shack?

"We are only open on Fridays and Saturdays, we start pouring at 20:00 and we stop pouring around 01:00. I think the best days are Saturdays before going out partying with friends or to drink a cocktail after having dinner or watching a movie, or just to enjoy a couple of drinks with some good company.
 

Are reservations necessary?

Because it’s a small bar we advise to make a reservation to assure your seats, but if you don’t want to make a reservation just drop by. You will be seated at the bar or at a table you get a short introduction of what we do at the shack and the menu explanation. Then the fun part begins and we take you on our flavour journey."
 

About Allan Brown - Head bartender at Mick's Tiki Shack

One of the main reasons why people flock to Mick's Tiki Shack is Allan Brown. The head bartender at the Tiki Shack is an up and coming bartender in the Rotterdam cocktail scene. Allan Brown is a native from Aruba who has been living in Rotterdam for over a decade. Allan is a guy who's passionate about cocktails and hospitality.
 
Allan Brown - Head bartender at Mick's Tiki ShackAllan Brown - Head bartender at Mick's Tiki Shack
 
Over the past years, this passion has resulted in a lot of praise and accolades. In 2018, Brown was chosen as Rotterdam’s most loveable bartender by indebuurt.nl. Not shy of experimentation, he has also collaborated with two Amsterdam-based bartenders in launching their own gin called Hooghoudt Batch #2. He's also the winner of the 2018 Sir Edmond gin and sound competition.
 

Location: Mick's Tiki Shack

Mick's Tiki Shack is a place where time files and cocktails flow. It's located on Karel Doormanstraat 1, in Rotterdam centrum, on the first floor of the Mad Mick’s Breakaway cafe.
 
Rotown - Live music venue in the heart of Rotterdam

Rotown - Live music venue in the heart of Rotterdam

Rotown is one of the most well-loved hotspots in Rotterdam. This alternative themed cafe by day becomes a concert hall in the evening and morphs into an edgy club at night. 
 

Rotown - Venue information

Rotown was opened in 1987 as a rock 'n roll nightclub but often provides a stage to singer-songwriters and indie bands from the Netherlands and from abroad. Rotown is a cosy concert venue. With a maximum capacity of 250 people, you can stand very close to the artist. No matter where you find yourself,  you always have a good view of the act.
 
Rotown is a very intimate concert venue 📷 Nikki SmitsRotown is a very intimate concert venue 📷 Nikki Smits
 
The concert programming mainly consists of alternative bands and artists, from pop to dance. Nonetheless, they also host Open DJ Nights, dance nights, record fairs, pop quizzes as well as their own festivals, such as Festival Stille Nacht and Left of the Dial.
 
Rotown Rotterdam 📷 Nikki SmitsRotown Rotterdam 📷 Nikki Smits
 

Rotown - Food & beers

The venue is housed in a former Chinese restaurant and has been - despite its size - Rotterdam's main venue for rock and indie music concerts for the past decade (after the demise of Nighttown). It’s a pop venue, but let’s not overlook all the great beers and food. The restaurant at Rotown has an informal atmosphere and serves affordable dishes for lunch and dinner.
 

Rue Royale @ Rotown - Live music

In September 2013 they booked the band Rue Royale in Paradijskerk and now, almost exactly five years later, the indie folk band is back with a show in Rotown. Rue Royale combines enchanting folk with harmonious singing and this fits perfectly within the profile of the concert hall.
 
Rue Royale @ Rotown Rotterdam 📷 Nikki SmitsRue Royale @ Rotown Rotterdam 📷 Nikki Smits
Rue Royale @ Rotown Rotterdam 📷 Nikki SmitsRue Royale @ Rotown Rotterdam 📷 Nikki Smits
 
Unfortunately, the concert hall is half-empty today. It’s already five years since the release of their last album “Remedies Ahead” together with Sean Carey (Bon Iver, S.Carey). As the couple bring new life to their musical marriage one can wonder if perhaps the long silence has been a little too long for the fans, or if the music genre is past its peak.
 

Rotown is a major organisation

Besides the location at Nieuwe Binnenweg, Rotown regularly deviates to other locations. Concerts at, among others, Paradijskerk, which is practically next to Rotown, Maassilo, V11, Annabel, Theater Rotterdam, LantarenVenster, De Doelen are often programmed by the venue. Thanks to this organisation, there are places for a music acts to grow in Rotterdam.
 
Rotown Rotterdam 📷 Nikki SmitsRotown Rotterdam 📷 Nikki Smits
 

Directions to Rotown Rotterdam

Rotown is a 1-minute walk from Eendrachtsplein Metro Station, also tram 4 stops there. From Rotterdam Central Station it is about 10 minutes walk. It is located in the lively shopping street ‘Nieuwe Binnenweg’. Rotown is, without a doubt, a must-visit when you are in Rotterdam.
 
Poppodium / Café / Restaurant Rotown
Nieuwe Binnenweg 19
3014 GB Rotterdam
Website: https://www.rotown.nl/

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