Twente Guitar Festival 2014

On a Beautiful Whitsunday

The Dutch writer Annie M.G. Schmidt wrote the song On a Beautiful Whitsunday for a musical in the sixties. The song describes the memories of a father of his daughter. He used to make a stroll in the park with her in Whitsunday, but now she’s older and grown up. The song reflects a bit of the nostalgia of memories of childhood.

What is the relation of a beautiful Whitsunday with the Twente Guitar Festival? At Whitsun, Ascension Day is ten days past! Given the fact that the Twente Guitar festival starts at Ascension Day…

Well, on the Ascension Day I did the same thing with my granddaughter Iris as described in the song that I explained above. Doing so, my wife Erna and I restored an old tradition, paying a visit with three generations (grandparents, parents and children) to the playground of the café Het Hoogspel in the Dutch town of Delden. Iris was still a bit too young for the playground, but she enjoyed her version of coffee and cakes!

At a certain moment, the tradition waned a bit (the children grew up and my mother in law who was with us all the time had passed away). Last year, however, our granddaughter Iris was born, so the little trip to Het Hoogspel came into view again. Thus, I was not there on the first day of the festival and missed the open-air performances on the Oude Markt and the concert by Frank Bungarten.

There is another relation between the festival and Whitsunday too, because at that day I started to write the (Dutch version of the) report of the Twente Guitar Festival. It’s slightly shorter (one day to be specific) than the years before, yet it covers the greater part.

The Festival

Despite all financial crisis-driven cutbacks of cultural budgets, the Foundation Twenthe Guitar Festival again succeeded and came up with the ninth edition of this guitar event. Quite an organisational feat indeed. Hiring artists is relatively simple; they will come if you pay their price. The real trouble is presented by professional fundraisers that are used by many cultural organisations to battle for the rare subsidies that are still available.

The board, consisting of Paul Driessen, Niels Ottink and Gerard Kroeze, with assistance of Jaap Majoor, had worked hard to make a smooth performance of the festival.

The canteen of the Artez Conservatory, well, I would call it Artez Pop School now, was the scene of a variety of stands. The luthiers Jan Zonjee, Dirk Janssen, Stefan Rössler and Daniel Stark showed their hand-built instruments. Musikhaus Trekel from Hamburg was not here this year (the owner had a commitment in a mandolin event), but the Swedish music shop Gitarissimo was a worthy stand-in with boxes full of guitar literature, CDs, guitar accessories and gadgets. It was fun to browse the CDs and notice a lot of material of Scandinavian origin that is not available here!

The canteen also accommodated the board desk with all the facilities of the modern information society, using IPad and Smartphone. In this way the whereabouts of every participant was easily stored in the system.

In the sponsoring department, some changes had been made. The old main sponsor American Guitar Store had closed its doors and Kaj’s Guitar Store had taken over. It is a good thing that in this time of crisis and cut-backs there are still companies that want to support the guitar culture.

The web site of the Twente Guitar Festival had obtained a major technology upgrade by means of a well-designed WordPress template. The style and colours of the web site were well-reflected by the programme that looked cool!

Like every year the Twente Guitar Festival had a loyal equipe de volontaires. Lots of thanks to you, folks, because behind the stages there is a lot on volunteer work to do!