Musical Boats

Arts the Beat Doctor
The weather Saturday was sunny and warm; Sunday, not so much. Pouring rain came down all morning, despite our hopes to head out and enjoy the muzicale botenparade (musical boat parade) that was the feature of this month’s Culturele Zondag (Cultural Sunday). Culturele Zondag is an event held once a month here in Utrecht, with changing themes, but always focused on the arts.

Fortunately, the concerts (five musical acts performing at seven stops along the Oudegracht) weren’t starting until 2 p.m., and the rain eventually stopped in time, although the day remained overcast. We headed out around 3:30, hoping to catch at least the Bettie Serveert performance down near the Vismarkt (fish market) or Stadhuis. Bettie Serveert has been around for quite a while and were a popular indie radio band back in the 1990s, even in the US. I figured it would be cool to get to see them in this setting. When we got there, we were in time to see Arts the Beat Doctor, as well. He/they seem to do an interesting mix of hip-hop/jazz/ambient stuff. Some of the stuff I’ve been listening to this morning reminds me a bit of Rhian Sheehan and Module (a reference for my recent Wellington visitor).

As you can see from the photo, the musical boats weren’t the only boats in the canal that day. There were quite a few other boats of all sizes and shapes sailing by or stopping to enjoy the shows. The bridges and terraces were also filled with people enjoying the performances, often three or four-people deep. This Sunday was also koopzondag (shopping Sunday, the first Sunday of every month when the shops are open on Sunday), so even more people were out and about and able to enjoy the passing music.

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