Welcome to the Retrospective on the Holland Festival

Emily Ansenk, general director

The 73rd edition of the Holland Festival did not go as planned. The corona pandemic left us no other choice but to cancel the programme as originally intended.

This, while the festival’s theme In pursuit of the we – which came from associate artist Bill T. Jones – proved to be particularly relevant at a time when we were all expected to stay home and keep our distance.

In our search for a common ‘we’, and in order to provide a stage for the artists already selected from all across the world, we made a special online programme: Holland Festival 2.0-2.0. Hence, the theme was appropriately expanded to be: In pursuit of the we – in times of social distancing.

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Associate Artist
Bill T. Jones

Since 2019, a part of the festival programme is realised through a close collaboration with one or two artists from outside the Netherlands. This past year, the festival allied itself with Bill T. Jones, a versatile artist who has been a major force in both classical and modern dance and performance for many years. After having devoted much of his past work to the individual, the interests and rights of communities and big themes like racism and Aids, Jones’ gaze shifted to what connects people. Referencing the gospel song text ‘We shall overcome’ and ‘We, the People’ from the American Constitution, Jones called this search ‘In pursuit of the we’ during the run-up to the festival. This was his response to social and political developments in the United States, where he saw social fragmentation and polarisation to be on the rise.

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after movie

Programme 2.0-2.0

The online Holland Festival programme that took place from 11 through 21 June, after the original programme was cancelled.

Below is a selection of videos.

Bill T. Jones

Michael League

Calliope Tsoupaki, Wiek Hijmans

TALK.SHOW: Het praat-programma

bitter/sweet: lucie horsch, orkest van de achttiende eeuw, cappella amsterdam

I Know: Bill T. Jones, Ruben van Leer

The full programme in chronological order →


The Just and the Blind

‘In this incredibly well-made and topical two-part piece [...] Joseph, together with the composer and violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain (49) and the dancer Drew Dollar (31) – fathers all three – closely follows the lives of three Black boys. [...] The music ascends, chafes and whines but also laughs and sounds just as lively and eager as the teenage boys’ energy’.

- Annette Embrechts, Theaterkrant

Drei Schwestern

‘We’re looking at a performance set in a time that does not exist. Beautifully conceived, complexly performed’.

- Kester Freriks, Theaterkrant


‘Next, Horsch plays Brüggen’s fictional Bach concerto with a seriously light touch, and with the near irony of an acquired ease that is the reward for a job well done. That’s what it sounds like, the resistance, powerless in all its superiority, against the tyranny of inclusion. It’s what’s known as great art. Condemned to criteria, struck down by criteria, defended by the best musicians we have in a symbolically empty room. The deeply moved soul screams’.

- Bas van Putten, De Groene Amsterdammer


‘[...] a four-minute ode to the liberal and modern Middle East of the sixties’.

- Jan Pieter Ekker, Het Parool

The Murder of Halit Yozgat

‘The opera really gets under your skin. [...] Initially, what is depicted is nearly incomprehensible, but in parallel with the cafe’s dismantling, Frost opens up his menacing, Meshugga-like noise, and the tone becomes elegiac. Even though the excellent vocalists constantly switch roles, you progressively catch on to what’s happening’.

- Joep Stapel, NRC


Memories of My Body

Very, very beautiful, this film, thanks so much for streaming it!

- Margaret Jagger

The motown project

Everyone must watch the motown project by Alicia Hall Moran. She lays bare the intersectionality of Blackness. There is so much beauty and color and movement and joy and pain and longing and love. This is pure genius.

- Steven Herring

Drei Schwestern

I'm so much in love with this "circular time" concept!

- Sandra Veprauska

The Murder of Halit Yozgat

Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful experience. I had the honour of seeing Forensic Architecture presentation in BAK last year about the murder of Halit Yozgat and this opera added strongly to it. Digital applause for the whole team of this opera!

- Henry Alles

Is there a we?

Thank you for the "We" experience and thanks to all for all the sharing. Bon cos!(great stuff) Love all the advices of Bill T.Jones and I celebrated the "we" closing with your dance! #namaste

- Wilma Kuiperi-Jansen

The Just and the Blind

Thank you so much..!! It was very, very interesting....!!

- Maria Van Overbeek


Fantastisch initiatief!

- Ruud van den Berg


Amazing, outstanding , breathtaking 👌🏻💖💖💖 I love it. Thank you for creating such an amazing masterpiece 💖💖💖

- Seyma Kadin Uskal

facts & figures


35 productions

These contain:

5 exchanges of

4 films

1 installation

1 interactive
  film project

1 live conversation

1 live stream and

1 live quiz via zoom

2 masterclasses

1 online portrait/

1 online

2 online exhibitions

5 podcasts

3 streamings

1 telephone

7 texts

9 music videos

4 visuals

3 performance

1 work in progress
  music video


visitors / views

Holland Festival

217.314 page views

42.718 visitors

62% women, 38% men

66% < 45 years old

60% Dutch

40% international

Holland Festival


14.200 visitors

50% men, 50% women

60% Dutch

40% international

Music video ONE Sami Yusuf

339.213 views (end of October 2020)


7 world premieres




38 presentations

11 daily introductions

27 announcements/introductions

CAMPAIGN 2.0-2.0

About the campaign

This year, the Holland Festival 2.0-2.0 campaign required a completely different approach from that in past years. The regular outdoor campaigns with posters in the Randstad, the recognisable city dressing in Amsterdam and advertisements for performances in theatre and concert venues, were no longer suitable in times of corona.

Besides the regular newsletters with updates on the modified online programme, we are focussing specifically through social media on a younger target audience between 20 and 34 years old with an interest in arts and culture. In eleven days’ time, over 7,000 visitors registered on a special landing page on the website through this campaign. They were given daily updates, teasers and trailers were made specifically for this target group and the design and tone of voice were geared towards this target group.

Audience reach

Visitors subsequently found the Holland Festival 2.0-2.0 online programme easy to find. The festival was able to reach both a familiar and a large new and younger audience. From 9 through 21 June, a total of 42,718 people visited 217,314 pages on the festival website. 62% of these were women, 38% men, and 66% were under 45 years old – with the bulk being between 25 and 34 years old. 40% of the visitors were from abroad, mainly from the United States, Germany, Turkey, England and Russia. Ordinarily, the percentage of foreign visitors is around 7%.

Figures show no less than 13% of the visitors had never visited the festival previously. In the run-up to the next festival, this group will again be actively approached to get them excited about the new associate artists and surrounding programme.

Other channels

With respect to these visitor figures, it should be noted that the major crowd pullers (Sami Yusuf’s ONE and Garin Nugroho’s film Memories of My Body) were not shown on the Holland Festival channel but on a different channel.

The Holland Festival YouTube channel drew more than 14,000 visitors, who watched a video there 31,450 times in total. The percentage of international visitors was 40% here as well.

The Holland Festival production ONE, a video by the international megastar Sami Yusuf in collaboration with Cappella Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Andalusian Orchestra, had another 100,000 views through Yusuf’s own YouTube channel within five days. It is currently at 330,000 views and counting.


The original programme that was cancelled at the end of April.



The online programme

Alessandra Nicifero, Amsterdam Andalusisch Orkest, Andante Records, Bergen Nasjonale Opera, BOG., Cappella Amsterdam, De Brakke Grond, De Groene Amsterdammer, Dutch National Opera, Edouard Malingue Gallery, Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Dutch National Ballet, Het Zuidelijk Toneel, Ho Tzu Nyen, José Vidal & Compañía, Lloyd Hotel, Melkweg Expo, Mister Motley, Münchner Kammerspiele, New York Live Arts, Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Poetry Circle, Ruben Van Leer, Slow Research Lab, Sozo Artists, STEIM, Staatstheater Hannover, Théâtre du Châtelet, Traumnovelle


The original programme

Amsterdams Andalusisch Orkest, Arts Centre Melbourne and Asia TOPA, Barbican and Dance Umbrella, Berliner Festspiele, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, Bimhuis, BOG., Cappella Amsterdam, Commonland, Compagnietheater, de Balie, De Brakke Grond, Decoratelier Jozef Wouters, Dutch National Opera, Écoles des Sables, Festspielhaus St. Pölten, Garin Workshop, Glamcult, Het Ketelhuis, Dutch National Ballet, Het Nationale Theater, Het Zuidelijk Toneel, Internationaal Theater Amsterdam, John Adams Institute, Kampnagel, Royal Concertgebouworkest, Royal Theatre Carré, Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Latitudes Contemporaines, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, Manchester International Festival, Meervaart, Melkweg Expo, Mister Motley, Münchner Kammerspiele, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Korea), New York Live Arts, Nieuw Amsterdams Peil, NYU Skirball, ONASSIS STEGI, Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Q-Factory, Park Avenue Armory, Pina Bausch Foundation, philharmonie zuidnederland, Poetry Circle, RASL, Red Brick Art Museum (Beijing), RIGHTABOUTNOW Inc., Sadler's Wells, Schauspielhaus Zürich, Singapore International Festival of Arts, Staatstheater Hannover, Studios Kabako/Virginie Dupray, The Arts Centre at NYU Abu Dhabi, Théâtre de la Ville Paris, Theater der Welt, Théâtre du Châtelet, Théatre L'Odéon Paris, Toneelgroep Oostpool, TPAM – Performing Arts Meeting in Yokohama (Japan), TU Delft


Thanks to the generosity and flexibility of our Partners and Friends, we were able to bring the cancelled 2020 physical festival to a good end and offer a digital programme as a good alternative. Special thanks go out to Ammodo and Fonds 21 for their generous support. The Holland Festival relies on subsidies from the Dutch government and Amsterdam municipality, income from fundraising, partnerships and private donations and ticket sales for its income.

he involvement of Friends and Partners is essential to the Holland Festival. Ordinarily, we run into each other during the run-up to the festival and around the performances. We share our enthusiasm, our expectations and reactions to the programme with each other. Those who attended the fall reception in November 2019 were able to meet the associate artist Bill T. Jones in person. Further in the run-up to June 2020, we were forced to adjust our plans and regularly sent updates on our preparations and considerations. The sympathetic and encouraging responses were heart-warming. Though incomparable to the power of a shared experience in a venue, the online programme was a success. The different ways we were able to stay in touch around the streams were successful as well. We look forward to experiencing an exciting new edition of the festival together in 2021!

e are tremendously indebted to our Friends and Partners for all the involvement and support we received this year, both emotional and financial. This goes for everyone involved: Governors, Hartsvrienden, Beschermers, Begunstigers, Patrons, HF Business Partners and all sponsors and funds. It was wonderful to experience that the Holland Festival is supported by so many people.


Governmental support

Gemeente Amsterdam Logo Ministerie van OCW Logo

Production partner

Ammodo Logo


Fonds 21 Logo

Foundations, sponsors, institutions

Brook Foundation Logo

Media partners

HF Business


Board of Governors

Ronald Bax and Frank Lunenburg, G.J. van den Bergh and C. van den Bergh-Raat, Leni Boeren, Jéhan van Dijk, Jeroen Fleming, Arent Fock, H.J. ten Have and G.C. de Rooij, J. Kat and B. Johnson, Françoise van Rappard-Wanninkhof, M. Sanders, Tom de Swaan, Elise Wessels-van Houdt.

Governors who choose to be anonymous.


R.F. van den Bergh, Kommer and Josien Damen, J. Fleury, V. Halberstadt, Astrid Helstone and Diederik Burgersdijk, Bernard and Ineke Dijkhuizen, Nienke van den Hoek and Alexander Ribbink, Isaäc and Francien Kalisvaart, Kristine Kohlstrand, Joost and Marcelle Kuiper, Cees Lafeber, Emma Moloney, Sijbolt Noorda and Mieke van der Weij, Robert Jan and Mélanie van Ogtrop-Quintus, Jeroen Ouwehand, Anthony and Melanie Ruys, Rob van Schaik and Wijnanda Rutten, Coen Teulings and Salomé Bentinck, Patty Voorsmit, Hans Wolfert and Marijke Brinkman.

Hartsvrienden who choose to be anonymous.


M. Appeldoorn, Lodewijk Baljon and Ineke Hellingman, B. Heijse and A.M. Heijse-Verbeek, Maarten Biermans and Helena Verhagen, S. Brada, Frans and Dorry Cladder-van Haersolte, Sabine van Delft-Vroom, J. Docter and E. van Luijk, Huub A. Doek, L. Dommering-van Rongen, E. Granpré Moliere, M. Grotenhuis, S. Haringa, J. Houwert, W. and J. Jansen-Straver, Luuk H. Karsten, R. Katwijk, R. Kupers and H. van Eeghen, Monique Laenen and Titus Darley, Ton and Jannie Liefaard-van Dijk, A. van der Linden-Taverne, F. Mulder, Ben Noteboom, G. van Oenen, H. Pinkster, Pim and Antoinette Polak, H. Sauerwein, Lisette Schuitemaker and Jos van Merendonk, C.W.M. Schunck, Ingeborg Snelleman and Arie Vreugdenhil, A.N. Stoop and S. Hazelhoff, Wolbert and Barbara Vroom, P. Wakkie, Martine Willekens, O.L.O. and Tineke de Witt Wijnen-Jansen Schoonhoven.

Beschermers who choose to be anonymous.


B. Amesz, Ilonka van den Bercken, Ellen Birnie, Co Bleeker*, Jasper Bode, K. Bodon, Jan Bouws, E. Bracht, W.L.J. Bröcker, G. Bromberger, D. de Bruijn, G. van Capelleveen, Marie Hélène Cornips, M. Daamen, Prof. Cees Dam, J. Dekker, M. Doorman, Sylvia Dornseiffer, Chr. van Eeghen*, Ruud Emous, Ch. Engeler*, E.L. Eshuis*, Susan Gloudemans, E. de Graaff- Van Meeteren, F. Grimmelikhuizen, D. Grobbe, Annelies Heidstra and Renze Hasper, Servaas Hensen, J. Hennephof, G. van Heteren, L. van Heteren, S. Hodes, J. Hopman*, J. Houtman, E. Hummelen, Wendy van Ierschot, P. Jochems, Jan de Kater, Ytha Kempkes, J. Keukens, E. Kocken, A. Ladan, M. Le Poole, M. Leenaers, K. Leering, M. Levenbach, A. Ligeon, T. Lodder, R. Mackenzie, D. van der Meer, E. van der Meer-Blok, A. de Meijere, Christa Meindersma, E. Merkx, Jaap Mulders, H. Nagtegaal, Martijn van Nieuwenhuyzen, La Nube, Kay Bing Oen*, P.M. Op de Coul, E. Overkamp and A. Verhoog, P. Price, F. Racké, H. Ramaker, J. Rammeloo, Wessel Reinink, M. Roozen, Peter Ruys, A. Schneider, H. Schnitzler, G. Scholten, Joanne Schouten, in memory of Ronald Siemers, P. Smit, G. Smits, A. Sonnen, W. Sorgdrager and F. Lekkerkerker*, K. Spanjer, Reinout Steenhuizen, Farid Tabarki, P.-M.H.-L. Tegelaar, C. Teulings, H. Tjeenk Willink, A. Tjoa, M. Tjoe-Nij, Y. Tomberg, Tamara Trotman, Kurt Tschenett and Sasha Brunsmann, Frank Uffen, H. van der Veen, M.T.F. Vencken, M. Verhoeff-Neef, A. van Vliet, R. Vogelenzang, M.M. de Vos van Steenwijk, A. Wertheim, M. Witter, M. van Wulfften Palthe, M. Yazdanbakhsh, M.J. Zomer, P. van Zwieten and N. Aarnink.

* additional contribution

Begunstigers who choose to be anonymous.

Jonge Begunstigers

Helene Bakker, Aram Balian, Femke Blokhuis, Quirijn Bongaerts, Jonne ter Braak, Joost Gorter, Hagar Heijmans, Ric van Holthe tot Echten, Brendon Humble, Aron Kovacs, Judith Lekkerkerker, Vincent Lüning, Nicole Mooij, Boris van Overbeeke, Jill Pisters, Guus Schaepman, Angela Schoonderbeek, Eerke Steller, Rosanne Thesing & Melle Kromhout, David van Traa, Bart Truijens, Esther van der Veldt, Frank Verschoor, Tristen Vreugdenhil, Lonneke van der Waa.

Jonge Begunstigers who choose to be anonymous.


All 591 Liefhebbers.



supervisory board

Martijn Sanders (chairman), Gert-Jan van den Bergh, Jet de Ranitz, Tom de Swaan, Clarice Gargard, Astrid Helstone


Emily Ansenk (general director)


Annemieke Keurentjes (programming director dance & theatre), Jochem Valkenburg (programming director music & music theatre), Ravian van den Hil (programme maker)


Pieter Haex (head of operations), Joke van der Helm, Rianne Meehan, Ellen Bijsterbosch, Marian van Wijngaarden

communication & marketing

Norbert Bode (communication & marketing director) , Henny Knap-Go, Evelien Lindeboom, Gertjan Pruim, An De Ridder, Runa Stam, Erna Theys, interns: Judith Hassink, Ephraïm Veder, Micha Zaat


Mathilde Smit (development director), Berbe Maltha, Liza Meulenbroek, Manon Schreurs, Harsono Sokromo


Han van Poucke (head of production), Hidde Bisschop, Ad van der Koog, Floortje Halters, Rosa Hendriks, Djoere de Jong, Angela van Kalsbeek, Linda Mathijssen, Levar Matroos, Peter Poel, Romy Rigter, Minke Voorn, intern: Ritse Waaijenberg

technical production

Peter Romkema (technical co-ordinator), Wannes van der Veer, Tiedo Wilschut, Erik Borgman (subtitles)

HF Young Circle

Alexis Blake, Laura van Diermen, Shehera Grot, Steven van den Haak, Omar de Jong, Andrea Kristic,́ Naomi van der Linden, Roberto Luís Martin, Toni Pape, Martha Visser, Norman Vladimir, Esther Zijtregtop


Holland Festival

Piet Heinkade 5, 1019 BR Amsterdam, T +31 (0)20 – 788 21 00
[email protected],




ANP, Philip Habib, Nichon Glerum, Ruben van Leer, Stella K., Richard Mosse, Hans Gerritsen, Melissa Schriek, Judith Buss, Jeffry Bakker, Ada Nieuwendijk, Eric van Nieuwland, Gregory Lorenzutti, Phile Desprez, Florian Joahn, Olga Maslova, Annelies van der Vegt, Marco Borggreve, Jean van Lingen, Ian Douglas, Hideto Maezawa, Jan Versweyveld, Pol Guillard, Célia Bonnin, Françoise Bolechowski, Paul B. Goode, Thomas Amouroux, Antoine Tempé, Henri Verhoef, Frédérique Donker, Wonge Bergmann, Joseph P. Alvarado, Maria Baranova, Janiek Dam, Fadi Kheir, Elizabeth Carecchio, Abdoul Mujyambere, Tristram Kenton, Ian Douglas, David Laskowksi

Subject to change

All information and programmes are subject to change. The Holland Festival has done its utmost to notify all legal claimants. Any person claiming rights to material contained herein is requested to contact the Holland Festival.