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17/8/2016 / Issue #008 / Text: Quentin Threadbare

Free Fringe Festival Amsterdam A beacon in the darkness of corporate mediocrity!

‘Every year it’s a steep climb but it’s worth it for the view.’ says one of the festival diehards. A mountain of organisation goes into making it happen but for the fifth year running, Free Fringe Festival Amsterdam will present fuckloads of free fun and entertainment in the heart of our beloved city. The Free Fringe Festival Amsterdam is an extraordinary annual ten day celebration showcasing the very best of Amsterdam’s Underground Arts & Performance. This year’s festival (1–11 September) features participating artists who do sterling work in Amsterdam all year round as well as artists visiting from overseas. We have animated films from important emerging Japanese animators and from teenagers in New York. Musicians, actors and visual artists will all be strutting their funky stuff at Amsterdam venues citywide. There’ll be improv, gaming and video game inspired art. Sin Sin Collective will present a Kamishibai storytelling and exhibit graphic art and posters. In the dance programme, we are proud to be presenting work by extraordinary Italian Choreographer Elisa Zuppini as well as site specific music-and-dance improvisation by Electra Kikk and guitar player Arvind Ganga. All events during the festival are absolutely free to attend. Spread the word.

Fay’s Film Festival
In 2015 Fay’s Film Festival programmed our film and animation content, created by some of the hottest Japanese and Korean artists today. Many of these rare gems were never before screened outside of Japan. The programme included the European premiere of ‘Track’, a technically innovative Japanese animation which, a year later, went on to win the Grand Prix at Holland Animation Festival.  Building on the great success of last year, Fay’s Film Festival will again create a Dutch-Japanese exchange by presenting European premieres of emerging Japanese animation in Amsterdam as well as presenting Japanese premieres of European animations in Osaka, Japan.

Send us your Shorts!
Fay’s Film Festival Amsterdam & Japan is open for proposals until August 1st 2016! We accept films from all over the world of every genre and style. So, if you have a film or animation what are you waiting for? E-mail a link of your film via YouTube, Vimeo, WeTransfer, DropBox or any other way you can to Fay Heady at

An Interview with Roberto Bacchilega at AstaroTheatro
AstaroTheatro is a tiny but perfectly formed venue in De Wallen, ideal for readings, acoustic music and small intimate theatrical presentations, home of a monthly open podium and a meeting place for a wide community of artists and performers.
‘This year, AstaroTheatro will be a Free Fringe venue for the 4th year running – it’s a long term love affair with no crisis in sight. The philosophy of this festival perfectly matches with AstaroTheatro: alternative, experimental, non-commercial and truly free: a reaction to the cultural status quo. At our intimate free space for everybody, we try to keep the true spirit of theatre alive, theatre being an endangered species in Amsterdam these days. We’re looking forward to this year with renewed enthusiasm.’
AstaroTheatro collective is preparing a new play by Zbigniew Maciak for this year’s festival. ‘Proteus’ is inspired by a lost satyr play by Aeschylus which was performed in 458 BC together with ‘The Oresteia’. The play is a satirical take on war and the unsuccessful desire to escape it. An international cast of actors from Uruguay, Turkey and Italy are directed by Zbigniew Maciak: Roberto Bacchilega, Juan Carlos Tajes, Roberto  Genta, Elephteria Vakaki, Arif Murat Gür and Kamiel Mobach.
Roberto Bacchilega in ‘Marx is Back’ by Howard Zinn, Free Fringe 2015. Photo: Tatjana Todorovic

The Venues
Along with AstaroTheatro, many other venues featured in Amsterdam Alternative are helping to make Free Fringe Festival Amsterdam their festival. AA has done valuable work giving a focus and coherence to the disperate collection of independent artists and venues working in Amsterdam. Now, if you want to know what’s going on in the alternative scene in Amsterdam, all you have to do is open the pages of AA to be in the know.
As in previous years, De Vondelbunker ‘schuikelder voor onafhankelijke cultuur’ is ground zero and inspiration model for the festival. Badhuis Theater is a new Free Fringe venue and will be hosting a debate about Art Money and The Master Culture : “broekzak – vestzak” financiën. Why do we need an Alternative Fringe? This seminar will prise open the debate on the nature and future of Fringe and present showcase performances and screenings within its hallowed sugar walls.
De Nieuwe Anita Olga & Jeroen’s house of par-TAY, ever evolving, always open to experimentation, will be hosting improv and more. Nieuwlands, Spinhuis & De Vinse School will all be taking part this year. De Vinse School is a culturally active new school which opened its doors in Haarlemmerstraat less than a year ago and will host a young people’s art programme. Those of you who visited Vondelbunker during Free Fringe last year will definitely have noticed an enormous inflatable installation standing outside. You may have even ventured in to experience Make Senses, a uniquely sensuous performance by Irina Baldini and Dierck Roosen. Irina also performed her dance piece Palandrome last year as well as being the gracious host for Free Fringe events at 4Bid Gallery at OT301. This year, Irina Baldini & Giacomo Cardoni will curate the Free Fringe programme at 4bid Gallery. Watch this space for details.
Improvised Comedy at De Nieuwe Anita
A cast of extraordinary professional improv players and clowns will be joining forces in this amazing comedy-show with a twist. No souls more tormented than those of the ones that are supposed to make us laugh; clowns and comedians. Come have a look inside as they expose their inner selves using your suggestions. Is this supposed to be funny? FUNNY?! OF COURSE! LAUGH?! WE WILL MAKE YOU! All improvised, of course. Starring; Ton Haas, Joost van der Knaap, Ad-Just Bouwman, Mathieu van den Berk, Joscha de Boever et al.

Enter The WARP ZONE - Attention all artists!
WARP ZONE, the annual art show paying tribute to the wonderful world of video games, is now accepting proposals! The show features a collection of art pieces by artists from all over the world. Previous years have showcased artwork by artists from Tokyo, Amsterdam, New York, Australia, you name it! All forms of art are welcome in the gallery as long as they are playful or related to video games and video game culture. Examples from previous years include paintings, pixel art, bead art, maps, projection art, 3D printed sculptures, games, interactive installations and live music.
Have work you want to showcase or any questions? Don’t hesitate and send an email today to: (The deadline for proposals is 1 August 2016)

Music Music Music
This year, the music line-up is intensely varied. For those who like it noisy, there will be a night at De Vondelbunker co-programmed by SOTU & Losse Flodders whose core members will be warming up for their Organized Chaos Tour of Russia and the Baltic in September. Straight after Free Fringe they’ll be off to Warsaw, Kiev, St Petersburg, Moscow and, slightly incongruously, Leeds!
We have a splendid spoken word artist and musician Izabella Finch with her otherworldly ukulele playing. She’ll be bringing it in her hilariously honest and riveting show “An Evening with a Red Haired Goddess Named Finch”.
Virtuoso NYC Street Musician, gHSTS n gUITARS is coming to play some mellow licks, Steekvlieg, an all-girl rock band, Rellavec an amazing duo combining techno with live percussion & visuals, and (here comes the inevitable list) the magnificent Kutwijf, Rene Paes and his prehistoric jaws harp, De Grote Boodschap from Arnhem, funny and visual Dutch performers Het Rudie Kartel, Exit Sombrero, brilliant whiskey-soaked-story-telling Ukranian musician Sasha Boole, The Doppelgangers, Waltris, singer songwriter Maartje Teussink, Aquatronixx, Weaah and more, more more.
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