Ofra Beenen

Ofra is co-founder and booker of the Rotterdam based online radio station Operator. Operator gets its inspiration from London based NTS radio and Amsterdam station Red Light Radio. Ofra grew up in Dordrecht (small city in the Rotterdam vicinity), studied Art & Economy at the HKU University of the Arts Utrecht and went on to work in the Rotterdam music scene through an internship at Motel Mozaique. She even considers Harry (Hamelink, artistic director MOMO) her mentor. After 14 years of living, working and DJ’ing in Rotterdam, there’s no place she’d rather be. So we’re very curious about her favourite hideouts.

Overall favorite: SchieblockOperatorMONOBAR
The area surrounding the Schieblock has grown into a hotbed of creativity. Whenever I Dj up here, I love the unique view I have (Operator Container situated at the Biergarten) I love this place, and BAR is situated round the corner which has practically become my second home. MONO is another place I love, with a great line-up. And I love Katendrecht, not even so much the café’s, but to just sit by the waterfront and enjoying the views. Yes, I really like it there.

I live in the Proverniers area (Behind Central Station) and love the Provenierssingel. I’ve lived in Rotterdam-West for a long time and I enjoy the atmosphere of that area more because it’s a really good representation of the city. And I do miss that, it can be a little bit boring over here. But slowly the Rotterdam contrasts are slipping back in around here, I really like that.

KoffieCafe Booon and Op Het Dak
They’re both just around the corner from where I live, great spots and really good coffee.

Restaurant: West- Kruiskade and Burgertrut
I like the traditional Chinese restaurants around the West-Kruiskade. I’m a vegetarian so I have to try harder to find nice snacks. I also love a good Ramen and Thai Food, which are both easy to find around here. And I love the Burgertrut, especially their vegan Kapsalon (trad. Rotterdam fastfood dish).

I love Kino with their great films and cool atmosphere. BAR and MONO are my go to hangouts and where you can hear me DJ most when DJing in Rotterdam. And WORM I like to go to for concerts.

Rotterdam is…
Rotterdam is the city of contrasts, which you can see in its architecture, its people, in everything. You will find a really posh neighbourhood but somewhere mixed in is this social housing project. I love that everything mixes together. And the mentality of  ‘niet lullen maar poetsen’ (“Actions speak louder than words.”) really speaks to me ‘cause I can be quite uncertain of things at times. I can learn something from the Rotterdam people everyday.

Do you find inspiration in the city?
Definitely. Especially when I’m booking bands and see how much talent can be found around here. When I see the artists I book for Operator, I always get excited to do my own shows again. And I’m also surrounded by talented, inspiring and fun people. Together we can create beautiful things!

Which places would you like to know more about?
I would like to visit Pink Pank more often to discover interesting young bands. And I’m very interested in how MONO will develop in the next coupe of years. And I would like to discover more of the Southside. Roffa Mon Amour organised their festival there for the first time, at the Floating Pavilion. And that’s how Rotterdam keeps surprising me, with those kind of initiatives.

Ultimate tip:
As former Motel Mozaiquer, I recommend to try out as much as possible and definitely check out the guided tours. I really got to know Rotterdam so much better because of them. Because even if you think know the city, these tours can still surprise you.

Where can we find you during MOMO?
I’m really curious about Klaus Johann GrobeAudiobooks en Helado Negro. And you can find me jumping around at Cocaine Piss. Fontaines D.C. I saw at Eurosonic, which was really interesting. And this year Operator will be broadcasting from Plaza Mozaique. So please come check us out!

Door Rotterdamse Ogen