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Dutch Tek

8, 9, 10 August 2000

Dutch tek 2000

As with any good party, getting there is as much a apart of the fun as being there and this one was no exception. The teknival had been billed as being "near to Amsterdam", but before I'd left, I knew it was going to be a long way north, near Groningen.

I arrived in Amsterdam from the night ferry from Harwich at 5.00am Friday morning. This happened because the ferry was late and I, of course was knackered. I walked into the city, but all the hotels were full. I wondered around watching cops on bicycles chasing and catching criminals and women working the streets. Shifty voices said "ecstasy" as we passed in the dark, more cops wondered down the street waking up trashed people, or else watched as tourists staggered around with zombyfied stares .... Suffice it to say my stay in Amsterdam this time was not too much fun and by 10.00am I'm on my way north to Groningen.

Well, the party was supposed to start that night, but the directions on the info line were telling us to go to somewhere a long way away so I spent the evening in the city, where the coffee shops are. I found a nice coffee shop and snuggled down for the night with some lovely Dutch Nederweed - aka Skunk weed. First you get to look through the menu - a book containing all the different forms of weed and hash the shop sells, then you pick the one you want, hand over 10 Guilders (around £3) and around 2grm of it is yours, totally legally. Wow.

Well, the next day I made an effort to get to the teknival and made some phone calls. "Go to Roodschool" the man said, so I make my way to Centraal station. Now, the thing the Dutch are really good at - along with selling weed - is the public transport system. Roodschool is a long way out in the middle of nowhere yet there's a train which leaves in 10 minutes, so I go find it. Before I find the train I find the other people also going to the teknival, people easy to spot - rings through noses, tortured ragged clothing and everyone's drinking beer and smoking spliffs. About 30 of them all told, we fill half a coach or more. The journey is, of course, fun.

We get to Roodschool in a haze of cannabis smoke and spilled beer, then the Dutch transport system goes into overdrive. A bus taxi turns up and takes us 10 Km into the strangest landscape I've ever seen, and trust me, I've seen some landscapes. The far north of Holland is reclaimed land (something else the Dutch are very good at), and it's flat and just about featureless, apart from the dikes (embankments) running in straight lines. On top of these dikes are huge wind turbines (which we'll call windmills because its in Holland where they have windmills). Rows and rows of windmills as far as you could see, an utterly surreal landscape indeed, one huge wind driven power station..

So the party happened inside a power station, which was still working. The festy was right up by the dike beside the sea and it was worth the trip. Maybe 10 or more systems from all over Holland and a couple from England.The bus taxi dropped us off right at the festy, so I wondered around to look for a good place to sling the tent up. Everywhere there were systems setting up, small bars selling coffee, tea, beer and weed and people wondering around.

I find what seemed a fairly quiet place and put the tent up, then go to explore, I don't come back to the tent to sleep for 36 hours or more ....

One of the rigs shone a spotlight onto a windmill at night and the sky remained clear as cars arrived down the narrow but dead straight road, their headlights casting long shadows of people walking to the site. I wondered around from rig to rig and met several people from the London scene, I had expected HEADFUK from London to be there, but they'd gone south to France.

I vaguely know Panik from London and got to spin on their rig for a couple of hours early on Sunday morning which was fun, not that I was in the best frame of mind for doing this (not that I'm ever very good to be honest), but no-one seemed to mind too much.

It has to be said that one rig stole the show, a monster thing it was a collaboration of 3 Dutch rigs (Plexat, Mononom and Acid Anonymous), a lovely sound and it was here I spent most of the time.

The crowd were well up for it and of course there was no hint of any trouble or violence, far from it. I was amazed at how many just turned up with little more than a small back pack, I had my tent and a change of clothes, but I'm getting soft I suppose but despite the weather forecast it stayed hot and sunny for most of the time (well, not at night but you know what I mean) apart from a couple of short rain storms.

I also met up with some wonderfully friendly Dutch party people, I had a long chat with one guy in the early morning who told me stories of the Rotterdam squat party scene which compare well to the London adventures, I must go check it out sometime. As we were talking a crowd of young Dutch crusties sat on the car next to us smoking chillum and wide-eyed people wandered around, all the time the music was pounding from the four or five systems near my tent, which was not in a very quiet place after all.

I hit the floor of my tent around 14.00 the next afternoon, Sunday having been a hot day featuring an eye stabbing sunrise followed by clear blue sky. This part of the world shares the same floor to floor sky as Norfolk, you can't beat it. I woke sometime early Monday morning (it was still dark) to the sound of rain bashing on the tent and lay there listening to the combined sound of rain and techno for a while, then the rain stopped and I got up.

Amazingly, no-one had seemed to get too wet, there was enough tarps and things for people to shelter under and everyone survived.

The rest of the party was not too unlike the first part to be honest, with the added adventure of a trip into the local town to buy food and stuff.

I got a lift back to Groningen early afternoon and the Dutch public transport system whisked me back to Norwich the next day.

Respect to the organisers, see you next year I hope.

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Dutch tek 2000

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