Cheers people. Well fucken done.
There are quite a few hangovers slouching around Amsterdam this Monday afternoon. Including mine.
The Amsterdam Fringe wrap party carried on until 5am. Over 1 000 fishbowls of gin & tonic were sold at the Fringe Theatre bar over the last 11 days, and probably about a third of them were consumed last night.
Artists, volunteers and organisers didn’t hold back. It was a jol.
Actually, the entire 11 days of fringe was an extended jol, starting with nervous excitement, running through an exhaustive range of emotion that ranged from exhiliration to despair, topped with a fraternal love among a welcoming tribe of people who think about life, discuss it, get excited about it, shout about it, cry about it, get despondent about it, and then dare to do something about it.
They’re a tribe with an anarchic streak, who are willing to bend and break the rules, take chances. People who won’t settle for corporate shackles, who shout at the system, shout at each other, dry each others’ tears and keep on going. Fringe is where they congregate, whether it be in Amsterdam, Grahamstown, Cape Town, Brighton, Prague, Perth or elsewhere. National boundaries are but a detail.
There’s a lot of sharing of ideas, swopping of techniques, hatching of hybrids. There’s a lot of dissection, mixing, matching and recreation going on. There’s a lot of love, a lot of mutual respect. It’s an exciting place to be. It almost feels like there’s a gathering fringe momentum. The establishment channels aren’t quite wide enough, and with the ever-shrinking funding for arts and humanities, in tandem with our ability – thanks to the interwebs and stuff – to take control of the means of production, creative people are taking the risk and putting their work, naked and vulnerable, into the arena Fringe creates. Doing that takes courage. But better to die trying, resurrect yourself and try again than slowly disappear beneath the crushing monolith of crap that gets shovelled out as popular culture.
So here’s to the brave. You did it again, you fucken amazing people.
— Steve Kretzmann