Utrecht Early Music Festival 2016 part 11: on the inability to cover all

Being unable to split into four or more parts, I do miss a lot of the fringe concerts. Not that this is all my fault. The organisation manages to schedule four fringe concerts starting at the same time on several days. On the other hand, they also occasionally manage to schedule just one or two at 14:00. Usually, the limited choice occurs for venues for which limited tickets are available.

Early Music Festival banner 001

The entrance hall of Tivoli-Vredenburg, Utrecht

Not every Early Music freak or nerd happens to live in the centre of Utrecht. Two or three festivals before the current 35th edition, I met someone from Limburg. That’s the most southern province of the lowlands.

The guy had travelled by train up to Utrecht on the last Sunday of that particular festival. In case you’re already bored: such a journey takes close to three hours. Before catching the train, he had played the organ in a local church during the Sunday morning service. He needed to be back in Limburg at another church to play the organ at that church’s evening service which started at 18:00. So he had just enough time to visit the Early Music Market and one concert. That was his festival experience.

Last year, I received a mail after the 2015 festival. Why I had missed the fringe concert of a particular artist or group. Well, I’m sorry but I can’t split into four or more parts. Furthermore, I do have other cultural commitments. Then I also do not live in Utrecht and do not earn the kind of money to be able to rent a B&B.

Yes, there are people who camp on campsite or have a bed in a youth hostel in the Utrecht area and cycle into town during the festival. There are others who stay with family or friends. Many like me, travel up and down – as do plenty of the musicians with their instruments. When I lived as far away from Utrecht as the Limburg guy, I used to save my holidays and book a hotel. But with none of the Dutch or foreign broadcasting businesses interested in me covering the festival and especially the fringe concerts on a paid basis, you will only find posts about the fringe concerts I manage to attend – sorry!.


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