A guide to Kingsday in Groningen

As days are brightening up in the Netherlands, Students are slowly coming out of their studious hibernation and expertly recalibrating their vitamin D levels by sprawling out on the many “dakterrasjes” Groningen has to offer. While a swift first glance might reveal an outbreak of sloths at Noorderplantsoen, a keen eye will recognize the natural resting behavior of party animals, impatiently waiting for the day to once again unleash their bright orange manes. In fact, as Kingsday looms around the corner, the orange craze is already well on its way in Groningen and promises to be nothing short of spectacular this year-round.


Fun-facts about Kingsday

As many of you might already be avid precursors of the orange madness, it seems fair to question the imperativeness of the following section. Yet, I believe that some of these facts will not only astonish many of our new international students, but also daze the most impervious Dutch patriots out there. Thus, let’s not beat around the bush and start with some numbers.

After having tempted your eyes to some crushing lights one torrential Kingsday later, you may have seen the number 1.35 million flash by last year. Fortunately, this sum does not yet refer to your student debt but to the total organizational costs associated with the royal families visit to Groningen in 2018. Each year, one city or village in the Netherlands receives the honor of hosting the King and Queen for the day meaning that this time around, Groningen seeds its honorary place to Amersfoort.

While you may feel deeply afflicted by this information, I can however assure you that the tompoes is here to relieve you of your sadness and will stay by your side through thick and thin. These orange coated pastries are often subject to a 600% increase in sales during Kingsday which seems to indicate that the Dutch truly embody the visionary ability to foresee and subsequently guard their stomach from an abuse of alcohol in the near future. A shrewd strategy that unfortunately remains prone to the Tompoes induced nausea often requiring a change of heart. In this case, the more ethereal Oranjebollen become more accommodating and will remain readily available at your local bakery.

What does Groningen have to offer during Kingsday?

Simply adopting a quiet stance outside will be enough to propel anyone in the nucleus of Kingsday festivities while some shiny weather will be marking the beginning of a ritzy Trumpian tan for all. The city of Groningen however, has the reputation of taking matters into its own hands when it comes to throwing a party, and lined up a series of events that will tingle your senses. Kingsday will once again involve a tumultuous consecution of events, starting the 26th of April on Kingsnight. A dawning sun will kickstart your brave adventure through the orange amazon which will be guided by the joyous lights of Vismarkt’s mainstage. With music for everyone, the grandiose podium will feature reggae, folk, Americana and rock, making your ears sizzle from 20:00 until 2:30. If Gracious DUO rang your bell once more and you wish to experience Kingsnight in one of the more unique settings Groningen has to offer, Paradigm of excellence will be the sensible option, combining both trumpeting techno music and a singularly festive ambiance. People seeking the typical Dutch coziness will find themselves attracted to the Helden van Oranje which will celebrate the king’s birthday through the voices of reputed Dutch singers such as Xander de Buisonjé, Maan, The Partysquad en Jannes.

April 27th will turn the Groningen jungle bright orange and siphon the daring on board kingsday’s wonderfully overwhelming roller-coaster. However, chances are that you will be stopped dead in your tracks by one severe hangover. No need to panic, your cure named recovery beer shouldn’t be far out of reach. In the Netherlands we fight fire with fire, think offense is the best defense and by the same definition, fight hangovers with more alcohol, difficult to argue with air tight logic. Now hopefully back on your feet, it is time to wave those Dutch flags and prepare yourself for more king worthy action. Kingsland, the biggest festival in Groningen will open its doors at 13:00 and headlining this event will be renowned artists Alesso, Jonas blue, Timmy trumpet, Bizzey and many more. Limited budget will also find their place in the orange hurricane and attending the many different concerts at Vismarkt remains an opportunistic idea. Blaze your trail back to the heart of Groningen and enjoy stellar bands and solo artists with a beer and tompoes in each hand.

No matter where you are from, Kingsday truly is a celebration grounded in unity and taking full advantage of this day will simply rely on you own ability to wear ridiculous orange attires, boast out some epic dance moves and a satisfying alcohol tolerance.

If I, your friends, family, teachers, or Princes Beatrix’s hair still haven’t convinced you to free the beast during Kingsday, I believe that one person still can “This city is special, you can give a party. Others talk about it and you just do it. Therefore, there is nothing above Groningen” (King Willem-Alexander, 2018)


Maximilian Reijnen