Festivals – 6 projects selected

Six applications have been awarded grants in the fourth round of Festivals Creative Industries in 2020. Coordinator Anouk Laverge reflects on this extra round.

27 January 2021

We all know that 2020 was an extremely difficult year for festivals. As a result of the coronavirus measures, many organizations were faced with the choice of rescheduling, modifying or cancelling their festival. This was also noticeable in the three planned subsidy rounds of the Festivals grant programme. Because there was budget underspending in these rounds, the Fund decided to include an extra round. This fourth and final round of 2020 was organized in particular for festivals taking place during 2021.

The Fund took 14 applications into consideration in this round. Given the current situation, the advisory committee expected the COVID-19 reality to be incorporated into the plans, as far as possible. Six applications received a positive evaluation:

  • Ecologisch Theater Rotterdam – The aim of this garden festival is to make a physical contribution to the ecosystem, and to inform the public about this contribution. Besides the physical intervention in the form of designed temporary festival gardens, initiator Coöperatie Stek wants to reflect on our relationship with nature and the role of design.
  • INDIGO 2021 – Every year, with INDIGO, the Dutch Game Garden brings the work of Dutch game developers to the attention of international publishers, platform holders, press and influencers. The 2021 edition will be a hybrid event, with a digital base.
  • Kaboom Animation Festival 2021 – Kaboom Animation Festival aims to position animation as a medium that plays an essential and interpretive role in the changing and growing media landscape. The programme includes a VR competition, an AR exhibition, games, panels and discussions on cross-media projects and master classes.
  • POW! WOW! Rotterdam – For 10 days in September, Rotterdam will be dedicated to street art. POW! WOW! Rotterdam introduces a broad and diverse audience to the art form and its innovations.
  • Rewire 2021 – This international festival focuses annually on innovative music and sound art. Rewire presents a broad programme with a focus on the artistic vanguard in contemporary electronic music, new jazz, experimental pop, sound art and modern composed music.
  • Spread Zinefest – For 10 days, the Groningen festival Spread Zinefest will bring attention to self-published art and the making, distribution and exhibition of books, zines and prints by means of a zine market, zine library, workshops, lectures and various events.
Rewire 2021

diversity and inclusion
In the context of diversity and inclusion – a subject to which the Fund attaches special importance – the application for Rewire stands out. The music festival actively stimulates new hybrids and crossovers with other art disciplines. The organization is investing in the development of a new outreach programme: an extensive programme that takes a customized look at how a new target group can be involved in the festival. According to the applicant, Unfold Foundation, other stories, backgrounds and worlds enrich the look of the festival. Furthermore, society has changed and Rewire is convinced that the festival should actively relate to this society. In 2021, for instance, Rewire also wants to reach visitors for whom consuming art and culture is a less obvious activity to engage in.

The budget available for this extra subsidy round was € 200,000. With 6 positively approved applications out of the 14 that were considered, the percentage of applications receiving grants comes to 43%.

As of January 2021, the Fund has entered a new policy period. As a result, all the grant programmes have been reviewed and updated. For the new Festivals Grant Programme, the Fund has decided to await the developments surrounding COVID-19 in the first few months of the year. The new grant programme for festivals, which places more emphasis on regional distribution, will be published in the second quarter. The first deadline is in April. Until that time, festivals can make use of the Design, Architecture and Digital Culture grant programmes.