HOW IT BEGAN
Tropicana Fest is a Rotterdam based culture festival of art and music created in 2020, which presents a curated selection of Rotterdam music and visual arts in a three-day program. The initiator of the festival is Rotterdam’s pop musician Guus Bok. When Talitha Holl, the cultural director of Rotterdam Kralingen-Crooswijk introduced him to Vladimir Radujkov, artist and curator, the two neighbors from Kralingen decided to create something extraordinary.
Inspired by the venue - former Tropicana pool, one of the landmarks of architecture in Rotterdam, they launched the initiative to combine music and contemporary art into a single concept and produce a three-day culture festival. This idea was embraced by the city of Rotterdam as the main benefactor and BlueCity, the occupant of the venue. The festival was organized in the Corona proof manner, adhering to all measures of the Dutch government and the Ministry of Health.
Guus Bok and Vladimir Radujkov are at the core of The Tropicana Fest team.
Guus Bok is the music selector of Tropicana Fest. Guus’s experience as an organizer goes back to his youth, where he organized, directed and wrote multiple theatre shows, in which he also performed as a lead. He graduated the musical theatre studies at the Codarts conservatorium in Rotterdam from 2008 to 2012. Since 2014, this pop performer and songwriter is still organizing his own videoclips, audio recordings, music releases and shows. For the Tropicana Fest, Guus selected the musical artists who are known for their own work and authenticity. Musically, they represent a variety of genres, e.g. Jazz, Pop, Latin, singer-songwriter, Rap. What they all have in common is that, with their musical performance, they are conveying a story to the audience. And by doing so, they are making the audience a part of the experience. In addition to organizing, Guus will perform at the Fest as well.
Vladimir Radujkov is the art director of Tropicana Fest. As the art director of the Neon Foundation, Vladimir curates the works of contemporary artists and provides them with a platform to show their works in an exceptional location. He is experienced in delivering strong artistic concepts and organizing pop-up exhibitions in unconventional spaces. For the second edition of Tropicana Fest, Vladimir chose to emphasize the location and its role in the architecture of a city as an artificial creation and its effect on our lives. The public versus private life and the tension between personal space and the great outdoors.
Guus and Vladimir work closely with their partner BlueCity, who are the occupant of the location where the Tropicana Fest will take place.