The Inventory Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in the Netherlands contains ICH of which the communities, groups or individuals involved have written a safeguarding plan. Those plans are reviewed by an independent review committee. Every three years an evaluation of the safeguarding takes place.


The Summer Carnival in Rotterdam is a tropical carnival festival that consists of seven elements: The Queen Election: One week before the Street Parade, the Summer Carnival Queen is selected from the queens of eight to ten carnival groups. With her group, she opens the Street Parade and acts as an ambassador of the Summer Carnival. Warming-up: On Friday night with four Caribbean brass bands on the main stage at the Coolsingel/Hofplein. Battle of drums: The four bands play their favourite compositions. The best one wins the Golden Drum. Mercado: On Friday night and on Saturday there is an international festival market at the Coolsingel and on the Schouwburgplein. There are delicious tropical snacks and drinks for sale as well as exotic commodities. Street Parade: On the last Saturday of July the big Street Parade takes place, a procession of about 1.5 mile with costumed participants and floats before a professional jury. Stage programming: On Friday night after the Battle of drums and on Saturday before and after the Street parade, tropical top singers and orchestras perform on the main stage on the Hofplein, for around 100,000 visitors. Halfway September, when things have quieted down, the prizes of the Street Parade are awarded for various categories. Moreover, the volunteers are thanked for their efforts.



The group of 2000 participants with roots in countries with tropical carnival traditions, like the Antilles, Cape Verde, Suriname and Spain. Children often take part in the Summer Carnival from a very early age, so that they grow up with the tradition. Companies, funds and the municipality of Rotterdam, contribute. The Summer Carnival started in 1984, with 32,000 visitors, and attracted more than 750,000 people in 2014. The peak was in 2005, with a million visitors.



In 1983 the first Summer Carnival was organised, in Utrecht under the name of ‘Antillean Summer Carnival’, as an equivalent of the carnival in the Caribbean area, by students of Curacao and Aruban origin. In the following year the Summer Carnival was celebrated in Rotterdam. In 1988 the melting pot-philosophy started to take shape. The carnival grew and groups with Cape Verdean and Surinamese roots joined. In that year, the festival was given the new name Summer Carnival Rotterdam and a professional management board was installed. Over the following ten years, the event grew with more and more groups from outside Rotterdam and for this reason the organisation decided to go on as Summer Carnival. In 1996 the Dutch Summer Carnival Foundation was established. The objective was slightly adjusted. The core philosophy focused on providing the opportunity for further integration and acceptation within the diverse Dutch community through the organisation of a tropical carnival feast. In 2013 Rotterdam Unlimited was established, in which the Dutch Summer Carnival Foundation and the Dunya Foundation, under the direction of Ducos Productions, have joined forces, with a festival week at the end of July. The objective is to create a stronger future.




  • Trying to attract external audiences through digitalisation.
  • Instead of only a Queen Election, there will be a Royalty Election (King and Queen) from this year onwards.
  • A medal will be struck in cooperation with the Royal Dutch Mint
  • Make the Innovation Award more important
  • Continue to highlight the importance of sustainability
  • Organise workshops on the possibilities of sustainable (recycled) materials to encourage group leaders and designers to apply these
  • Show the development of Summer Carnival through the website and social media
  • The Royalty will visit events in the Netherlands
  • The Royalty will visit the carnivals in England and France
  • Further roll out the management transition
  • Recruit more project managers
  • Structure the volunteers
  • Investigate possibilities for a career path as a volunteer (e.g. offer courses, advance in volunteer positions)
  • Look for additional/alternative sources of income to cover the costs of stricter safety requirements
  • Investigate whether there are (additional/new) national or European subsidy possibilities


Stichting Zomercarnaval Nederland
Lloydstraat 17J