A Cultural Icon in Groningen for Over a Century

For over a century, VERA has stood as a cornerstone in the vibrant cultural landscape of Groningen. Despite its current status as a pop temple, it's fascinating to trace its origins back to a reformed student association. VERA's rich history and the array of renowned artists who have graced its stage contribute to its almost mythical reputation.

From its inception as a reformed christian student association in 1899, under the name Veri et Recti Amici (True and Sincere Friends), VERA has evolved into a cultural institution synonymous with education, friendship, and social discourse. Initially exclusive to Reformed students, the association gradually opened its doors to all, marking a pivotal shift in focus towards cultural events and concerts from 1974 onwards.

Pop Temple

The journey from a student association to a pop temple reflects VERA's commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive cultural space. This evolution gained momentum in the early 1980s when the organization adopted a more consistent policy, attracting iconic performers such as U2, Nirvana, Elbow, and the Editors before they achieved global fame. The pop temple witnessed the resonance of guitars, the pounding of drums, and the rise of artists like Dua Lipa, who made her mark during Eurosonic in 2016.




Beyond its renowned main hall concerts, VERA continues to enrich the cultural tapestry of Groningen with a variety of activities. The Artdivision creates unique posters for each concert, available for screen printing, adding a visual dimension to the music experience. The Zienema film evening, a weekly event, and intimate Downstage concerts contribute to VERA's commitment to providing diverse cultural offerings.

The Zienema group autonomously organizes weekly film screenings, typically held on Tuesdays. Together, they curate the film lineup, arrange for film setup as needed, and handle their own promotional efforts. The group manages all aspects of the event, swiftly transforming the concert hall into a cinema for a diverse movie experience in a laid-back setting. Furthermore, they oversee operations at the bar and cash register during the evening.



Whether you're drawn to the pulsating energy of main hall concerts or the intimate ambiance of the Downstage, VERA ensures there's something for everyone almost every evening. Experience the magic of VERA, where history and artistry converge to create unforgettable cultural moments.


Photo: Marc de Krosse