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Cocktail Fest to Celebrate Anniversary at Maassilo on March 7!

by Redaktie in Events & Agenda , 18 February 2020

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

The GLBTI culture in Rotterdam is flourishing again! The success of Rotterdam goes hand in hand with the re-emergence of its famous GLBTI scene. The return of various well-known GLBTI events, the increasingly busy street parties during Rotterdam Pride, the Eurovision Song Contest taking place here, and the fifth edition of Cocktail Fest, show that the city has once again become an attractive GLBTI destination.

The open-minded and nevertheless exciting indoor festival Cocktail Fest played a distinctive role in this in recent years, and that is why we had a talk with the organizers.

Cocktail Fest

Robin Pors, Silvain Hooglander and Marc Bartels started the well-known Cocktail Fest exactly three years ago with a relatively new concept for the “conservative” port city. They started this adventure with reservations. Robin Pors: “Every GLBTI festival in Rotterdam failed to be a success prior to ours, I will of course not elaborate on this, but you invest in something beautiful and you want it to work out and it would be a shame if another (gay) concept were to fail yet again.”

It is quite a challenge to set up a big festival. What were you hoping to achieve?
“We started Cocktail Fest for one reason, bringing Rotterdam back into the fold as an GLBTI destination. With the concept we actually wanted to show that we can still all come together, from twink to bear, from fat to thin, from gay to lesbian and from trans to intersexual. We are all the same, and we should support each other within the community and have more respect for each other. Cocktail Fest must therefore be a seamless amalgamation of different target groups and party scenes in the free-minded community.”

The organizers have never changed the basis, it is a festival for everyone. With multiple areas in the Maassilo there is a variety of parties. Visitors can go for pop, RnB, techno, deep-house and circuit-house. The motto of the festival is “Be Yourself, Experience Everyone,” and with the dress code “Dress to Express,” there is nothing too crazy to wear. This celebration of diversity, sometimes with a raw and exciting edge, attracted thousands of visitors from all over Europe in the four previous editions. For its fifth edition, they again expect a wide range of visitors.

Two Editions

 DJ Allysson Luis You are organizing two editions this year?
Marc Bartels: “This year is our third anniversary and we wanted to celebrate that by organizing two editions. After our last party during Rotterdam Pride, we got so many requests asking when we would have our next edition that we became enthusiastic ourselves and thought, ‘Why not ?!’ Our first edition was exactly the same weekend and that is why we are returning on March 7. It promises to be a spectacle again.”

Can you give us a taste of what is to come?
Silvain Hooglander: “For our March 7 edition, we have slightly overhauled the parties of our partner organizers. The TEASE circuit-house concept in the big hall has remained, and we have several international DJs, such as the much too handsome DJ Allysson Luis and the wonderful DJ Sharon O Love, but the big change this time is the concept TEKNO MAKINA, a completely new experience of techno and acid.

We always had ‘Herr Zimmerman’ in previous editions and they will undoubtedly return someday, but this time we wanted to do it differently. Finally, we are going to build a ‘Gay Run’ in the basement and a real battle will be held in our third area between the WTF and The Cozy Klub parties, where the DJs compete with each other in which style is most appreciated: Pop, RnB, or Urban. This will be fantastic!”

Cocktail Fest, Maassilo in Rotterdam
Saturday, March 7, 2020, tickets & more info at



In our youngest issue, Gay News 344, April/ May/ June 2020


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