Dutch festivals unite for new partnership
Over 30 Dutch festivals, including Eurosonic Noorderslag in Grongingen, Le Guess Who? in Utrecht and Music Meeting in Nimeguen, have formed a new association, the United Performing Arts Festivals (Verenigde Podiumkunstenfestivals).
The aim, says the association, is a “better anchoring of the role, position and importance” of music and perform arts festivals in the cultural life of the Netherlands, “both locally and nationally, [and] both financially and in image”.
The formation of the United Performing Arts Festivals stems from the manifesto, Long Live the Festivals (Leve de Festivals), sent by the 34 festivals to Dutch culture minister Jet Bussemaker last year. The manifesto raised awareness of the financial situation of Dutch festivals following cuts in the public arts budget and led to the House of Representatives voting to increase the festival budget of the Performing Arts Fund (Fonds Podiumkunsten, FPK) €2.5 million in 2016.
“The position of festivals is fragile and sometimes there is little understanding of the importance of festivals for the local, national and international infrastructure”
However, the extra cash was the bare minimum required, says Mark Hospers, festival director of the Noorderzon performing arts festival in Groningen. “The position of festivals is fragile, the [financial] appreciation [of the sector] is inadequate and sometimes there is little understanding of the importance of festivals for the local, national and international infrastructure,” he tells Dutch theatre industry website Theaterkrant. “Festivals are, however, increasingly relevant, even outside the festival period, partly because they have taken over production duties since the cuts.”
The festivals participating in the new association are Noorderzon, Eurosonic Noorderslag, Jonge Harten Theaterfestival, Oerol Terschelling, Holland Festival, Grachtenfestival, Motel Mozaique Festival, November Music, Theaterfestival Boulevard, Het Theaterfestival, Julidans, Nederlandse Dansdagen, Incubate, Operadagen Rotterdam, Le Guess Who?, Over het IJ Festival, Music Meeting, Festival Deventer Op Stelten, Festival Oude Muziek Utrecht, Festival CEMENT, Dancing on the Edge, Reuring Festival, Amsterdams Kleinkunst Festival, Gaudeamus Muziekweek, Oranjewoud Festival, Holland Dance, festival In Vervoering, Festival Musica Sacra Maastricht, Karavaan, Tweetakt Utrecht, International Geelvinck Fortepiano Concours, Amsterdamse Cello Biënnale, Circo Circolo and ITs Festival.