‘The big and elitist No Artist Festival in Flevopark totally misses the mark’

'The big and elitist No Artist Festival in Flevopark totally misses the mark'

The No Art Festival building in Flevopark in East Amsterdam.Hannah Boltz’s photo

Everyone who enters Flevopark these weeks, from the Javastraat side, automatically stops on the bridge, right in front of the entrance. Every day, dozens of people look at the bird’s nest, which began with nine eggs. There are now three little birds left, who have their original base there. Famous Instagram account Indian neighborhood photos Traces the “consequence” of East Amsterdam’s most famous fish family.

In the past week, several new ducklings have been added, who felt very comfortable near the bird. It’s full breeding and birthing season at the park, one of Amsterdam’s hidden gems. After dinner about every other day I take my son Rafael (4) for a tour of Flevopark, among other things to follow the ups and downs of all the families of ducks and kittens. We always meet many locals, who escape from their homes for a while and enjoy the evening sun.

I’ve been living next to Flevopark for five years and it still surprises me in a positive way. It is full of animals. I even spotted a fox last year. During the day, the park is a beacon of peace and safety in a busy neighborhood filled with worn edges. That peace was brutally disturbed last week by the partial closure of the park, hundreds of fences and countless large trucks that drove over Valentinkade, even at a quarter past eight in the morning, when it was rush hour with school children. Numerous traffic jams and unsafe situations arose in a week when work was already underway at Insulindeweg and Javaplein.

Suddenly, on Monday morning, a barrier also appeared in front of the entrance, located in Valentijnkade, on which was written “Forbidden for unauthorized persons”. The reason for all those trucks and forklifts that drove right through the picturesque Flevopark, where scooters are not yet officially allowed (seriously!): No Art Festival. For this reason the park is difficult to access for ten days and is partially closed to residents.

communal backyard

a look at No Art, which was staged last year at the NDSM dock, learns: No Art is “an indie label that wants to experiment with funky art and innovative musicians in unique locations.” The organizers wrote about Flevopark: “One of the most beautiful pieces of nature in Amsterdam, with a very magical atmosphere.”

correct. This city park is nothing short of magical, with a huge variety of visitors. Flevopark is the common backyard for an eclectic mix of people. The neighborhood around it is a melting pot of cultures, with lots of social rents, lots of Qantas and a bit of poverty. In Indische Buurt there are many small houses, without a garden or balcony.

Most residents can’t afford to miss the ten-day “Outside” because of one day of the festival. And certainly not for an exclusive, commercial festival for 15,000 visitors at Ibiza prices. The ticket price of around €75 is too high for many residents of Indische Buurt, if you see those who are already having problems with nails at Lidl on Insulindeweg.

Planck is wrong at the end

Not that the organizers of No Art mean anything wrong or are disrespectful. Their message to the residents was friendly and some accommodation tickets were offered. But to allow a large and elitist festival like No Art in this picturesque city park is a painful mistake by the Amsterdam municipality. It’s like organizing a Millionaire’s Fair on Javastraat. It totally misses the mark. There is no synergy between the resident and the visitor.

The inconvenience of loud music and thousands of visitors disturbing the breeding animals is much greater than such a small and fragile park. No art can be organized outside a nature reserve, like last year at the NDSM dock, or somewhere else “industrial” and “arty,” like an industrial estate.

The municipality should find smaller events that fit better with the lovely Flevopark, which really wants to share its magic with people – but not with everyone and certainly not with people who have nothing to do with this special but also vulnerable neighborhood.

By the way, I decided to go to the festival myself, though it may sound hypocritical, a little “oatmeal elite”: I complain about the “elite”, but secretly myself. I’m just curious how No Art and visitors treat Indische Buurt’s lungs. Perhaps I can walk by the grouse today, if I hope they are alive, and tell them to hold out for another day.

Sander Collewin is a journalist and author of my book

Sander Collewin is a journalist and author of The All-in and Era Roger Federer. He has been living next to Flevopark since 2018.Merlin Dominique statue

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