LF2018 director Tjeerd van Bekkum says that the organisation is working on a year-long event on the tenth anniversary of the Leeuwarden-Friesland Capital of Culture year in 2028.
Translation by Traci White
Van Bekkum announced the plans during an event focused on the leisure sector in Groningen. Van Bekkum says that Friesland received four million visitors and 65 million euros in expenditures over the course of the Leeuwarden-Friesland Capital of Cultureyear, as well as a major publicity boost.
“Our motto was ‘Dare to dream, dare to act and dare to be different’”, Van Bekkum told the Leisure Academy, a network for owners of recreational businesses in the region. “Initially, there was this air where people were assuming that we wouldn’t be able to pull it off. But thanks in large part to the commitment of 30,000 volunteers, everyone can look back on the success of LF2018 with pride.”
“It’s good to dream”
According to Van Bekkum, the challenge now is to ensure that LF2018 was not a one-off success. “We are working on a follow up in 2028. It won’t just be a rehashing of the Capital of Culture year, but it will be a large scale event with loads of activities throughout the year. We may do something with the theme of water. We want to keep organising events between now and then as well, of course.”
Van Bekkum told the audience that “it’s good a dream” and advised them to take a long view when organising large-scale events. “You have to be looking four years ahead because it takes so much time to put together something as big as this has been. You need to have local politicians on board, but make sure that everything else remains under your control. You have to reassure politicians and tell them to have faith, but leave it to the younger generations to dream big – it’s your job to make sure those dreams come true.”
The Capital of Culture year will formally end on 31 December, but a series of events in Leeuwarden in late November were considered the final cultural activities of LF2018. Hundreds of plays, concerts, art projects and other festivities were held across the province throughout the year, and the biggest events in Leeuwarden were the three-day-long performance by the Royal de Luxe street theatre team and their giant marionettes, and “De Stormruiter”, a theatre show featuring dozens of Frisian horses. Leeuwarden and Friesland shared the title of European Capital of Culture in 2018 with the city of Valetta in Malta.