The love for art runs deep.

Back in the days Uitnacht Arnhem was conceived as a warm-up for the upcoming cultural season. That’s still how it works, but there’s an added dimension now. ”You don’t have to do something with it right away, but you won’t forget it either.”

Sandra van Maanen

Uitnacht Arnhem is the perfect way for creatives to attract new audiences, people who don’t necessarily attend performances automatically. With many freely accessible short performances, routes, and locations throughout the city center, there are unexpected surprises. This allows creators to showcase their talents and interest in the cultural offerings grows. Not just for what’s on display this year, but also for what you can see next year or even later. ‘We see the Uitnacht more and more as a platform for meeting people, a sustainable investment in love for culture. You don’t have to do something with it right away, but you won’t forget it either. That’s what we aim for,’ says Jurriën Schobben.

As a dancer at Introdans, he, along with his companion Alberto Villanueva, is organizing the influential cultural festival for the second time. This year, with more than fifty locations, a multitude of performances, and, above all, those beautiful encounters. A smoothly organized program promises shorter waiting times than in previous years, he predicts.

Art on your nails

It’s not just the big, well-known companies, but also Arnhem’s dance schools, a new generation of creators, and various museums that confront the audience. The Uitnacht offers both overwhelming acts and micro-level triggers. Like at Musis, where you can have your nails adorned with art from the Kröller-Müller Museum. Choosing from such a continuous cultural buffet is quite a challenge. If you’re here, you’ll miss out on the fun elsewhere. Schobben recognizes the dilemma. ‘It’s quite a lot, that’s true. You can choose three approaches to experience as much as possible: check the neighborhoods, check the schedule, and the disciplines you want to see. You can do that on the website, where you’ll immediately see what’s happening in the four time bubbles.’

Marcouch reads aloud

The festival kicks off in the Klarendal bubble, where Mayor Marcouch reads in Café Libertas. Then his colleague, children’s mayor Zoë Mac Donald, will perform the official opening; the starting signal in the neighborhood that offers a continuous program at no fewer than 21 locations, featuring all forms of culture. From music to fashion, from dance to spoken word. According to Schobben, Klarendal as the starting location for the Arnhem Uitnacht is a logical consequence of what the previous one achieved. ‘Last year, we asked residents and businesses for the first time to provide space for free performances. They participated with so much enthusiasm and passion that this year we’re making it even bigger. Love for art and culture runs deep in this neighborhood; you can feel it in everything.’

Night bubble

With four festival bubbles and as many zones (in addition to Klarendal, there’s the area between Willemsplein and Spijkerkwartier, the city center including Korenmarkt), and the new night bubble. ‘The latter lasts from 12:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. and provides afterparties with performances and acts at Luxor, Willemeen, and Café Bosch. Last year, these locations were so crowded that we decided to make it a longer and full night program. This way, more people can enjoy more performances and acts.’


In addition to the well-known locations like Musis, Theater Oostpool, Focus, and Theater a/d Rijn, there’s a new element this year: the Korenmarkt as a venue for the program. ‘The Korenmarkt is known as a nightlife square, not as a cultural stage. But that image is changing. Introdans provides crossover dance workshops at Fifth Avenue, and a Drag Queen makes her appearance on the balcony of Flor Fina. Entrepreneurs reacted very enthusiastically; they see such an addition to their image as favorable. It brings them new and different audiences.’

The Surprise Show

During the Uitnacht, Theater Oostpool turns its theater hall into a grab bag. In The Surprise Show, one Arnhem talent after another is conjured out of the high hat of surprises. An operetta, drag show, western, or perhaps a nude painting course, it’s all there. Never longer than fifteen minutes, all spectacular. And for those looking for that one costume from that special performance, there’s the costume sale. Treasures from Oostpool’s warehouse can be taken home for a bargain. Whether it’s a costume, prop, tote bag, or another hidden gem.

True to tradition, the Uitnacht is also the moment for the presentation of the Arnhem Culture Prize, a stimulus award for talented creators who haven’t received subsidies yet but are making innovative contributions to Arnhem as a cultural city. A choice has already been made from all the nominees, and on the night of January 26th to 27th, it will be revealed who wins the prize this year.

For the full program of the four festival bubbles, visit

The Uitnacht is an investment in love for culture – Jurriën Schobben

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