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The Netherlands

King Willem-Alexander returns to Ahoy in Rotterdam to celebrate 50th anniversary

© RVD – Paul Tolenaar.

On Thursday, King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands visited the city of Rotterdam to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their music institution, called Ahoy Rotterdam. 

His Majesty unveiled a musical installation consisting of a gramophone record on a record player. Once this portion was revealed, wight dancers pulled the tarp on a big turntable that, once rotated, will play music for the public. 

His Majesty was accompanied by Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, who expressed his pride in Ahoy for their anniversary and the installation they gifted the city. 

King Willem-Alexander had visited other Ahoy facilities earlier this year; on the 22nd of April 2021 – he toured the company’s newly renovated RACC (Rotterdam Ahoy Convention Centre) and RTM Stage, with the two of them constituting the structure that hosted the 2021 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. 

The Ahoy complex was inaugurated in 1971 by King Willem-Alexander’s father, Prince Klaus, so it must have been a special feeling for His Majesty to be able to return there twice in the span of a few months. 

Ever since its opening, Ahoy has hosted many important concerts, with the first having been Pink Floyd in 1971. 

The complex is also home to the North Sea Jazz Festival, an event that was previously homed in The Hague. During yesterday’s visit, His Majesty defiantly joked about the festival’s move, sarcastically asking: “North Sea Jazz, does that still exist?”. 

Ahoy is also famous in the Netherlands for its extravagant events created to celebrate the country’s official holiday for the King’s birthday, which they call “Night of Orange”. 

King Willem-Alexander is very passionate about music and has shown his support for the Dutch music industry by, among many other things, always supporting the Dutch participant in the Eurovision Song Contest festival, which the Netherlands won in 2019, meaning that they were tasked to host the next edition.