Thursday, 10 June 2010

The Noorderzon Festival

If you haven’t been to the Noorderzon Performing Arts Festival yet you should do so. Every year for ten days in August this festival takes over the Noorderplansoen (park), is in various theatres and other venues in the inner city of Groningen and provides a varied and entertaining crossover theatre festival.

This year the festival celebrated its 18th year. Each year it grows in popularity and with a diversity of things on offer to do or see, and appeals to a wide audience.

Entrance to the part is free. There is a mixture of free and ticketed things to see. It seems that this year two thirds of the program comes from abroad, and dues to limitations the inner city location have more on offer this year.

The diversity of the program includes theatre, dance, multimedia, film, video and circus to name but a few.

The Romeo and Juliet tents house bigger acts such as circuses or thought-provoking theatre. Then there are the metal containers that house anything from quirky little acts, to artists and designers. This year’s theme seemed to be more than ever before about re-cycling, with some amazing results. Old pliers and iron welded together became an unusual lampshade, or a small dog sitting patiently waiting for its owner. Elsewhere, you could bring any article of your clothing to one stall to have it ‘pimped’ with an original silkscreen design.

One attraction I particularly liked was the ‘Pocket Garden’. A caravan had been turned into a small garden and filled with plants and flowers. The outside of it was pretty funky too!

As always there is world food and drink available in tents and terraces to suit every palate. In the evening the whole place is lit up with bulbs and trees are illuminated by green lamps, whilst videos are projected onto a three-screened object, which floats on one of the areas of water in the park.

For children there is always loads to do, painting activities are on offer and this year large paintings with cut outs where the heads should be were great for photo opportunities.

Should you want to find out more about the Noorderzon, their website can be found at:

© Alison Day
First published in the Connections magazine 
#21 Autumn 2008

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