Pop Up Week Amsterdam 2014: Creative Energy Takes Shape in 100 Memorably Unusual Events

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The provocative and innovative culture festival Pop Up Week Amsterdam 2014 starts on September 18th and lasts until September 28th. During this city­wide celebration, visitors and residents of Amsterdam will be able to experience one hundred temporary pop up initiatives in the categories of art and design, music, architecture, photography, fashion, lodging concepts, health and well­being, food and drink, film and urban gaming.

Pop Up Week aims to portray Amsterdam as a creative tour de force, where temporary moments become once in a lifetime experiences. The impermanent nature of the events serves to draw attention to lesser known but eminent cultural institutions in the city. It is a way to showcase the Amsterdam that locals love and and attract visitors to places that might not be mentioned in travel guides.

Dozens of Amsterdam’s premier cultural organizations, entrepreneurs and citizens have combined their efforts to create fun, accessible and mostly free of charge events that are open to everyone. The festival aims to create an atmosphere of inclusiveness and interactivity. Visitors are not passive observers, but active participants in most of the events.

The festival’s motto is “expect the unexpected” because the events present inventive concepts to the public in unexpected ways. For example, some of the city’s finest hotels will be providing non­traditional, “pop up” rooms for the duration of the festival. Skotel: The Hotel School of The Hague will offer visitors a nature­friendly room furnished by the COCO­MAT furniture company and an interior design masterpiece by East Village Concepts. At The Eco Hotel Gilinsky, one can stay in a floating room and sauna in the middle of the Nieuwe Meer. Perhaps the most unique concept is the “Hooitel” in which guests can sleep on a straw bed at the urban farm “The Stadshoeve”, learn how to milk a cow and then drink the milk with their breakfast!

The pop up restaurants and beverage establishments are just as fleeting and avant­garde. Amsterdam’s hippest restaurants and most creative chefs have come together to create ephemeral eateries in unusual places. These events focus on combining ingredients in innovative ways and enjoying them in a memorable setting. One can sample canned fish recipes and tapas prepared by cookbook author Bart Van Olphen in the Kookboekenhandel. For the adventurous eater, the Archichef food design team’s famous chocolate salami can be tasted at the 5&33 art gallery, restaurant and lounge. After dinner, one can enjoy an adults­only gourmet popsicle by chef Jean Beddington, or be mesmerized at a magical, blind wine tasting in The Wine Cellar beneath Dam Square.

Interactive art events highlight the inclusive nature of Pop Up Week, in that one doesn’t have to be a professional artist to participate. During Pop Up week’s opening party at the outdoor art gallery on De Wijdesteeg street, aspiring filmographers can present their own films with music at a collaborative “vee­jay” project. Anyone who has ever dreamt of drawing on an outside wall can join in a street art workshop led by De Wijdesteeg’s own urban artists Hero de Janiero and Ottograph. For those that like to enjoy food and music with their art, they can stop by VLLA for an open­drawing project and barbeque.

Music is something no cultural festival should be without and Pop Up Week Amsterdam will have visitors singing and dancing the night away. While many of the art and dining events will be accompanied by live music, there are also several events in which musicians take center stage. Singer­Songwriter Sunday in the Erasmuspark highlights some of the The Netherland’s best original bands and musicians. The Silent Ships and Film evening at the Pianola Museum celebrates old­timey fun with silent film of ships and music played on an original pianola, an instrument from the early 20th century. One can also be surprised by an impromptu flash­mob with a classical twist performed by Amsterdam’s Alma Quartet.

The theme of sustainability is central to many of this year’s Pop Up events. Several pop up restaurants use locally sourced, organic ingredients. The lodging concepts described earlier explore what it means to be Earth­friendly. The 3D Print Canal House in Amsterdam North will open its doors to educate the public about 3D printing and how it can redefine sustainable housing and the Conscious Hotel Vondelpark will host a fashion event in which Dutch designers present their stylish and sustainable creations. In addition, many of the events in the “health and well­being” category focus on ways in which one can sustain oneself through healthy eating, exercise and, especially, doing yoga in unique places like art galleries and furniture showrooms!

Of course, this is just a short description of the many fantastic events that Pop Up Week Amsterdam 2014 has to offer. For a complete overview of all pop up events, times and locations see: www.popup-­week.com or the official facebook page.

The grand opening of Pop Up Week Amsterdam will take place on Thursday September 18 from 17:00 until midnight at the corner of Spuistraat and de Wijdesteeg. Everyone is invited! Join the party with live music, flash mobs, food and drinks, veejaying, art, dance and a bollywood performance (https://www.facebook.com/events/1465898933696282/).

Story by: Jesica Versichele

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