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Review: Into the Great Wide Open

Forget Mykonos. For one weekend a year only, TopDutch have their own party island. Within the iconic nature of Vlieland, the smallest Wadden island, one of the most unique festivals roars. Welcome to Into the Great Wide Open.

Truly unique

A festival for all the family

Think festival vibes. But then think a bit more grown-up. Put it in the midst of peaceful beach scenery. Add quality food, beautiful art and sustainable innovations. Now you have Into the Great Wide Open. This is a festival quite unlike anything you’ve probably experienced yourself: A mix between a calm family holiday and the best cultural and music performances.


Fun Fact #1

As a true TopDutch enterprise, ITGWO are forerunners in sustainability. This year they proclaimed the festival as a fossil-free zone: Even offering fossil-free transport to get there.

Take for example headliners Hot Chip, named by many in-the-know as the greatest British pop-band for a generation, who hold only 3 top-40 singles in their native country. They were complimented by another British group - Mercury Prize nominated soul collective Jungle, whose name you may not know, but songs you’ve probably heard as they are loved by TV producers. The final headliners were Australian disco-stars Parcels, best known for collaborating with the kings of disco themselves, Daft Punk.

Artistic talent

From performing art to art performances

And we weren’t short of Dutch talent either. One of the most talked about performances had to be Eefje de Vissers, the award-winning singer/songwriter who wowed the audience with her mesmerizing synth sound. Newly 18-year old Dutch rapper also captured her viewers with her honest, emotional lyrics.


Fun Fact #2

During the festival, ITGWO run their own daily newspaper. And they love to give rising talent a chance: In this case by letting kids be the journalists.

As a cultural festival, ITGWO want to be more than music. Scattered across the secluded island were 16 pieces of art: All unique, but yet all exploring the theme of ‘Possible Futures’. From interactive performance pieces by Claudy Jongstra to the thought-provoking video essay by Donna Verheijdenis, there was something to fascinate every taste.


Fun Fact #3

During the rest of the year, the festival producers of ITGWO also work with knowledge institutions and big corporations such as Tesla and Google in circular testing ground ‘Lab Vlieland’.

Missed out on Into the Great Wide Open? Don't worry, it's on every year during the last week of the summer holidays (the first week of September). And until then, you can check out our weekly weekend guides, or subscribe to the TopDutch International newsfeed for more cultural highlights. 

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