On the 10 of March this year the streets of Rotterdam were filled with people wearing blinking badges. It is the night of Rotterdamse Museumnacht, a yearly event where most of Rotterdam’s museum and galleries open their doors from eight in the evening until two in the morning. Besides their current exhibitions, the institutes put on extra events such as workshops, tours and performances. This year’s theme was taste, which didn’t get unnoticed. You could eat cookies with printed chocolate illustrations, have a drink made at a contemporary lab or enjoy the installation of vacuum packed sliced vegetables. Overall there are nearly fifty different institutions participating in the event. Your ticket for the event is a round badge that blinks in green, an easy way for the staff of the museums to see that you have paid for the event. The lights do also create a nice effect of green spots walking the street from place to place.

The Willem de Kooning Academie, the art university, was participating for its first time this year. They invited people into their printing rooms were staff and students were experimenting with printing techniques using edible materials, such as chocolate, pastry and coca cola. You could also customize your own t-shirt with support from students and staff.

Music was also on the agenda, as you could, for example, enjoy a concert by Roosbeef, a Dutch singer-songwriter band at Kunsthal. And at NAI, Netherlands Architecture Institute, two different DJs were playing during the whole night. The city was buzzing with people and cultural activity; especially Witte de Withstraat, a street with several galleries and museums, was packed with people.

The annual event has been organised since 2002 and it is growing in be popularity, the event now attracts nearly 12 000 visitors. There are people from all ages attending the event, which gives it a really friendly and positive atmosphere. It is a very successful concept and it works really well as most of the participating institutions are within walking distance or otherwise an easy bike ride between. However it is impossible to have time to visit all of the museums and galleries as the time really flys when your having fun. So make sure to do your research and plan your route to insure you don’t miss out. It is an enjoyable night and a great concept that I hope will spread further and be adopted by more cities around the world.

For more information, please visit their website: www.rotterdamsemuseumnacht.nl

Blaak10, Rotterdam

Blaak10, Rotterdam

Willem de Kooning Academie, Rotterdam

Kunsthal Rotterdam

Art gallery Mama, Rotterdam


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