Het Jordaan festival is a three-day-long musical street party held every year in the Amsterdam Jordaan district. Before you read any further, I think it fair to mention that the festival is pretty much a Dutch affair with Dutch musicians singing in Dutch. A lot of it is nostalgia, remembering how it used to be, living in the Jordaan etc. The Jordaan once was the cultural centre of working-class Amsterdam; it produced its own style of music heavily influenced by the local’s original geographic backgrounds. Many had south European ancestors. Their music is emotional, nostalgic and territorial. When their ancestors settled there, they made the area home; it was a close-knit society.
Now few of them still live there, and now it is a trendy area, full of students, artists and the professional young. Even as they were called, the old Jordan have all moved out of Amsterdam to the surrounding towns of Purmerend, Almere and Lelystad. The last cities have been build in the late 70ties early eighties and are spacious and green, including the houses. The Jordaan is not; it is almost devoid of any greenery whatsoever, and living quarters were cramped.
But once a year, somewhere in September, they all leave their comfortable suburban houses and return once more to the place they grew up and sing the old songs and meet the old friends and neighbours and try to relive a little of what was lost.
But it’s not only them that celebrate; their children do as well, and so do many others from all over The Netherlands to get together for a good sing-along. Tourists are welcome as well; the beer and white wine flow freely, and no shit ever happens.
The festival also has a winter edition.
The winter edition is held indoors, not as much fun, but it also only lasts one day and is not free. The date is the 12th of March (soon), it costs 22.50 or 27.50 at the door, and its location is Hemkade 48 Zaandam, not even in Amsterdam. Zaandam lies about 10km to the northwest of the city. Click on the poster for further info.
The festival’s organizer is a man named Jan de Bie, who has been organizing the event for the last 35 years. The location has recently changed from the Westermarkt (western market) to the Appeltjesmarkt (appel market).
For those who want to see the pictures or read Dutch, we have the following link available. www.jordaanfestival.nl
The Jordaan festival is free of charge and will in 2011 be held on the 16th, 17th and 18th of September!