‘A festival where the sea sets the boundary'

23 October 2013

Festival visitors run off with bowls and plates made of mud-flat clay

On 6, 7 and 8 September Vlieland hosted the fifth Into The Great Wide Open, an experience that is more than a music festival. It was one worth framing, wrote one participant at intothegreatwideopen.nl. More than 6,000 visitors enjoyed original pop acts, art and culture, lively children’s attractions, oysters from the mud flats and a hot and nourishing meal, served on plates made of mud-flat clay. They could then keep the plates, which are part of the Fundamentals of Makkum series.

‘Into The Great Wide Open’ is a unique gathering on Vlieland, linking an intimate festival atmosphere with the freedom and openness of the mud flats. The main course comprises music, this year with performances by Adam & The Relevants, Afterpartees, Bente, Blaudzun and Claw Boys Claw. But the programme accompanying the music is just as interesting: art projects, film and such children’s attractions as the Lemonade Windmill and workshops to make their own cuddly monsters. One moment you are watching a concert on the stage, the next you are singing folk songs around the camp fire.

Bowls made of mud-flat clay
The festival was launched five years ago by a mixed group of passionate fans of the car-free Vlieland, one of the most exceptional Wadden Islands in the Netherlands. In 2012 they contacted Jan Tichelaar to encourage him to sponsor the event. As the director of a family company with strong ties to its locality, and as champion of local initiatives, he didn’t need long to make up his mind. And at the same time he had a brilliant idea. Instead of sponsoring financially, he suggested a material contribution: bowls filled with tasty food, with the profits going to the festival.

A well-filled plate made of mud-flat clay
For this Jan Tichelaar thought of Fundamentals of Makkum, designed by Atelier NL, and in particular the bowls made of clay excavated in the Northern Netherlands. Mud-flat clay from the Wadden Islands (‘wad’ means mud-flat), to bring it full circle. The organisers were enthusiastic and so were the visitors to the festival. These well-filled bowls were sold out in no time. They were cherished and taken home. Worth repeating? Definitely. This year the festival-goers were able to add a second collector’s item to the first: an authentic, handmade and stamped plate in mud-flat clay. And quite apart from that, this friendly annual festival always needs donors. For more information take a look at the website.



Fundamentals of Makkum clay service

Netherlands eats of clay

Atelier NL - A journey through time to 'the soul of things'