18/07/2008 summer time, festival time
About one third of the Dutch is enjoying their holidays. It may sound nasty but this way Holland is at its best. Less crowded, less stress and lots of festivals.
Last week I visited the my old time favourite, Het Over IJ Festival. It is mainly theatre, in various forms, played inside and outdoors at the NDSM wharf, by now familiar city oasis for the festival. I saw Meisje Loos (autobiografic, well played, multimedia) and Wild Boys (lively, rough and subtle). I watched both performances at the same evening, so I do not know how many people in total visited the festival. I noticed it was rather quite – for example only 30 people attended Meisje Loos – which is curious because quality, atmosphere and prices are inviting. This festival deserves bigger audiences.
The after performance drinks we had – sitting on a green sofa in the mild summer evening – made this small and sympathetic festival delightful again.
Last weekend I visited for the first the legendary North Sea Jazz Festival, in Rotterdam. It seems the definition for jazz is very broad (including R&B, soul, funk and world music). I saw and heard Zuco 103 and Al Jarreau and furthermore zapped through several concerts, varieting from classical, latin, experimental jazz and everything in between. I found the North Sea audience surprisingly civilized, without being snobbish. Strolling between different locations, the outdoor terracces proved to be great places – especially the disco on top of the roof – to hang out and to refill.