At the Watergate opened with a spectacular Kolk concert

Sneek, 10 May


View here an impression of the atmosphere.



Music festival At the Watergate is opened on Wednesday 9 May in Sneek with a spectacular concert near the Waterpoort. On a large, floating stage a range of artists performed, including the Noorderlijk Orkest Collective and the 15-year-old violin virtuoso Enzo Kok. Before the opening ceremony almost 10,000 people gathered around De Kolk, including the 6,000 young musicians from all over Europe who will play at At the Watergate. The spectators enjoyed the stage from the quay and boats.


The opening of the thirteenth edition of the European Youth Music Festival (EYMF), which was brought to Waterpoortstad by Cultuur Kwartier Sneek and was renamed At the Watergate, started at 8.30 pm and lasted two hours.


First of all, European guests were welcomed in an Olympic way. Speaking master of service Bart Meijer and Michiel Eijsbouts named the twenty participating countries. Led by drum and show fanfare Advendo from Sneek, the long procession of participants walked towards De Kolk to take place at the quay. In the meantime, Parademakers carried the country flags on stage. The parade makers are all students from MUZT Musical Training in Sneek. During the festival they will announce the participants at the stages.


The Noordelijk Orkest Collectief then performed under the direction of the famous conductor Harmen Cnossen, who once made his first musical steps at the then music school in Sneek (now: Arts Center Atrium). The core of the orchestra consists of KamerFilharmonie Der Aa, supplemented by musicians from music schools in the north of the Netherlands and Ost Friesland / Northern Germany. The orchestra was made possible by Interreg Deutschland / Nederland.


The audience was treated to a varied repertoire. After the official festivaltune of At the Watergate, performed by singers and dancers from MUZT, varied classical and popular work followed, among others 'Danse Macabre', 'Stride La Vampa', 'Viva La Vida' by Coldplay, 'Somebody to Love' Queen and Europe's 'Final Countdown'. Filmmusic from among others James Bond and Pirates of the Caribbean was also played. During the closing 'Grande Port Kiev' video projections were shown on the Waterpoort and confetti was shot in the middle of the water.


Several soloists performed with the orchestra: Enzo Kok, Erica Yong, the 10-year-old Ripley Looye, Marvin Kneefel and Margriet van Reisen.


Executive producer Margus Spekker looks back on a successful opening:
"When we started preparations a year and a half ago, the starting point was to give all participants an unforgettable entrance. For the thousands of musicians, the opening would be the moment that they are all together; from Thursday they will blow over the dozens of stages. Because of the rise in Olympic style in an arena-like setting they really felt that they were also part of a fantastic spectacle, without having to play on their instrument. We also wanted to involve local society. For example, Advendo and MUZT Musical education have been given a prominent role. Everyone present experienced something unique together. "

EMU conference

Prior to the opening, a congress of the European Music School Union (EMU), spiritual father of the EYMF, took place in Theater Sneek on Wednesday. During the international meeting, various themes related to music education were discussed and the participants discussed the importance of music in different stages of life. At the end of the congress, a letter of intent was signed for 'More Music in the Klas Friesland': structural music education for all children in Friesland. The paraphrases were set by Douwe Zeldenrust (director Keunstwurk), Oeds Westerhof (ambassador Méér Music in the Classroom), Jantien Westerveld (director Méér Muziek in de Klas), Johan Meesters (school director) and Pytsje de Graaf (alderman of the municipality of Dongeradeel).