On Sunday I played at Ruigoord Church in Ruigoord, Holland. Ruigoord is situated between Amsterdam and Haarlem and is an Artists’ colony sandwiched between industrial plants. I had no idea what the venue was going to be like or exactly where it was and was utterly surprised. According to Wikipedia the village was formed in 1973 when a group of Artists squatted the land with the intentions of forming a colony. The village is now legal and full moon parties are regularly organised in the church and every year there is a festival in August. Since the early 2000s, the village has staged an annual poetry festival over the Whitsun weekend, Fiery Tongues.
One of the festivals’ three days is always devoted to international poets. From 2003 on, a yearly Ruigoord Trophy has been awarded to individuals who have selflessly dedicated themselves to maintaining the village as an important cultural stronghold.
There is a place opposite the church called The Ruigoord Salon run by an eccentric South African by the name of Michael. He puts on jazz afternoons most Sunday inviting the best from the Dutch jazz scene. I had time after my concert to go and relax in this very pleasant relaxed environment and enjoy the fantastic music of Pere Soto and Walter Lampe.