Thursday, June 16 – 2011, I took the ferry from Harlingen (a small harbour town in Friesland on the coast of the Wadden Sea) to Terschelling (one of the Wadden Islands), to attend the 30th Oerol Festival.
Oerol is the name of a Frisian summer festival that takes place each June on the island of Terschelling. The 10-day festival is focused on live, public theatre as well as music and the visual arts.
In the Terschelling dialect, Oerol means “everywhere” or literally “overall” in the sense of covering the entire land (oeral in standard Frisian). Oerol takes its name from an old Terschelling tradition, when for a short time in early spring cattle were allowed to roam freely on the island, grazing on any and all available greenery. The oerol tradition continued until the arrival of paved roads, since cars and bicyclists collided at night with sleeping cattle; it was finally ended during the German occupation of the island in World War II.
The premise of the festival is to use the entire island as a stage, although two primary stages (Groene Strand and Westerkeyn) are set up.
Beaches, woods, dunes and other landscapes can function as performance spaces, and shows have also taken place in farm sheds, boathouses and an army bunker.
Tickets are sold in the form of “passports” allowing access to the island for part or all of the week, and then tickets are available for the individual performances. Street theatre acts, art, and podium musical performances are free during the festival.
Usually about 50,000 people visit every year the festival and some 95,000 tickets are sold. This year the Festival took place from June 17-27.
I’ve had a great time. Unfortunately I had to go back already on Monday 20th …
Harlingen, Holland – 16 June 2011
Camera: Canon Powershot SX1 IS