The Over het IJ Festival finally finds the IJ

It’s back: the festival heart of the Over het IJ Festival, on it’s new location. You can meet up with your friends and discuss the performances you’ve visited overlooking the IJ.

Noord’s annual cultural highlight has moved, albeit just 50 meters, and still on the NDSM docklands. Tradionally the festival was close to the NDSM ferry landing, but after complaints about last year’s lack of a real festival heart, a new site was found, right next to Pllek restaurant.

2016 Over het IJ 4

This looks to be the best and final solution: a festival court enclosed by the containers that contribute to the festival’s renown. The court opens to the IJ, where you can sit nipping your white wine, poring over the program folder or gazing over the IJ waters to the other side of Amsterdam, which admittedly has much to offer, but not an Over het IJ Festival.

7300 gallons of water
The festival is Amsterdam’s version of Terschelling’s Oerol Festival. Instead of theater productions in forests or on beaches, you’ll find them here in old industrial buildings or on vacant area’s near the IJ. The regular program offers spectacular productions from theater companies like Orkater and Bog. The Lampedusa production, for example, in an old ship warf engine house, is advertised as 360° musical theatre by three singers, four musicians, one choir and 7300 gallons of water.

2016 Over het IJ 2


Of course, as festivals go, there is much more apart from the regular program. The container program (small, short performances) as a rule offers many surprises. Also, as usual there’s much room for young talent. The Quarter Makers present their insights into several quarters of Amsterdam Noord, which you can visit by bicycle.

2016 Over het IJ 3


Returning to the festival heart you can hear live music, see outside cinema screenings, or, to return into your mindful groove, do yoga. Which might well bring you back to where you started: nipping wine, gazing over the IJ waves, which mindfully follow their own trajectory, oblivious of cultural manifestations.

The Over het IJ Festival started yesterday and runs until July, 17th. This is the English website.