Groningen: Symphony City

29 November 2015 by Nicole Rusli
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Catering to fans of all genres, Groningen has been kissed by the sweet Jazz age, influenced by classical repertoires, and humbled by indie bands – Of Monsters & Men was here this November! Read more to find out what else this Symphonic city has to...

Groningen: Symphony City

On a cold Sunday afternoon, after impulsively deciding to go to Vismarkt in hopes to get some freshly-fried junk food, I was greeted by a thick blanket of fog and mist instead. After realising that I was short on cash, and thus could not afford Frites, I extended my walk to the Grote Markt to clear my mind. Like the weather, my brain was fogged up with the stress of examinations.

At this instance, I was greeted with something else. Something not quite as miserable as the greyness of the impending winter. A group of musicians warmed the air with the sound of music, engaging the large crowd they impressively formed. Children were handed small percussion instruments, and they chimed along with the musicians at the conductor’s instruction. The parents busied themselves with recording the event, but I managed to stay still and absorb the atmosphere for a few minutes before falling into the temptation of sharing my view on social media.


The event was not a group of musicians busking – it was a Walk-In Concert. It was held on Sunday, the 1st of November, and I count myself extremely fortunate to have viewed it. Various musicians stationed themselves in different places throughout the day, and the whole city was surrounded with melodious tunes and good spirits.

Being a person who truly embraces and appreciates music, I was delighted by what I spectated. And if you are a music lover as well, I am proud to tell you that Groningen offers many music events throughout the year that suit music lovers of all genres.


Fans of alternative, indie music were privileged with a concert from ‘Of Monsters and Men’ this 6th of November. The band performed in De Oosterpoort, and while I couldn’t see them myself, my friends left the concert oozing with content and chill indie vibes. It was very special of the band to host a concert in a tiny city in the North of the Netherlands. I think this demand speaks volumes for the city. De Oosterpoort often hosts many musical events, so keep a lookout of their website to get tickets and information on future concerts. An exciting upcoming one is Kodaline

Groningen #omam #omamtour #ofmonstersandmen #beneaththeskin #groningen

A photo posted by Brynjar Leifsson (@brimjar) on Nov 7, 2015 at 9:17am PST

Given the large student population of the city, more and more indie and electronic musicians are presenting themselves to the crowd. Vera Groningen claims themselves as the ‘Club for the International Pop Underground’. To get a feel of what they offer, check out their retro site.

For fans of classical music, the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra was a recent event as well in November. I was referred to this event by ESN Groningen, and again, many commended the event. The demand for these tickets were so overwhelming that ESN stopped selling them within three days. Then, ESN decided to give-away free (yes, free!) tickets to the Lautten Compagney Berlin, ever since the success of the Tchaikovsky ticket sales. So if you would like to get notified of events like these, be sure to like ESN’s Facebook page. ESN also has ‘band nights’, where students perform live for other students, and everybody has a good time.

Whatever your musical taste entails, Groningen is more than welcoming of it. It goes to show that even a small city can have a big heart for music.

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