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Grab The Mic Wednesday at the festival's Summer Factory | © Dries Luyten, courtesy of Zomer van Antwerpen
Grab The Mic Wednesday at the festival's Summer Factory | © Dries Luyten, courtesy of Zomer van Antwerpen
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Top Things To Do At The Summer Of Antwerp Festival

Picture of Nana Van De Poel
Updated: 9 February 2017
When the sun comes out to play and the warmest season is upon us, the cultural powers that be in Antwerp kick into overdrive. The Zomer van Antwerpen or Summer of Antwerp festival floods the city each year with free or cheap theater, music, film, circus acts and tons of cozy pop-up places that are sure to become your new favorite hangouts.
Sunset during the Summer of Antwerp festival | © Sigrid Spinnox, courtesy of Zomer van Antwerpen
Sunset during the Summer of Antwerp festival | © Sigrid Spinnox, courtesy of Zomer van Antwerpen
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Summer Bar

The jealousy of friends who are relaxing in the South of France while you’re stuck in the sweltering city is sure to fade fast when you catch sight of the festival’s Summer Bar. The colorful hammocks hung up from trees, groups of friends playing petanque and refreshing drinks at the beach (yes, there’s even a beach) don’t sound too shabby, now do they? Kids can enjoy books from the Summer Library or enjoy a tale or two by the narrator who visits every day. In the evening, the lights of the river Schelde that can be seen twinkling are bound to work their magic on the lovebirds among us.

June 27 – August 31. Every day from 2pm to 12am.

Sloepenweg

Hammocks at the Summer Bar | © Sigrid Spinnox, courtesy of Zomer van Antwerpen

Hammocks at the Summer Bar | © Sigrid Spinnox, courtesy of Zomer van Antwerpen

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Cinema Urbana

For a full month, Antwerp will home to the country’s coziest outdoor cinema, located in a hangar next to the river Schelde. Over the years, Cinema Urbana has become a fixture of summer in Antwerp, with its free entrance, enchanting décor and excellent programming. Plop down on one of the mountains of sand, bring a blanket and watch one of these silver screen gems included in this edition’s theme ‘Wonders & Miracles’. With movies all about magic, robots and otherworldly phenomena, who knows what might happen as night falls around you.

July 27 – August 27. Movies play from Thursday to Sunday and start at 10pm.

Check out the full program here.

Plantinkaai across from the underpass

An open air movie night at Cinema Urbana 2015 | © Sigrid Spinnox, courtesy of Zomer van Antwerpen

An open air movie night at Cinema Urbana 2015 | © Sigrid Spinnox, courtesy of Zomer van Antwerpen

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Boulevard Conakry by Terya Circus

You’ll find the Summer of Antwerp’s Circus at its Summer Bar, where it’s home to different performances almost every day. One of the most lively and dynamic ones is Boulevard Conakry by the African acrobat troupe Terya Circus. For their first show, the group of 16 young acrobats and musicians have drawn inspiration from the always bustling market of Conakry (Guinea’s capital) where the vendors use every tactic imaginable to sell their ware: dancing, singing, juggling … Terya Circus brings an ode to the market of life in a whirling show.

August 17-28. Wed-Fri 8pm and Sat-Sun 3pm + 8pm.

Sloepenweg

Intense acrobatics at Boulevard Conakry © MPAI & Terya Circus. Courtesy of Zomer van Antwerpen

Intense acrobatics at Boulevard Conakry © MPAI & Terya Circus. Courtesy of Zomer van Antwerpen

She is my sister by Moonstein

The Summer of Antwerp leaves no leaf unturned when looking for unique spaces to host their shows, so behold She is my sister, a play set in the St. Anna Woods at neighborhood Linkeroever. When young Anna slips out of bed as quietly as possible to not wake her brother, she goes to hide in the woods. But when her brother Claude takes longer than usual to find her, the magical world of Moonstein starts to envelop her with its mysterious characters and unusual habits. For Claude, the search becomes a race against the clock.

July 6 – August 21. Wed-Sun 8pm.

Sint-Annabos (entrance via Noordscheldeweg)

Anna gets lost in another world in She is my sister | © Sigrid Spinnox, Courtesy of Zomer van Antwerpen
Anna gets lost in another world in She is my sister | © Sigrid Spinnox, Courtesy of Zomer van Antwerpen
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Summer Factory

An abandoned gas factory in the Zurenborg neighborhood is enough for the Summer of Antwerp to fill the weeks of summer with plenty of urban vibes. Under the motto ‘sporty days, party nights’, free workshops are taught by experienced dancers and athletes during the day while music, film and all around fun times with friends take over in the evenings and nights. The DJ’s serving up their best beats on Global Bass Thursdays, Future Bass Fridays and Urban Saturdays will leave no one standing by the end of the week.

Open every day except on Mondays. Take a look at the full program here.

Minkelersstraat

Dance workshop at the festival's Urban Hall in the Summer Factory | © Dries Luyten, courtesy of Zomer van Antwerpen

Dance workshop at the festival’s Urban Hall in the Summer Factory | © Dries Luyten, courtesy of Zomer van Antwerpen

RedBall

The red ball, the giant traveling art piece by American artist Kurt Perschke that keeps popping up in the most unexpected of places – squeezed between the walls of a UK alley for example, or on a boat travelling down Paris’ river Seine – is coming to Antwerp. Over 10 different days, you’ll find it in 10 different locations across the city.

August 18-27

The RedBall on London's Millennium Bridge | © Kurt Perschke, courtesy of Zomer van Antwerpen
The RedBall on London’s Millennium Bridge | © Kurt Perschke, courtesy of Zomer van Antwerpen