LAREN – The first edition of Mañana Mañana at Oolde Castle in Laren has been a resounding success. The varied terrain forms a beautiful backdrop and lends itself perfectly to the atmosphere of perhaps the most relaxed festival in the Netherlands. The weather played wonderfully with, making it a great place to stay on the extensive property. Organization and owners are excited about the collaboration. For the public, it tastes of more.
By Henri Bruntink
Mañana Mañana is suitable for all ages. Due to the spacious decor it is never too full, the queues for bars and eateries are usually not so bad and there is always a place to sit or lie down. And unlike other festivals. the space is not filled with plastic cups and other waste. The many bins – with the inscription: ‘For the purpose of mañana’ – and the decency of the visitors do their work.
Lots of variety
Program-wise, the festival offers a lot of variety, just like during the pre-corona editions. Music and theater ensure that there is always something to experience in several places. It is impossible to see everything, but the visitor really encounters everything. For example, Pieter Post with the performance ‘De Schildpad’ with the motto: ‘Doing nothing is hard work’. Or the Flemish Herman and Rosita’s Recycle Theater, where you can experience how a crutch, in the sense of a walking aid, acts as a whistle.
On the stages in the Veranda, the Tipi tent and in the Totem Pelt tent, solid rock and occasional excesses with several beats dominated. But an outlier, in a qualitative sense, were the jazz sounds of the trio Montis, Goudsmit and Directie. Judging by the public response, Hilltop Howlers, The Sonic Dawn and The Holy were also much appreciated.
Art gangs were, as usual, also represented. This time, this year’s winners and the two previous years performed on their own stage. Because of the corona, the winners of recent years have never had the opportunity to present themselves to the public before. Kunstbende made his own video recordings on the spot. These are shown on youtube.com/Kunstbende.
Ronnie Degen from Feestfabriek / Alles Komt Goed BV was satisfied on Sunday evening with the course of the first edition after corona and at the new location. It’s literally just around the corner for him personally. He says: “Sometimes I go for a walk around here with my wife. Then we visit Oolde regularly. My wife pointed to this site at one point and said, “Why are you not doing this here?” It made me think. In April last year, I got in touch with residents Robert and Cathrien Croll. They were looking for opportunities to put Oolde on the map. ”
Inhabitants of Laren
The 2021 edition could not continue, but contact had been made and now the time had come. Ronnie Degen says he is very happy to look back on Thursday night. “We invited all residents of Laren to come and watch. 2000 people participated. I saw many smiling faces and got many positive reactions at the location. Many residents of Laren were not familiar with this area, like myself. The variety with forest, water and open field is really great, ”he says. Part of the estate is also publicly available. Hikers can reach it from Ooldselaan.
The organization saw more than 27,000 paying visitors pass the cash register. Still a few thousand fewer than before in Vorden, but that is not a bad result for a festival that changes location. Day tickets were always available so no one was disappointed. On Friday afternoon, many guests were present to experience the atmosphere of Mañana Mañana, including the King’s Commissioner in Gelderland, John Berends, and the President of the Security Region and Mayor of Apeldoorn, Ton Heerts. On behalf of Lochem Municipality, the new councilors Marja Eggink and Wendy Goodin were present. Like mayors in neighboring municipalities.
Ronnie Degen hopes to be able to continue in this place after consulting with the Croll family. “We want to invest here together. There are still some areas for improvement, such as WiFi and data connections. “Poor or even no coverage in terms of mobile phones was actually the most frequently heard complaint from visitors. They were also almost unanimously enthusiastic about the festival and the location. The atmosphere was good to happy, as among a group of 6 people who had official festival jerseys printed: ‘Just one more’. “And you can maintain that for a very long time,” said one of them.
Owner Robert Croll indicated that he started the adventure ‘by squeezing his buttocks’. On top of that, almost 10,000 people in your backyard are nothing either. “My wife and I found it really exciting. But I have to say we thought it was a great experience. The visitors are generally very jovial and friendly. We received compliments and thanks from people from the neighborhood as well as from other parts of the country. “
According to Croll, ‘authorities’ such as the King’s Commissioner and administrators from the region also reacted very enthusiastically. “And the officials advising the mayor of Lochem on security and nature conservation loved it, too,” Croll said. Some Friday afternoon invitees returned over the weekend, with or without their families, to enjoy the atmosphere incognito.
“In principle, the positive reactions and our own enthusiasm are a reason to continue. Also because the collaboration with the organization is amazing. Still, we would like to await a broad evaluation before giving the final green light for next time. For example, I would like to know what plans there are for when it rains heavily for a few days. We love Mañana Mañana, but we love Oolde even more, ”says Robert Croll. To add: “My wife and I really do this together and keep asking each other, what do you think about it now?”
Finally, if it continues, Robert and Cathrien Croll would like to make the partnership work even more for the benefit of the estate. “We are working on a friends’ fund for Oolde, and Feestfabriek has an address file that makes you run in water. We want to reap the benefits of that. It fits into a partnership like this.”
The arrival of Mañana Mañana means for Lochem the extension of its status as a ‘festival municipality’. Lochem’s reputation was given a huge boost in the years between 1968 and 1986 by the pop festival, which was then held in the open-air theater.