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Last May 5 we played with Kayak at the liberation festival in Groningen. A huge event with over 130,000 visitors. Not all of them had come for us, OK, but we happened to be there, yes! Spread over no less than six stages, all kinds of artists, bands and hip-hoppers warmed themselves and the audience. It was well organized, a bit wet and cold (playing the piano at 6 degrees is definitely a challenge) but fun to do something like that again - we rarely play at festivals because the undersigned resides elsewhere in the summer months.

When I looked at the line-up of the festival, I noticed at least one thing: I did not know one of all the performing acts (and there were many). Well, I had heard vague about a band, MyBaby, but I knew it, no. The two main stages mainly featured rappers and hip-hoppers doing their thing. I wouldn't know the difference between the two, but I have never delved into it. After May 5 I decided to keep it that way. So a real liberation day.

When we arrived at the main stage I thought there was something wrong with my car, but after getting out to look under the hood the noise turned out to be caused by the bass of the rapper / hiphopper on duty. As a result of this noise, I already found my kidneys in the back of my throat after a few minutes and my kneecaps spontaneously turned a quarter of a turn. Sometimes a tough gesticulating male shouted (or raped?) Something completely unintelligible, which seemed to be received with great enthusiasm by the crowd on the field. On that huge stage, where three orchestras could easily have been, no musician was involved: everything you heard was just on a USB stick. I understand that they drive overpriced cars with overpriced Rolexes on their wrists: the fees are astronomically high and the costs minimal.

I immediately got deep admiration for the musically afflicted security guards and helpful regulators who spent the whole day there, and when we reported there tried to explain to us above the noise where exactly we should be. Not with the two main stages, that was clear to us: those locations were intended for a different category, a different generation, a future that we have not been part of for some time.

Perhaps I should further refrain from further cynical remarks, because I don't have to like it either: it is not meant for me. I don't have to understand it, if there is anything to understand at all. Times have changed, the masses no longer want to see a splattering band with passionate musicians and their own music. The big examples and at the same time big earners are Li'l Kleine, rapper Boef, Ollekebolleke Rebusolleke or whatever that man may be called, and one Kraantje Pappie (who was the main act in Groningen). No dear mother helps with that. They sometimes say: every nation gets the government it deserves. This is no different in music land: every audience gets the artists it deserves. And who am I to find something of that? At the most I am happy that I grew up in the sixties and seventies.


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