LIVEBLOG – This is how Radboud University celebrated her 100th birthday

11 May 2023

The university was established a hundred years ago which is why campus turned into a festival site today. Ch!pz drew a huge crowd, Rutger Bregman addressed the academic community and De Speld had a live show. And Prins S. en De Geit is currently performing the last show of the evening. Vox kept the liveblog up to date throughout the entire day, so you can read all about the previous activities.

23:03: Festival over

With the last notes of Prins S. en de Geit and the last dance at Smèrrig Diskjochies, it’s done: the university’s birthday party is officially over. Although it rained relentlessly for the last hour, the atmosphere was no less vibrant. There was dancing, laughing, partying, and attentive listening. And all with some refreshments in hand. Some enthusiastic students continued the party in the city centre.

As the festival grounds slowly empty, our liveblog also closes. Keep an eye on our socials and the Vox website: more stories and photos from this week of festivities will appear in the coming days.

22.23: ‘Unknown’ band makes for worthy closing act

‘Who?’ was the likely response of many Radboud employees when reading the name Prins S. en De Geit, being the closing act of the Radboud Festival. When front man Scott Beekhuizen asked the crowd who among them attended for the first time, many hands went up. This is not surprising, as the band from the Hague has only been around for two years. Their album Rood staan hard gaan, which was released at the end of 2022, majorly contributed to their success.

Despite their relatively unfamiliar name, the team proved to be a worthy closing act for the festival. The older crowds made way for Radboud’s student population. And although the rain keeps pattering down, the crowd is dancing without care.

21.18: Goldkimono draws a crowd

Tienus Konijnenburg, better known as Goldkimono, traded Down the Rabbit Hole for the Radboud Festival this year. The lawn in front of the Berchmanianum building is filled with students and employees. Goldkimono gained recognition from his song Electric Swing, but the crowd is also going wild to his latest single Lost Inside My Head. Goldkimono’s cheery tunes certainly got people moving. ‘I didn’t know them beforehand, but I think they’re pretty cool’, according to Radboud employee Amir Khodaie. ‘Consider me a fan!’

20:16 Square full to bursting for Ch!pz performance

Ch!pz is back! As the crowd roared, the band stepped up on the Titus stage in between the Refter and the Lecture Hall complex. The square in front of the stage was completely full; fences kept late arrivals at bay. However, whether the band is actually performing live is up for debate, as it appears the foursome is not singing their heart out. Lip-syncing or not, all students and employees are going wild to hits of yesteryear such as 1001 Arabian Nights and Cowboy. People in front are loudly singing along; the real fans belt it out, and even the crowds in the back are moving with the beat. The return of Ch!pz is clearly a resounding success.

The artists are also very pleased with their performance. ‘It was amazing’, singer Rachel van den Hoogen said afterwards. ‘We heard that Radboud University was very internationally oriented, so we were anxious to see if the internationals were familiar with our songs.’ However, that turned out to be no problem. ‘Even the international students sang along’, according to a surprised Peter Rost.

19.40: Maarten van Rossem speaks about his student days

Many students likely know Maarten van Rossem from his role on De Slimste Mens, where he explains parts of history in his own unique way. Today is no different. During an interview in the lecture halls complex, he talked about his experience as a PhD student: ‘My PhD degree had my name spelled wrong.’ The historian also had a thing or two to say about Dutch politics. ‘I hope to pass away when the CDA is long gone and Rutte has been in retirement for a few years.’ There were also more than a few questions from the audience.

18.10: Parweez Koehestanie tells life story

Documentary filmmaker Sinan Can interviews former Radboud student Parweez Koehestanie. Koehestanie was born in Afghanistan and fled to the Netherlands in 1996 when he was 15 years old. He currently works as gastroenterologist at the Bravis hospital in Roosendaal. During the interview, the doctor speaks about his experience when he first arrived in the Netherlands, amongst other things. He says he has lived in different places, such as Venlo and Lochem, before he came to Nijmegen to study. Vox has interviewed Koehestanie about the course of his life before.

16.57: Crowds at De Speld

The live show of the satiric news platform De Speld is popular. The hall in the Lecture Halls complex is packed. Several people even have bad luck and are unable to attend the show. During the live show, two presenters discuss news items in an interactive manner, for instance using public voting. Following the statement “I did not have meat for dinner last night”, many hands are raised in the hall. This response is to the great satisfaction of the presenters: ‘After all, it still is Nijmegen.’

16.30: Unicycling on the lawn

Since 16.00, the circus workshop on the lawn is at full blast. The participants are really trying their best on the different activities, including stilt walking, unicycling and balancing of juggling boards. The workshop will continue until 19.00.

16.25: Student Bigband plays Proud Mary

On the Mohrmann Mainstage, next to the Berchmanianum, a great deal of students and employees are enjoying their first beer of the day. In the meantime, the Student Bigband plays their own version of Aretha Franklin’s Freedom. Just moments later, when the band breaks into Proud Mary, many people start to dance.

16.16: Compliments on lustrum book

‘An asset to the historiography of Radboud University’, is how Radboud historian Jan brabers just called the book One Hundred Years of Radboud University in 101 Images. He complimented the authors, Bea Ros and Paul van den Broek, on their ‘well and smoothly written book’. The presentation of the lustrum book drew a full house in the Leon Wecke hall. Vox editor-in-chief Mathijs Noij now begins his interview with the duo.

15.20: Bregman was a lazy student

Rutger Bregman is today’s first speaker. The writer and opinion maker is being interviewed by Lema Salah, researcher at Radboud University. Approximately two hundred people are listening to the conversation on the Titus stage. Bregman tells about his own student life in Utrecht. ‘I was a lazy student and initially I wanted to become a history teacher.’ The best-selling author also admits that his articles initially weren’t published by any medium. ‘Then I thought to myself: if I just keep spamming, someone will eventually publish it.’

15.06: No beer before half past three

Anyone looking forward to a nice beer early in the day is out of luck: the rule of ‘no beer before half past three’ also applies on 11 May 2023, the day the university celebrates its 100th anniversary. After all, the Radboud Festival is no DTRH.

14.21: preparations are in full swing

In about half an hour, the time has finally come: Radboud University’s centenary will get started. The organisation is still busy placing the last seats, filling the drinks supply and ensuring the site is spotless. Unfortunately for the people joining the festival, the weather forecast is suboptimal, with some occasional drizzle. On different spots, tents have been placed with enough space to seek shelter. And of course, a part of the programme will take place inside, in the Collegezalencomplex.

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