This year, pop festival Popronde will call in at 41 Dutch cities, including Wageningen – as usual. Bachelor’s student Tijn Bonnemaijers is involved in organising the event for the third time in a row; for WUR employee Melanie van den Bosch, it is the first encounter.
© Anne van der Heijden
Popronde is a free, travelling music festival which allows the 41 participating cities to choose from a selection of starting bands and new talent. On Thursday 27 September, 29 emerging bands and artists will perform on 18 stages. There were 148 acts to choose from this year, says Bonnemaijers. ‘Hip-hop, rock, indie, singer-songwriters; there are acts from pretty much every music genre.’ Van den Bosch: ‘If it were up to us, we would have ten additional locations. There were many acts we were unable to book because we do not have sufficient locations.’
They eventually managed to plan 29 acts between 16:00 and 04:00. ‘Cafes, restaurants; we asked all establishments with draught to join in.’ Even shops like the Gelderse IJzerhandel and HEMA are joining in. The HEMA will enjoy additional spotlights. ‘This year will be our first official kick-off. The festival will be opened by the new municipal councillor of Culture, Anne Janssen; the opening will take place at 16:00 at the HEMA’, says Bonnemaijers.
Bonnemaijers are Van den Bosch are active members of Popcultuur Wageningen, the association that organises events such as the Popronde. The aim of Popcultuur is to offer emerging bands a stage to perform. This is exactly what Popronde does, which is why it fits in perfectly with Popcultuur Wageningen’, Van den Bosch explains. ‘This means that the bands performing might be tomorrow’s big names.’
What she particularly likes about the Popronde is the way the entire town turns out. ‘It is great for everybody to be able to come together; music truly is a connecting factor. International students who just arrived and people who have been living in Wageningen forever all attend.’ Bonnemaijers: ‘The gap that many people speak of so often, the gap between the people of WUR and the inhabitants of Wageningen, can be reduced this way. On a side note, I personally don’t really believe in that gap: the similarities always outweigh the differences.’