The motto of this ever-evolving festival in 2013 is ‘Stay over for the weekend’ – and, dare we say it, there isn’t a more hospitable festival in all the land. Whether you’re seeking out a weekend-long blast of new music, some passionate art, experimental theatre or just looking to explore the secretly-welcoming heart of Rotterdam and its hidden treasures, Motel Mozaïque is an inspiring urban experience.
Friday and Saturday, 5-6 April at Rotterdam Schouwburg, Paradijskerk, BIRD, and Rotown
Being a modern festival, there’s no camping at Motel Mozaïque. Not even chalets. But each year it hosts a unique sleeping project that invites festival-goers to get some kip in weird and wonderful places. In the past that’s included churches, hospitals and even shop windows, but for 2013 you can spend the night in Rotterdam’s very own plush concert hall, De Doelen – in actual beds, not just the chairs. Fancy.
While much of the main music action traditionally takes place after dark, there’s plenty going on in daytime this year. Schouwburgplein gets transformed into Plaza Mozaïque, with open-air gigs, art, sculpture and all sorts of unexpected specials. There are plenty of guided tours that walk you through some of Rotterdam’s secret spots, while the 3voor12 Stage hosts free sessions by loads of the festival’s performers. This year there’s also an extra afternoon music session in the Rotterdamse Schouwburg.
2013 sees the multi-venue fest expanding to even more locations, hosting bands in the likes of the refined Rotterdamse Schouwburg, the 106-year-old Paradijskerk, BIRD (under the old railway) and the always-welcoming Rotown. Amidst all that there’s loads of independent and inspired action, including a fresh take on soulful Americana from young singer-songwriter Night Beds; the lo-fi disintegrated bass music of UK producer Lapalux; and classy indie-folk from Oxford’s Stornoway, who’ve signed to 4AD. Hopefully, the serene folk of Daughter can live up to the hype now they’ve an album to show off. Fellow talked-up duo AlunaGeorge will present their catchy but contemporary take on electro-indie-R&B. Icelandic producer and composer Valgeir Sigurdsson, meanwhile, showcases his beautiful landscape-like electro-classical works; there’s cut-up bass pop with a club vibe from Valentina; and then there’s the weirder bits, like Norway’s Jaga Jazzist performing with local ensemble Sinfonia Rotterdam, and the eternally-experimental bassist Jah Wobble, who’ll be with his Modern Jazz Ensemble. There are enticing Dutch sounds too, including ’60s pop revivalist Jacco Gardner, Zeeland’s folk troubadour Broeder Dieleman and DJ sets from Rats on Rafts and Palmbomen.
Motel Mozaïque kicks off this coming weekend, 5 to 6 April, at various locations around Rotterdam. More info at www.motelmozaique.nl