‘Swite site buzzes all weekend’
By Dinès Quist
LICHTENVOORDE – Beats, magical acts, poetry and a real Pride entertained the visitors at the Over de Top festival last Saturday and Sunday. The Swite grounds buzzed all weekend. Music lovers had to wait two years to go to their beloved Over the Top festival again. That the visitors were eager to experience the festival was evident from the fact that the visitor record was broken at the eleventh edition of Over de Top.
Already at the start on Saturday afternoon, the atmosphere is good. The first musicians are already making themselves heard, they are setting in motion the line of no less than 35 bands. The sun shows itself from its best side and not the smallest artists pull out in the early afternoon. On the stage next to the entrance, singer Marise gives the new guests goosebumps with sensitive Dutch songs. It does not take long before the first visitors follow the beats. Families flock to the grounds, and children run in front of their parents to the craft table, cardboard houses, and the mega bubble-bursting witch.
Not for nothing ‘Over the Top’
Known for thinking out of the box, the festival is once again living up to its name this year. Colorful, outgoing-dressed LGBTIQ people from ‘Goed Geaard’ form the Pride of Over the Top and parade across the place. With their flashy wigs, high heels and tight latex tops, they like to have their picture taken with the visitors and hand out tickets to the 06 hotline. They represent ‘Achterhoek Pride Month’, which is celebrated throughout June in East Gelre. Over de Top has also thought about sex education, because a quiz about genitals can be played. For the creative, there is also a craft corner where the precious parts of plaster can be painted according to your own wishes. Those who prefer poetry are also thought of, they can visit Poet Collective Warrig on Sunday afternoon. Poems are recited by three word artists. Visitors can also create their own magnetic poetry. The poet’s table is filled with magnetic words, devised by the organization Over de Top, from which visitors can choose their favorite words, with which they form a poetry sentence and stick it on the container. And as one would expect from an Over the Top team, the magnetic words were also something on the high side.
Festival full of surprises
The music repertoire on the four different stages is extremely diverse, so there is something for everyone. The only thing the bands have in common is that they like to color outside the lines. “That’s what we want to show,” said Nienke Penterman of the organization. “We like to think outside the box with this festival, and that includes quirky music. Not the standard music, but the music you don’t hear that often.” The music genre is very broad, for example, a bunch of reggae lovers sway in time with the congae, and teenagers go wild to Jazzalike’s party music. one of the many eateries, can only expect a magician at their table who entertains them with a card trick.Visitors looking for love can hang their photo on a ‘real Tinder clothesline’.
Everything out of the closet
This year, the organization has done everything to make their festival even more beautiful than last time. “Every year we go the extra mile,” Nienke says. “This time we have a large satellite dish, it looks cool and gives a different feeling than when you are in a tent. We also went completely crazy in coming up with fun things that we can surprise the visitors with. Every year is different, so it remains fun for the visitor, but also for us as an organization and our volunteers. We have a super nice club of two hundred volunteers, thanks to them we can realize this festival. This year it was about starting again, because we have had two years of corona silence. We love our volunteers, but it was hard to maintain the bond to each other during that period. Nevertheless, we managed to get the fire burning again, and we put all our shoulders to the wheel with undiminished enthusiasm. “
The eleventh edition of Over the Top can rightly be called a success, for the festival has never before attracted so many visitors. Despite the bad weather forecast for Sunday, more tickets were sold than in previous years. With a visitor number of around 5300, Over de Top has broken its own record. The beer sales record has also been broken. “We are very happy with the turnout, fortunately not many people were deterred by the predictions. In the end, it was not so bad with the rain, except for a heavy shower on Sunday night. There were ponchos for those who would not get wet, others loved to dance in the rain. We had flooding on one stage, but we got it fixed pretty quickly. There have been no incidents, the weekend has been super relaxed. We got compliments from first aid and safety, they have had little to do. We are more than happy, it was a great party. ”