Event: Rotterdam Unlimited, Netherlands

Tim Firmager
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Rotterdam Unlimited celebrates cultural diversity and brings today’s urban art and culture into focus. This year Rotterdam Unlimited will take place from 26 – 30 July at various locations throughout the city centre and most of the performances will be free to the public. The last three editions of the festival attracted some 900,000 visitors to Rotterdam.

This, the fourth edition of Rotterdam Unlimited will feature art forms that originate, grow and flourish in the mosaic of large world cities. Rotterdam is one of the world’s youngest, most dynamic and diverse cities where more than 170 different nationalities live side by side. This makes it a natural home base for such a world-class programme.

Rotterdam Unlimited presents performing arts, musical presentations, high-end artists, dance, storytelling and, of course, culminates in the legendary Summer Carnival Street Parade on the last weekend.

Headliners for Rotterdam Unlimited include Gentleman and Ernest Ranglin. Gentleman and his band The Evolution will give a free open-air concert on 30 July 2016 in the Rotterdam city centre. Gentleman is a top reggae star with German roots whose music has had a major effect on cultural diversity in his country. Ranglin is considered a ‘godfather’ of Jamaican music culture. After a stunning career spanning more than 60 years, he is undertaking a farewell tour in collaboration with some of the biggest names in jazz and world music, including drummer Tony Allen, saxophonist Courtney Pine and vocalist Cheikh Lô. The concert for Rotterdam Unlimited will be held on 28 July in the De Doelen Concert and Congress Centre.

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Refugees of Rap will also take to the stage at Rotterdam Unlimited. This hip-hop group is made up of refugees from Syria and Palestine. They shed light on both politically and socially sensitive topics through their music. Other artists featuring on the Rotterdam Unlimited programme include The Dubbeez, Kuenta i Tambu and The Cool Quest.

Rotterdam Unlimited Summer Carnival

Summer Carnival

The finale of Rotterdam Unlimited is the Summer Carnival, which will take place on 29 and 30 July. This massively popular street parade will feature some 30 floats, 25 carnival groups and more than 2,500 dancers winding their way through the streets to bring the city to life with a kaleidoscope of music, colours and spectacular costumes.

True to tradition, The Battle of the Drums will take place on the night before the street parade. Three brass bands will beat their drums as they walk through the city and battle it out for the Golden Drum.

Part of the Rotterdam city centre will be transformed into one big market during the Summer Carnival: the ‘Mercado’ where festival visitors can enjoy exotic dishes from around the globe. From Surinamese chicken to Javanese fried rice and Hindustan baras – it’s the world on a plate!

More information about Rotterdam Unlimited is available at rotterdamunlimited.com.

About Tim Firmager

Tim divides his time being a Digital Consultant in The City and as a food and travel writer across the globe. When he's not working as one of the Lifestyle Editors here at Vada, he's planning his next trip, or on the lookout for the latest food crazes or unusual foods in London's markets.