Merel's Mind: Bouwplaats Festival

Merel’s Mind: Bouwplaats Festival

Apr 1, 2014 |  by  |  Art
About the author
Hello! My name is Merel. In a different life I would've loved to have my own radio show in the morning or play the drums every night. Instead I became an illustrator & designer. I love drawing, talking and going to museums. If you like my work:

Fortnightly drawings about the daily life in Amsterdam. People going to work, hipsters crying about what choices to make, men living the dream on De Wallen or lost tourists in front of the Anne Frank House.

Last weekend I was at Bouwplaats Festival. The whole Volkskrantgebouw is hidden with scaffolding, while the Volkshotel is being build. This setting of dust, ladders, concrete and cranes is the best place for an indoor festival. If it was up to me every festival has this raw energy where it’s way more relaxed to wear your hiking boots instead of classy pumps and you can just lie in the mud if you want to.


I was mostly fascinated by the building, so I decided to draw it. I love the graphic shapes and the raw textures of this unfinished building, and I tried to integrate these elements. There were guided tours through the building: you put on an orange safety vest with a helmet and went upstairs, for a glimpse of what the Volkshotel will look like. The seventh floor offered a beautiful view over Amsterdam. The ground floor was light, high and the air was breathing creativity. There was a little market, music, art, food and a relaxed vibe. After 10PM the party went downstairs; Doka is a dark, alternative place with hidden places to watch vintage porn in Kriterion’s teeny-tiny cinema. Basically the same as watching your grandparents having sex, but way cooler obviously.

There were lots of different area’s with a wide variety in atmosphere. Wearing your dungarees you could really go on an adventure and go from corner to corner. I saw people looking crazy and dancing their brains out and people drinking a heavy White Russian from the Poesie Bar. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?

I’m curious what the Volkshotel will bring us, I hope a lot more festivals!

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