After a succesful first edition in the M4H area in 2018, POW! WOW! returns to Rotterdam on september 15, 2019. From the industrial around the old docks, we go to a blue collar neighborhood and cultural melting pot full of possibilities for amazing art: The Afrikaanderwijk. The worlds most famous street art festival began on the outskirts of Hawaii, transforming grim suburbs to a beloved open air gallery. The art didn’t just transform the walls, but also the way people felt about their own environment. After several succesful editions on the island, the festival expanded to other locations as well, such as Los Angeles, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan and Guam. “It really became a global street art phenomenon”, says Dave Vanderheijden, festival director of POW! WOW! Rotterdam. “Last year in the M4H area, we’ve organized the first European edition. Responses were so overwhelmingly positive, that we can’t wait to make sure we continue this positive trend towards the Afrikaanderwijk as well!”

“Last year in the M4H area, we’ve organized the first European edition. Responses were so overwhelmingly positive, that we can’t wait to make sure we continue this positive trend towards the Afrikaanderwijk as well!”

-Dave Vanderheijden (festival director)

From grey concrete to colorful art

Several walls and buildings in the Afrikaanderwijk will form the canvas for a true street art transformation. Over 10 internationally renowned artists will be working in the neighborhood for a week, with the final results being revealed and celebrated during the festival on September 15. POW! WOW! Rotterdam will have many murals people can see being made, but there will be much more to enjoy. There will be live music, special exhibitions in a variety of buildings around the Afrikaanderwijk, the 20 VANS 30 CANS event, in which a series of vans will be painted by various artists, and much more. All festival activities in the Afrikaanderwijk can be attended for free, as we transform grey concrete and drab buildings into colorful art, which the neighborhood residents will be able to enjoy for years to come!

Artists from all over the world are coming to rotterdam

From the Afrikaanderplein, free guided tours will go around the neighborhood all day during the festival. We’ll walk the streets from mural to mural, where we’ll see internationally renowned artists working on their art. The Scottish artist SMUG will be among them, as will be the Dutch duo TELMO MIEL and the Hawaiian WOES. On September 15, a total of 50 artists will come to the Afrikaanderwijk, which will be given an entirely new look. But that’s not all!

An amazing live music line-up

Aside from the street art line-up, POW! WOW! Rotterdam hosts an array of amazing musicians that will be performing. The ambitious young rapper SNELLE, has proven through his already legendary 101Barz session full of smart lyrics to possess ‘more personality in his top lip’ than some of his competitors have in their entirety. ZWANGERE GUY, a.k.a. Gorik van Oudheusden, is one of the biggest artists in Belgian hiphop. His personal lyrics, combined with a dose of humor, ensure he is all set to conquer The Netherlands as well. And fellow Belgian COELY will also take the stage in the Afrikaanderwijk. After all the rave reviews her bold performance at North Sea Jazz garnered, we’ll be looking forward to welcoming her back to Rotterdam! The full musical line-up will be announced in the following weeks.

We’re in Montana Cans’ 2019 lookbook!

It goes without saying we’re already happy to partner with Montana Cans at POW! WOW! Rotterdam, but even we were pleasantly surprised to find a beautiful feature on our festival in the fourth edition of their yearly lookbook! You can get the magazine, which also has articles on artists like IMAGINE, THE LONDON POLICE, FRAU ISA, 1010 and 1UP CREW, in selected stores. Other events covered are METROPOLINK and THE BERLIN MURAL FESTIVAL, so yeah, we’re in pretty damn good company here.

There are special interest features on Abstract Lettering, Graffiti On Freights and Calligraffiti too, so it’s well worth your time to get your hands on a copy. However, if you’re somehow unable to, you can thankfully flip through all 160 pages digitally right here. Enjoy!

POW! WOW! Rotterdam nominated for Best Public Event!

Zepha at work during POW! WOW! Rotterdam 2018

The international street art festival POW! WOW! celebrated its first European edition last year, Rotterdam’s M4H area. The second edition follows in September, but before that happens, the winner of ‘Best Public Event’ will be announced on March 14, during the 5th National Congres Events in Deventer. The professional jury deciding on the award judge events on elements such as vision, approach, organization, collaboration with stakeholders and value for its city. And POW! WOW! Rotterdam has been nominated for this prestigious award!

“We’re proud that a new festival like this is being recognized on a national level”, says festival director Dave Vanderheijden. “This is confirmation that for our whole team that we’ve been following the right route, and motivates us to make the next edition an even more beautiful and festive event for everybody!”

Prior edition

In 2018 the M4H area in Rotterdam was wrapped up in street art by some of the best artists from in and outside The Netherlands. The diverse crowd enjoyed the atmosphere in a sunny weekend full of arts, sports, street food and live hiphop acts on its main stage. POW! WOW! Rotterdam is a unique street culture festival in Rotterdam. It contributes to the international exposure of Rotterdam as a cultural hub, delivers a much desired event for audiences of all ages and offers street artists an acclaimed platform. In realizing its festival, POW! WOW! Rotterdam works with many local entrepreneurs and cultural collaborators.

Mayor Aboutaleb grants an award to Linda Post of The Talk of The Town, Peter van Wingerden of The Floating Farm and Dave VanderHeijden, festival director for POW! WOW! Rotterdam.

POW! WOW! Rotterdam 2018 has already been awarded the Marketing Award Rotterdam Upcoming Talent, as part of the Merwe-Vierhavens (M4H) area. “Merwe-Vierhavens is a flourishing, innovative, raw and entrepreneurial area. It’s brimming with life thanks to the people living, working and inventing there. Formerly empty warehouses are being repurposed to experiment with new products and processes. New technologies are being created, tested and realized by people who put the neighborhood on the map as the fertile testing ground and showcase of the new economy”, the jury reported.

Street art in Rotterdam

POW! WOW! Rotterdam adds to a rich history of graffiti and street art in Rotterdam. Research shows street art adds value to the city’s current cultural landscape, contributes to the feeling of safety in residential areas and its economic value for local entrepreneurs. On September 14 and 15 of 2019 the second edition of POW! WOW! Rotterdam takes place in the Southside of Rotterdam.