Imagine having an entire island to express all your creativity, with no boundaries whatsoever.
How it all started :
Oerol is a cultural festival held in Terschelling in the Netherlands, every year in June. The festival uniquely celebrates live, public theatre as well as music and art. In the Terschelling dialect, Oerol means ‘everywhere’ or literally ‘overall’ in the sense of covering the entire land. Oerol takes its name from an old Terschelling tradition, when for a short time in early spring, cattle were allowed to roam freely on the island, grazing on any and all available greenery. The oerol tradition continued until the arrival of paved roads, as cars and bicyclists collided at night with sleeping cattle; it was finally ended during the German occupation of the island during World War II.
The festival was started by Joop Mulder, the barkeeper of Café de Stoep on the island in the early 1970s. He organised monthly concerts accompanied by poetry, theater, and visual arts and, in June 1982, he created the first Oerol street festival.
About the festival :
During the festival, the beautiful island of Terschelling turns into a vibrant stage for all kinds of installations, dance performances, various kinds of theater and music in all their glorious forms for a total of ten days. There are some proper stages as well, most notably the Groene Strand, the most beautiful live music stage in the Netherlands. The Strand is known particularly for its brilliant live music performances. The other stage, Westerkeyn, is the community hub of the festival, a place where attendees share stories and beers.
Not a lot of festivals are known to successfully take over an entire island but the Oerol Festival actually does! The inhabitants, bars and pubs of Terschelling join in the festive atmosphere by pitching in their own talents. Local artists, musicians and dramatists guarantee a thrilling time. More than just fun, Oerol plays an important role in coaching dramatists and in helping them develop their talent.
Why you need to go :
The festival is the perfect cultural congregation for you to meet insanely creative people. Thousands flock to it every year from every odd part of the world. In 2007 the festival was attended by around 50,000 people. You can also see a lot of spontaneous creations such as art installations and performances by people who just met at the festival!
The festival hosts a ton of events all day, so the the fear of missing out on some really good acts and performances might be your number one worry . The best idea is to just completely soak in the stimulating environment and breathe in every facet of it, because no matter where you are on the island, you are going to be experiencing something life changing. Attending the festival is in itself being part of a fantastic work of art.
Here, the line between the performer and the spectator is frequently blurred and just for this rare experience, we recommend that everyone who loves any kind of art to attend this festival at least once.