This is the third year for me at Le Guess Who? and I can tell that this is one of the festival that everyone should see, if he/she is a music lover.
Le Guess Who? is a four days festival in Utrecht, in the Netherlands. The festival is mainly organized inside Tivoli Vrendeburg, a huge concert hall located next to the Central Train Station, but also in other clubs, bars, cinemas, theaters and museums. They host different activities, from concerts to art installations, as well as panels and different types of performances.
Le Guess Who? is not focused on a specific music genre, but rather on a specific type of people: who is not afraid to experiment, open to new musical paths and humble enough to absorb the intent and the message of every performer.
The curators’ contribution is one of the peculiarities of Le Guess Who?: each year the organization asks several famous artists to suggest a list of interesting musicians that somehow are connected to each others, and bring them at the event. It is interesting to see and understand why curators bring certain projects on stage, and how they are connected to each other.
For this year I decided to present only on five things you definitely need to do if you decided to visit Le Guess Who?:
- Listen a concert at Tivoli Vrendeburg
- Participate to a side festival
- Go to a movie preview at Springhaver
- See the art exhibitions
- Watch a concert in one of the churches in Utrecht
1. If you participate at Le Guess Who? you will most probably end up in Tivoli Vrendeuburg anyway, but except for the music, I would recommend to spend time to discover the place. The building doesn’t have a linear structure, and the enormous glass facades are giving an amazing landscape view of the city:
Tivoli Vredenburg (tivolivredenburg.nl)
2. Do you know that during Le Guess Who? run also other side events? Two talk about the most important: Lombok Festival (on Friday) and Le Mini Who (on Sunday). Lombok Festival is a cultural gathering and is organized in the so called area of Lombok, not so far from Tivoli. Le Mini Who is a festival organized in additional bars and venues in the center of Utrecht, in which you can find tons of underground bands. Both of the festivals are free, but be careful to arrive on time, otherwise you can risk not to enter into some places…
Lombok Festival (leguesswho.nl)
3. During this year I discovered that a series of underground movies and documentaries were programmed at the Springhaver, an independent movie theater closed to the Conservatorium. From the list, I had the change to see the documentary Glenn Copeland – a transgender black artist that fought the whole life against prejudice and for his music:
4. There are several exhibitions spread around the city as well. From installation into churches and parks, to classical exhibitions as in Central Museum. One of the most interesting for me was Elegy, a commemorative performance project by South African artist Gabrielle Goliath: in several screens a group of female vocal performers mourn without stopping, as a single individual.
5. There are a couple of churches that works as concert halls during Le Guess Who? It is quite intimate and sacred to listen to music there, especially when is a type of music that you never hear in kind of place. I had the chance to see Visible Cloaks, Yoshio Ojima & Satsuki Shibano in Janskerk and the place, together with the lights, turned the concert into a dreamy experience.
Of course, never forget to take a look at the city itself and go to as many concerts as possible. In Le Guess Who? you have the chance to discover so many new genres, ideas and movements that you will for sure be inspired