Zuider Festival is a free festival of art and music based in Enschede, NL. Since 2012, the festival is organised annually by artist collectives Studio Complex and Hangarrrrrr during one weekend around the end of summer. Based on a strong belief in DIY culture, the festival invites local and international creatives to collaborate on producing the festival in content and shape in reaction to a conceptual framework set by the organising collectives. Previous editions have included the themes of ‘Vlucht’ (dutch: escape), ‘Sustainability’ and ‘Collaboratorium’. This year’s edition took place under the title ‘Gone to Croatan’, a symbol for respecting given situations, acting consciously, adventure, being different and self-empowerment.
Zuider Festival is organised on a property which has been squatted by Studio Complex in 2012. A former car repair shop of approximately 3000 square meters and ca. 3 ha of land make up the ground of Studio Complex. The neighboring warehouse of Hangarrrrrr is used in agreement with the city council. By now, the two collectives have developed close ties and collaborate on common projects. In 2015, Studio Complex and Hangarrrrrr have received a substantial grant from the Mondriaan Fund.
Studio Complex has evolved from an illegalised squat to being widely accepted by the city council who owns the property on Cromhoffsbleekweg in Enschede. The city and neighborhood councils support Zuider Festival financially.
Originating from a tradition of squatting, self-empowerment and Do-It-Yourself mentality, Zuider Festival is produced collaboratively by local and visiting makers and creatives. Each edition of Zuider Festival unfolds an inclusive space where makers and visitors are encouraged to act freely. A general lack of financial pressure through clever sourcing of free materials and public grants allows for imagination and experimentation to become central to processes of creation.
The content of the festival is shaped by its participants. This year’s festival has seen a carnival with self-built roller coaster, a staged freak show, a tattoo booth, laughing yoga, screen printing workshops, an open podium poetry slam, as well as a multitude of performances by DIY musicians and noise artists, amongst a variety of other activities.
Video by: Mya Hang (https://vimeo.com/mykkur)
Photo credits: Studio Complex & Hangarrrrrr
Discussion Zuider Festival