The seventh edition of the Let’s Gro festival attracted at least 18,000 visitors during 134 activities, which were put on in just four days in the centre of Groningen.
For this seventh edition, anyone who wants to make the city and region more beautiful, better and more livable was given the opportunity to show their ideas. More than fourty speakers from the Netherlands and abroad spoke about this year’s theme: “Together”. “The 2019 edition excels in depth, diversity and interconnection”, said the organisers.
Taiye Selasi and Joram Krol
The meetings about loneliness, vulnerability and inclusiveness were intimate and poignant. The speakers included health expert Machteld Huber, sociologist Saskia Sassen and writer Taiye Selasi. The photographer Joram Krol, the painter Egbert Modderman and the Groningen singer Marlene Bakker moved the crowd with emotional performances and talks. Some of the most popular events included the Groningen Salsa evening, a sold-out party in Hoogkerk and the Gronings course for internationals and sign language.
Let’s Gro has traditionally integrated a number of ‘firsts’ into its programme. Prior to the festival, a number of podcasts were recorded on various topics. In addition, three designs were unveiled for Dudok (the pink ex-petrol station on the Lopende Diep) that can be voted on until 8 November, and the new green city square on the Diepenring was also unveiled. Marketing Groningen also presented the new identity for the Groningen brand.
Groot Handelshuis in vacant V&D building
A future plan for the vacant V&D building, the Groot Handelshuis, was central to the meeting on the future of the retail trade. There were also tours of the new Forum Groningen and people could play mini golf in Groningen alleys and courses at Let’s Golf.
This year there was special attention for the climate. The Northern Climate Summit coincided with Let’s Gro on Thursday 31 October and on Saturday the Grand Theater was entirely devoted to climate change.
Let’s Gro became, therefore, an important prelude to the Climate Week that will take place in Groningen from Monday 19 October to Saturday 24 October 2020 inclusive. To compensate for the CO2 emissions of the festival, a tree is to be planted for all 134 activities.