15th July 2022 The first day of “Zwarte Cross” a three-day festival is the eastern part of the Netherlands. At a normal festival this wouldn’t be worth mentioning but at the Zwarte Cross this is an essential part of the event. Despite the drought this festival is drenched with the typical dry humor of this part of the country.
The theme of this year is “Welkom Thuus” (welcome home in the Achterhoek dialect). And this is exactly what it is to thousands of regular visitors of this festival. After a few years of covid it’s feeling like coming home en drench yourself in humor, drinks, music, theatre, motor-cross, stunts, a fair and this year: dust. A festival you visit with friends and to make friends. Reading this you would expect a small cosy festival and cosy it is, but it’s not small at all. No, it’s the largest festival in The Netherlands.
During the building process the picture below was taken. In the middle of the pic in the back the mainstage where the Dropkick Murphys will play.
A huge event in a cosy way. But we have to praise the festival organisation for a lot more than that. Discrimination on the colour of your skin, the one you love or whatever is not tolerated.
Do you depend on a wheelchair for transportation? The wheelchair team will drive you with special bikes to where-ever you want to be on the festival.
The Zwarte Cross is co-oporating with Amnesty International every year to give special attention to the ones who need it. This year Ensaf Haidar (the wife of Raif Badawi) will come to speak about het life and the case of her husband, a well-know critic in Saudi Arabia.
So, while everybody should have fun, but don’t shut your eyes!
The festival isn’t programming one typical style. It’s just like the whole festival a very coloured mix of all kind of things. But over the year’s we got to see Fiddler’s Green, The Rumjacks and Flogging Molly and this year it’s time for another big one in this genre.
The Dropkick Murphys
Damn, while we were working our regular daytime job, The Dropkick Murphys appeared for a suprise gig in the “Harder Cafe” at the festival. We had to miss that one.
But in the evening, after enjoying some of the festival en two famous Dutch bands we finally got to see the “Murphys” playing in our own “backyard”. Where the first two had clearly quite an audience because everone overhere knows them. I wondered what our Murphys would attract. But no worries here, we were soon surrounded by thousands of DM fans. After the intro and warm-up they started with ‘The Boys are Back’ and it was settled then, the moshpits were all over the place and lyrics were sung along loudly by thousands of people.
The guys were at their best and they threw their best songs at us for about 80 minutes. Rose Tattoo, Shipping up to Boston, The State of Massachusetts, Johnny, I hardly Knew Ya, Middle Finger, Two 6’s Upside Down, you name them.
And they made it clear they just belong at a festival like this, taking stand against war, missfitting (ex) presidents, robbing of voting-rights, denying female rights and whatever bullshit happens these days.
There was a high level of enery during the while performance on stage and in the field. And in the end there are two conclusions which can be drawn: You have to visit the Dropkick Murphys whenever you can. And if you are living in the Netherlands you should visit the Zwarte Cross at least once in your life.
What a great evening at a great festival this was.