Be Welcome At the Watergate!

SNEEK / 9 - 11 MAY


Part of Leeuwarden-Fryslân Culturele Hoofdstad van Europa 2018 


View the block diagrams for Thursday and Friday here. Find all relevant information for vistiors on this page.



At the Watergate

From Wednesday 9th  May till Friday 11th  May 2018 the At the Watergate Festival will take place in Sneek and the surrounding area. The organization welcomes around 6000 young European participants during these days and about 60 thousand visitors. The participants are young students of music, dance and music theater, originating from the Netherlands and 20 other countries. For two days they’ll give concerts and performances at various indoor and outdoor locations in and around Sneek. The locations are all situated on and around the water. In total, around a thousand concerts and performances can be visited during 3 days on 30 stages. These venues are divided into 3 categories: indoor stages, outdoor stages and (satellite) stages in the municipality of Súdwest Fryslân.


Pré Festival Open the Gate

8 & 9 May / 17.00 to 21.00 / RaboPlaza (Martiniplein) & Wijde Noorderhorne Sneek

Prior to the festival there will be a pre-festival: Open the Gate. Specially for this, some 500 young German musicians will come to Sneek a few days earlier. They will follow a comprehensive musical program full of workshops and performances with students from Arts Center Atriumin the day time. then, in the evening between 17.00 and 21.00 hours they will preform for a public audience at the Martiniplein and the Wijde Noorderhorne. All kinds of group formats and genres are represented, for example a saxophone quartet or  the Sneeker Chamber Orchestra.


Congress Music in the 'Mienskip'

9 May / 3 pm / Theater Sneek, Westersingel 28, Sneek

During the festival there will be a two-day conference where European themes concerning music education will be discussed. More information about the conference you can find here.                              


Opening concert at and near the Kolk

May 9 / 20.30 am till 22.30 am / De Kolk, Sneek

The opening of the festival will be a grand concert on and around the water at the Waterpoort. All participants are welcomed by the speakmaster Bart Meijer. The Noorderlijk Orkest Collective conducted by Harmen Cnossen give a grand concert and also young violinist Enzo Kok, DJs, soloists and 'Parademakers' perform. It is possible to attend the concert along the quay or on the water from your boat *. The content of the concert will be announced at a later date.

* be on time considering the expected crowds.


At the Watergate

10 May / 11.00 am till 22.30 am 

11 May / 11.00 am till 20.00 am / Sneek and surroundings

The Martiniplein in Sneek is renamed RaboPlaza this week and forms the heart of the festival grounds with performances and catering. The production office in the Martinistate is also located here. The festival site is the center of Sneek itself. About 20 stages are located here, in all shapes and sizes and with a varied programme. The block diagram will be announced later on this website.


Satellite stages

10 & 11 May / 11.00 am to 18.30 am / Sûdwest Fryslân

Gigs also take place in surrounding places in the municipality. Every participating village or city has 1 to 3 so-called satellite stages during the event. For example, At the Watergate can also be experienced in IJlst, Sanfirden / Oudega, Workum, Makkum, Bolsward, Heeg, Woudsend, Kornwerderzand and Koudum / Galamadammen. In addition to participants from Europe, the program is supplemented with programming by organizations from the cities and villages themselves.


Kleintje Sneekweek
11 May / 21.00 / Inner city, Sneek
At the end of the festival there will be in the Sneker town Kleintje Sneekweek in the evening, where restaurants with live music are open until the early hours. This year with special programming in the context of At The Watergate. This musical tour along the 14 participating catering establishments with live music is made quickly, because here too the entrance is free!


Why At the Watergate?

Cultuur Kwartier Sneek is the organizer of this European festival in the context of LF2018. With this, Cultuur Kwartier Sneek wants to strengthen the mutual relationships between various cultural organizations and education, but also contribute to the regional economy and strengthening tourism in the city and municipality.