Out on the town with: Veronika | Befriending the pigs in EM2’s Secret Garden

There’s so much to do in Groningen that you really need a guide to help you uncover the city’s hidden gems. Every week, UKrant’s student editors share their cultural agenda with you. What’s their favourite venue and which events in the upcoming week are absolutely not to be missed?

Hangout: EM2

I cannot imagine a better way of spending my summer evenings than lying in a hammock with a cold beer in my hand, live music playing in the back, and chunky pigs roaming around me. All of this is possible in the Secret Garden of EM2, located on the outskirts of Groningen. 

You can visit the pigs when the garden is open on Saturday and Sunday. Don’t worry, they won’t hurt you, but I’d advise you to watch out for your snacks and drinks!

They won’t hurt you, but I’d advise you to watch out for your snacks and drinks

Hidden away in the former SuikerUnie location – the Suikerunieterrein – right next to Paradigm, the EM2 terrace offers a creative urban oasis in the middle of the remains of the old sugar factory. The Secret Garden is decorated with colourful lights and impressive artwork, making it the best place to enjoy true Italian pizza made in a wood-fired oven from locally sourced ingredients.

You can unwind in a hammock, relax on a comfortable couch, or let your hair down on the outdoor stage. There are plenty of activities to try at EM2, and if you don’t feel mesmerised by the pigs, you can also enjoy a game of bowling or table football.

Have a look at EM2’s agenda and come to one of their club nights or concerts of all sorts of music, be it rock, jazz, or reggae. The cozy atmosphere of the terrace will make you want to dance like nobody’s watching!

Suikerlaan 6
Open Saturday 4 to 11 p.m. and Sunday 2 to 10 p.m. 

Where you’ll find me:

  • Usva | Sex Talks: Linda de Munck
    Time: June 29, Dutch session from 8.30-9.15 p.m., English session from 9.30-10.15 p.m.
    Price: 6 euros for students, 9 euros for others

Join me this Thursday for an open conversation about sex and sexuality to break down the taboos surrounding porn, sex toys, or sexual fantasies. The discussion will take place in a safe space facilitated by the Dutch activist feminist Linda de Munck, the author of Seksleven. Just like in her book, Linda is coming to Usva to share the experiences that others are afraid to talk about. 

The only drag bar in Groningen is ending Pride Month with an epic Pride pub quiz: category protest and parties! Join my team and learn with me about protest history and queer trivia in a pub quiz hosted by the amazing Ellen van Ellende, the drag queen from the North.

I will officially start my summer holiday with a rave organised by the Anti-Squat student collective based here in Groningen. Do you dare to challenge me to a dance-off to techno and drum and bass? You can show off your best moves to the sounds of acid, jungle, and neurofunk brought together by the DJs Mera, Luke Solar, Banoozled, and Zuverah.

On Sunday, you will find me thrifting at the vintage market at the Suikerunieterrein. I’ll be browsing through second-hand clothes, retro furniture, and plenty of hand-made jewellery and decorations from local artists.  

Next Wednesday, I’m planning to see the screening of the music documentary Papa Srapa by Konstantin Ivanov and Nikita Kabardin at Vera. If you’re curious about the history of noise music, Russian avant-garde, and the craftsmanship of electronic musicians, you cannot miss the story of the bizarre artist Papa Srapa who uses blood and saliva to create his strange music.


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