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The Origin of Gatherings: Why We Do What We Do

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12:45 - 13:30
DeLaMar Theater (D8 Panel Room) | Marnixstraat 402, Amsterdam

We are all one. It might not seem obvious at first given the rich diversity of cultures, languages, histories and religions the world encompasses. But when thousands of people are together in one place, dancing to music that moves them, a feeling of unity takes over the crowd. Music is a universal language, a powerful instrument for bringing people together, something that has been the case since time immemorial, dating back to seasonal gatherings in ancient times, carnivals, Woodstock and the Summer of Love through to Burning Man and the current popularity of large live events.

Coming together to celebrate is as old as mankind. In every part of the world, ceremonial gatherings are part of the local culture, and in the case of festivals, there is no difference. But what drives us to come together and celebrate? What role do festivals and music events play in society?

This panel features some of the worlds’ most revolutionary event organisers talking about the deeper reason behind why they do what they do, and exploring what their intrinsic motivations are when creating these gatherings. For some it is the money, for some it is because they are plugged in to an artistic network, others want to create something special with their friends or create moments that are both transcendental and memorable. But shouldn’t it be more than this? And if yes, what? Should festivals have a lasting social impact, because they connect people all over the world? Should they use this power to become more political or social as in previous decades? Or is creating that moment of collective joy the most important thing of all?!

Barry McGuire (AU)
Representative of the Ancient Balladong/Wadjuk people of the Nyungar Nation

Fritz Windish (Garbicz Festival, DE)
Head of production

Pip Rush Jansen (Arcadia Spectacular, GB)

Wouter Tavecchio (Q-dance, NL)

Moderator: Cyrus Bozorgmehr (FR)
Creative consultant

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