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Rotterdam Street Culture 2023 - a recap

September 13, 2023 10:02 AM
Rotterdam Street Culture 2023 - a recap

In September, Rotterdam is home to Street Culture during Zomer op Zuid. From 8 to 17 September 2023, several street art exhibitions by All Caps can be visited in Rotterdam and you could join various workshops and activities at RSCW. Last weekend, Sneakerjagers were also present and we spoke to the founder of RSCW.

See how the festival weekend of Rotterdam Street Culture Week 2023 went here.

Rotterdam Street Culture 2023

The sixth edition of the Rotterdam Street Culture Week (RSCW) kicked off last weekend. The event was founded in 2018 in collaboration with Game Changers Foundation and has since grown a lot in size and reach. The festival focuses on street culture in Rotterdam, a city in which this subculture plays a very big role.


In collaboration with several organisations and partners, Rotterdam Street Culture Week aims to put street culture more emphatically on the map and make it more accessible to a wide audience. The initiative does this with inspiring talks and challenging workshops in the south of Rotterdam.

The festival focuses on various movements in street culture, including basketball, hip-hop, street football, skating, graffiti and associated subcultures. On September 8, the festival was kicked off in style. Sneakerjagers went out and attended the various performances and workshops.

Festival weekend - Saturday

The festival had an extensive programme. Our team of Sneakerjagers was present on Saturday, starting the day at the Rotterdam Street Culture Week site on Koperslagerstraat. Here, street artists from different regions were busy decorating the walls. The buildings were colourfully decorated in unique graffiti works and here and there you could still spot one of the artists.

During the day, there were tuktuks that took you from one event to another. These vehicles were easy to recognise by the sign on the top (and, of course, the lack of a front wheel).

On the festival grounds, you could get food and drinks from various street food trucks. There were also performances by rappers Antje, ADF Samski and, later in the evening, Hef, among others.

Walking through Rotterdam-Zuid, you spotted one street art work after another, each the result of the All Caps festival. Some on a big wall, others on an electricity box - enough to get inspired. Around 15:00, the H.E.L.D.E.R.H.E.I.D. trophy was awarded at the Helderheidplein in South, a square characterised by its unique graffiti works.

The colourful square is named after the rapper Brightness who died in 2004. The artist dedicated himself to the neighbourhood in various ways and therefore got his own square. The H.E.L.D.E.R.H.E.I.D. trophy was awarded to the person or artist who dedicated himself to the neighbourhood in his own way. This year, for the first time, the award had a female winner.


The next stop on the schedule was Skateland. This is where the Rotterdam Open Skate Content took place in which boys and girls competed against each other in the indoor skate hall. The best and most complicated stunts were pulled off in order to take home the trophy, or in this case, a car. Rotterdam clothing label Banlieue provided a Volkswagen Golf as a prize for the best trick.

Skateland Rotterdam has been the place to be for skaters all over the Netherlands for years. With the event, the organisation wants to draw more attention to the sport. In the future, Skateland also wants to play a role in championships worldwide again. Rotterdam's Ahoy event hall has been a hotspot for skate contests for years and if it is up to Skateland, the next championships will be held here too.

Besides skating, Skateland Rotterdam is also a place to get together, with or without your skateboard. Several events are organised at the location and the hall is also used for the sport BMX for example.

Art throughout Rotterdam

Besides the events, contests and performances, you could spot several artworks throughout Rotterdam. From graffiti to modern art, there was something for every enthusiast. In a dome in the Mallegatpark, the exhibition 'Mondrian to Montana' was shown, an exhibition put up by three graffiti artists from Rotterdam and its surroundings.

The exhibition looked back at the origins of the three artists' work, which began on an abandoned train track. In the dome, the location was recreated in an artistic manner. In addition, a container painted by children from Rotterdam was on display on the square of Mallegatpark.


The day ended at the Rotterdam Street Culture Week venue. On the grounds, all subcultures came together, from art to basketball, freerunning and breakdance. In the Panna Pro Arena, the smartest tricks were pulled off. Footballers of all ages and levels were welcome and pitted against each other in the arena.

On the Rush Runway, freestylers were challenged to show off their best tricks. In addition, the Lion's Hoop Haven hosted basketball players. The Groove Gazebo was the hotspot for breakdancers, who competed against each other for the title 'Best Breakdancer', and the Zuidplein hosted the NK Beatboxing.

An extensive programme of diverse activities, then. According to RSCW Artistic Director Rajiv Bhagwanbali, this is what also makes Rotterdam Street Culture Week so interesting, the overlap between the various subcultures within street culture.

Oprichter Rajiv

"The motivation behind this festival is that we are very keen to showcase street culture in its best form to the rest of the world," says Rajiv. "With this festival, we show you the connective power of street culture and it is clear to see what culture can do for the neighbourhood and city."

Rajiv has been involved with the Rotterdam Street Culture Week team for quite some time. With the event, he aims to bring sports, culture and music together in the heart of Rotterdam. "Rotterdam is the place for street culture, whether you were born here or not, everyone from the culture sees Rotterdam as home."

Despite the festival being made up of various activities, Rajiv says there is a clear unifying factor. "The thing that connects all these activities is the love of music. Music is key. Whatever sport or passion you practice, culture lives in each of us. Street culture encompasses everything you see here; fashion, food, art and sports."

Rajiv is once again very enthusiastic about this edition and sees a bright future: "The event is like a catalyst for the rest of the year, an exclamation mark at the end of a long sentence. In the future, we want to bring street culture into Rotterdam's daily life, not just during events like this."

Rajiv is satisfied and already can't wait for what the future holds. "Look around you, this is great to see, isn't it?"

Next weekend

The day was closed in style by rappers Hef and Antje. We at Sneakerjagers would like to thank the Rotterdam Street Culture Week for the invitation and look forward to the next edition!

If you are interested in the rest of the programme, take a look at Rotterdam Street Culture Week's Instagram account @rotterdamstreetcultureweek and of @allcaps_rotterdam. Check out the atmospheric images from last Saturday below. Keep an eye on the Sneakerjagers Instagram account (@sneakerjagers) for more content like this.