Where anything is allowed besides stinky socks.
Stukafest takes place across the Netherlands and hit Maastricht on Feb. 28. The festival is run by students for students, and provides an affordable way for us ramen-noodle-eating, penny pinching students to experience some incredible music. Instead of attending concerts in normal venues, students around Maastricht opened up their living rooms for artists to perform. Tickets had to be purchased in advance since show sizes were limited to about 20 people.
I opted to get tickets for all three shows for the festival, and spent a grand total of 11 euros on three concerts. WAHOO! Check out the full line-up for the event on the Stukafest website. I chose to see the following shows:
As this was our first stop on our concert hopping adventure, I had no idea what to expect. We biked up to the front door down a somewhat dodgy alley and saw a small Stukafest sticker on the front of a tarnished green door – we were in the right spot.
We knocked, had our tickets checked, and were silently welcomed into a dark hallway. We passed through one more door and were then greeted with a bright room full of about 15 people. People were sprawled across couches, on the floor, leaning against the windowsill. The atmosphere was friendly and communal – I saw drinks and chocolates passing through the hands of people sitting on the floor. I joined a girl with dreadlocks on the floor and her friend sitting behind me on the couch told me to lean back against her legs for a more comfortable floor seat. Anything goes besides stinky socks.
After hanging out for a few minutes talking to the group around me and enjoying a chocolate egg, the boy sitting directly to my right got up and took the microphone and started to rap. This must be EM. I liked how he did not introduce himself – he just started rapping. It felt somewhat unnatural to start without an introduction, but the entire night felt unnatural, so in the scheme of the festival his unique start to the show made perfect sense.
Our next concert was held at the Madril Cultural Centre. Nine people live a communal lifestyle at the Mandril and always open their doors to events in the community. Their mission statement is “To provide a platform for the stimulation of cultural participation in Maastricht and beyond.” Here, we saw a group of 8 young guys called Barulheiros. Ages ranging from 18 to 22 these guys looked like a bunch of high school kids getting together for marching band practice – but they played and performed like professionals. Using all kinds of drums and other objects they worked together to create heart-pumping rhythms and got the entire audience to dance along. By the end of the show the rhythm of the drums had encapsulated the entire audience and I exited the doors still jumping around and shaking my head.
Our final show was the smallest with only about 10 people squeezed into a small living room on the top floor of an apartment. This soundism band used recording equipment and household items to create trippy beats. It was a nice, relaxing end to night of concert hopping.
This band must be too obscure to have a band photo. Here is the only photo of them that Stukafest has: