Guest Post by Jens Lendering, producer of Popronde Almere!
This Saturday (September 30th), the city centre will transform into a music festival landscape as the Popronde will land there for the eight time. The newest and hottest upcoming Dutch (and international) acts will present themselves for free (gratis!). Popronde Almere hosts 38 shows at 15 different locations with stages within shops, restaurants, bars, cafés and even on the street. If you are an expat living in Almere, this is the perfect opportunity to get to know great locations within Almere as well as new bands that may even break through and become big artists. After reading this guide, you will know everything you need to get started!
Popronde Almere will host 38 shows from 36 different music acts and is promising to be the broadest of its kind with a wide selection of genres (and most bands even crossing multiple ones). There is a selection for every kind of music lover. The Popronde is the largest traveling music showcase festival in the Netherlands and has helped multiple acts make the big leap from local band to international super artists. Think of acts like De Staat, Chef’Special, Kensington and Dotan: they all started out doing the Popronde. The Popronde travels to 41 different cities this year and Almere has become a great city to perform for these bands. The shows and locations are quite intimate, shows range from 30 to 300 visitors. Feel free to talk to any of the artists performing in Almere before or after their show. Most acts will sing in English. To get you started in making a program for yourself, we have listed a number of international bands that are residing in the Netherlands and heading for Popronde Almere!
First up is Bjarke Ramsing. Bjarke is originally from southern Denmark where he also grew up with blues and folk music. This has a major influence on how he makes his music nowadays on a farm on the outskirts of Zevenaar. His musical style and voice can be compared to artists like Damien Rice and The Tallest Man on Earth. The second artist we can recommend you is The Curious Incident. Band members Kairo and Diaz describe their music as pop-rock with a Caribean twist. Kairo (vocalist and guitar player) originally grew up in Cape Town, South Africa and Diaz (the drummer) is from Jakarta, Indonesia. By coincidence they met in London and started playing together in Utrecht. “The Curious Incident already knows Almere through festival Gestrand.” says Jens Lendering, program director and Producer for Popronde Almere and Gestrand. “For this Popronde, they will return with an even bigger show because they are booked on an outdoor stage on the Grote Markt as part of the Zuiderzee Klassieker, a bicycle tour event”.
Another international band you can see at Popronde Almere is Francis Moon. Francis Moon is a band around a restless 29-year-old Swede who is living in Amsterdam. His musical style sounds very Scandinavian-indie like and reminds of bands such as Band of Horses and Half Moon Run. Another recommendation and also international band is Los Paja Brava! Carlos from Los Paja Brava elaborates on their origins: “Chilean people, Spanish guys, a Mexican, one guy from Serbia, one Dutch guy, and a fellow from Italy. But we always say to everyone we are from Rotterdam, because we share a deep connection with Rotterdam”. The band makes a mix of cumbia, rock, ska and surf and will perform at The Stage, a new venue in Almere. The final to last act we can recommend with an international background is Nausica (yes, named after that Hayao Miyazaki movie). Nausica moves between pop and experimental music with a focus on meditative-like drums that carry listeners along the clean but dreamy guitar and bass notes. The band has already toured most of western-Europe, which has definitely made them ready to do a great live show in Almere.
The last band we can recommend to you is The Irrational Library, a special band that combines spoken word with a mix of soul, blues, rock n roll and party. The band was formed by Joshua Baumgarten, a cultural entrepreneur in Haarlem who is originally from New York. He is well known among Haarlemmers as somebody who organizes parties and gigs and he presents at festivals such as Bevrijdingspop. This band is also formed around a special relationship between two internationals living in Haarlem. Joshua Baumgarten explains: “I met a musician called Mishal Zeera. He’s originally from Bahrein but has lived in New York, LA and London. Mishal started living in Haarlem and was looking for new friends and people to work with within the music scene. It so happened that he felt at home here. At some point later he saw me do some poetry and spoken word on stage, something I have been doing since I was 20. Later he asked me if he could put some music underneath my poetry. This turned out amazing!” Since then they started performing live. Their first show was 15 minutes at Bevrijdingspop, now they are on tour to conquer the Netherlands with the Popronde, and this weekend, it’s Almere’s turn.
Do you want to discover all the bands that tour all the major festivals next year? Come visit Popronde Almere! How does it work? On September 30th, the Popronde will host multiple shows in the afternoon, even more gigs in the evening and an afterparty in the night. All shows are free to enter. You can either find out as you go or just pick up a ‘Programmaboekje’ at one of the locations we are playing or at the info-stand on the ‘Grote Markt’ from 19:30 or you can check out our program in advance and listen to our playlists https://www.popronde.nl/steden/almere. You can also ask our volunteers about personalized recommendations according to your music taste! Have a lot of fun at Popronde Almere this weekend!
More information on Popronde: https://www.popronde.nl/steden/almere
Schedule of the recommendations from this article
14:30 Francis Moon – Platenhuis ‘t Oor – indie/rock/folk
16:00 The Curious Incident – Zuiderzee Klassieker podium – indie/pop
17:00 Bjarke Ramsing – Platenhuis ‘t Oor – folk
21:15 Francis Moon – Endzjin – indie/rock/folk
21:45 Bjarke Ramsing – De Bergerrie – folk
23:00 The Irrational Library – Café Op 2 – blues/spoken word
23:45 Los Paja Brava – Stage