Alternative Music Places in Groningen
Alternative Music Places in Groningen
Groningen is full of activities all around the year which gives opportunity for art centers to open and showcase their art. However, through the years there are a few places that stayed on the Groningen podium of alternative music. By alternative music, I mean music that is created by the artists themselves; jam sessions and small, young groups performing in small, noncommercial bars.
Café De Zolder
Zolder literally translated in English is an attic. Well, you the bar is on the attic. Every Tuesday the bar holds reggae jam sessions, every Thursday blues jam and every Saturday a live band performance. The place is very relaxed and cozy where you can smoke, drink and have nice time with bands, friends, and a pool table. The stage is placed in the first floor of the attic at the corner which gives the chance of the audience to be close to the artists. De Zolder has been some time around… 30 years and continues to be a great chill, party and after party place. The café is located close to the party area at Papergang which is like a small, dark corridor passage which is connecting two streets.
Kroeg van Klaas
Another awesome bar with a history of 45 years open doors. Kroeg van Klaas is one of the oldest bars in Groningen and it seems to be successful with the diversity of beers, African jam sessions every Sunday and all kind of small jazz, blues and reggae concerts. The atmosphere is friendly, and it is a place where you can meet cool, new people and have some good conversations along with some aperitives. The bar is located close to Oosterport and the moment you will open door, you will be in a Dutch, traditional pub that you will remember, and you would like to come back.
Il sole in cantina
From Italian, il sole in cantina means the sun in the basement. This is the most underground you could go because it is literally under the first floor of a building. The bar is opened sometimes on Friday but mostly on Saturday where all kind of music is performed by conservatory students. The place is very small, so the listeners have the chance to get immerse in the music and appreciate the creativity of the artists. In order to get to the bar, you will need to knock on the door so to be let in. But do not afraid, it is a cool place with a lot of open-minded people. After the performance, you can also talk with the musicians about their art over a beer. Il sole in Cantina is located near the Vismarkt at Haddingestraat 16 and it is pretty hard to find because it is a basement with no lights or signs but just knock on the door.
The building was an old Catholic Hospital but now it is cool, cultural place to be. The former ORKZ hospital is now home to a variety of artists, who live there and run the cinema themselves. Many times, alternative bands in diverse music styles will perform in the bar area. The atmosphere is art, chill and the cheap drinks make the place awesome. The ORKZ bar is located a little bit far away from the city center, in the South of Groningen at Emmastraat 15S102.
Café The Crown
The venue offers jazz on Mondays, rock on Fridays and jam sessions and open mics on Saturdays. The Crown is one of the most popular bars in Groningen full of life and international environment. It is located near the police station and close to the party area.
Typical Irish pub with some good, old Guinness and Murphy’s beers and diverse types of whiskey. The pub has Irish music performances and sometimes offers bluegrass, punk and rock concerts. Every Wednesday there is an open stage for singers, bands, and music enthusiasts. Every Tuesday the ukulele society is meeting to jam and practice together.
Le Petit Theatre
Le Petit Theatre is a small bar near the city center with a stage where regularly jazz performances take place. Nearly almost twice a week there is a performance by jazz musicians and on Saturday there will be a jam session. The music can as well different than jazz as for example folk, fado, classical music and more. The bar also has a cool eco-friendly and sustainable menu that changes every day and the season.
For sure there are many more bars in Groningen where the jazz and jams sessions are happening daily, therefore keep an open eye mostly on their Facebook pages. There are also some cool venues as Vera, Simplon, De Wolken Fabriek and Paradigm where the music is in different styles and starring young, talented musician all the time. It is never enough time spent in Groningen and even after 6 years around, I have a lot more to discover.