Final name festival

Foto by Ruben van Vliet


European Youth Music Festival in Sneek gets it's final name ‘At the Watergate’


The 13th edition of the European Youth Music Festival (EYMF) will take place in 2018 in Sneek and it's surrounding areas under the name "At the Watergate". During a press conference on Friday in Theater Sneek the name, logo, website and partners and sponsors of the event were unveiled. The festival will be held from Tuesday May 8th through May 11th, 2018.


Lieuwe Toren, managing director of Cultural Quarter Sneek, presented Friday in Theater Sneek the name and logo of the international festival and revealed the partners and sponsors of "At the Watergate".


Lieuwe Toren: "In addition to contributing to the festival as one of the main sponsors, Rabobank will also create an 'Instrument Fund' whereby children can rent an instrument at a lower cost. This will remove a major financial obstacle for many young people and allow them to make music".


On Wednesday, May 9th "At the Watergate" will officially open in a spectacular manner at the Watergate in Sneek. Ben van der Knaap, artistic director of "At the Watergate," presented a few facts and figures: 60,000 visitors, 7000 participants from 23 countries, 49 performance venues, 650 concerts, 234 busses and 61,000 meals.


At the press conference, Oeds Westerhof (Leeuwarden-Friesland 2018) and Miriam Baker (Alderwoman for Culture for the Municipality of Southwest-Friesland) went into further details about the importance of the festival for the region. Westerhof called the festival a catalyst for music education and indicated that, in addition to this project the organisation "Leeuwarden-Friesland 2018" would be turning it's attention towards providing a platform for the amateur Arts.


Alderwoman Bakker stressed the importance of "At the Watergate" for the city of Sneek and it's surrounding area, not only for the economy, tourism and hospitality, but in particular for the culture.


During "At the Watergate" a number of side-events will take place, including "Walking Jazz" whereby participating musicians will visit the various hospitality establishments in Sneek. Prior to the festival on Tuesday, May 8th and Wednesday May 9th, there will be a large conference at the Culture Quarter Sneek. Some 550 representatives from European arts education will come together to discuss the importance of music education. In the name of the Conference, a statement underscoring this importance will be directed at politicians.


In addition, there will also be fringe programming with primary and secondary education in Sneek and it's surroundings. Anne Oosterhaven, project-leader of this segment of the program talked about the legacy of the festival to inspire the formation of more school orchestras/bands.


Cities such as Budapest, Barcelona and Trondheim have previously hosted the European Youth Music Festival. Last May, the event took place in San Sebastian. The 13th edition "At the Watergate" will be a part of "Leeuwarden-Friesland 2018". Student Michael Vossenberg visited the festival as a young musician in San Sebastian last May. He gave his recommendation to the organization that it was important to arrange more meetings between orchestras/bands as well as more possibilities for the musicians to watch other performances. By concentrating the festival around the Watergate in Sneek, the work group hopes to create precisely these types of opportunities for the participants.