Enjoyment outside the box

Marloes Tervoort, Wednesday, October 16, 2013

With a twenty year tradition, the Crossing Border festival has gained a huge international reputation. Rufus Wainwright and Patti Smith performed on stage in 2007. Robert Kaplan performed at the new festival component Border Sessions, where writers and philosophers share their views of the world, in 2012. For me, the best thing about Crossing Border is the mix of established artists and new talents.

The challenge is to see it all. It requires some carefully planned logistics to see your favourites and still have space for some spontaneous surprises. To start with you need to pick a location: the festival started in The Hague but has already expanded to Enschede in the east of Holland and Antwerp in Belgium. The programme in these cities overlaps to some extent but not every band plays in every city. So you need to spend some time studying the programme. If the huge offering makes you nervous, you can of course simply pick one big act and then go wherever the mood takes you.

As always, Crossing Border sold out quickly last year. One of the festival highlights was First Aid Kit, a Swedish folk duo composed of sisters dressed in 1970s hippie dresses singing close vocal harmonies. It is also the perfect festival for simply walking around and people-watching. It draws a slightly older crowd on average but that makes for a nice and relaxed atmosphere.

These days I listen to the Crossing Borders playlist on Spotify on a regular basis. It is the perfect way to get a first impression or listen to some of your older favourites. But the best advice I can give you is to get your tickets on time!