It has been a while, since I blogged about three times a day about the Utrecht Early Music Festival 2014. If you’re not an insider: this festival takes place during the last days of August and early days of September, in the lovely town centre of Utrecht in The Netherlands.
If you’re interested, you can reread my previous posts on the subject (see Early Music 1 up to Early Music 30 ). If you read some, you know this year the Festival organisation clocked up an astonishing number of complaints.
After handing in a few of their complaint forms during my last day at this Festival and mailing them the rest, the organisation did contact me. I guess they had to, as I was not the only one filing complaints at the rate of several a day. Some people even mailed the national and international press.
The organisation’s response: the many mishaps, problems, disasters, and even dangerous situations – about which I and others blogged during the 2014 Festival – were of course all to blame on their move to a new location.
Their only problem now being, I don’t fall for their excuse. They are an organisation which has over thirty years experience in organising this Festival with its many professional and fringe concerts. To blame a move to a “new” location is a feeble excuse. Especially, when the move was not recent. Then, there had also been trials well before the Festival started – during which plenty other and similar problems and mayhem occurred as during the Festival.
Moreover, the location is not new but was closed for an extended period during which the location was refurbished and remodelled. Apart from the large hall of Tivoli-Vredenburg, where f.i. fringe concerts took place between 12:00 and 14:00. And I am not making all this up, but basing this on talks with and remarks from audience members and various other people I met during the days I attended this Festival.
So I do not think I will risk limb and life again by attending this Festival in 2015.
As for the public voting the best Fringe ensemble: Fons Harmonicus was voted the winner; but with the flumpy voting system with which lots went wrong … My choice would have been one of the other ensembles.
My personal favourite fringe ensembles and solo performers did not receive anything but whatever coins the public dropped into their hats at the end of their concerts. Apart from the Camerata Bachiensis from Leipzig. This ensemble received one of the many other prizes. I sincerely hope the ensembles and performers I enjoyed listening to but did not win anything but what the public handed over, will not be discouraged and turn up again in 2015 for another fabulous round of fringe concerts!