2 April 2014

What Katie Did: The Future Is Not What It Used to Be – Day 1

Beat Carnival director, David Boyd, and musician in residence 2014, Katie Richardson, are currently in Amsterdam for the Trans Europe Halles conference/meeting no. 77. The Future Is Not What It Used To Be is a three-day, interdisciplinary working conference on new culture strategies. Katie is blogging from the conference – here’s Day 1! (For Day 2, click here.)

Day 1: Travel and Tapas

Apart from a strong, fresh coffee there are very few things I love more than travel and the arts, so when the Beat asked me if I’d like to go to Amsterdam with David to attend an interdisciplinary arts conference run by Trans Europe Halles (TEH) Melkweg and P60, the answer was a resounding “ABSO-FLIPPING-LUTELY!”

The Future Is Not What It Used To Be will look at new cultural strategies and the programme offers thought-provoking keynotes, hands-on workshops, in-depth masterclasses and think tanks, all with an international character. It has attracted 340 individuals from arts organisations all across Europe and as Beat Carnival’s Musician in Residence, I am really excited to meet lots of new, interesting people, hear about their work and perhaps even make some connections for potential future projects and collaboration.

This was perhaps the easiest travelling experience I have ever had. We flew through check-in, got past security in about two minutes AND I slept on the plane which made the journey feel about ten minutes long. Amazing. I was waiting for something bad to happen but David and I managed to catch the bus to Leidseplein and get to our hotel in one piece and without anyone getting lost. The hotel is lovely and is right beside the impressive Rijksmuseum which is a beautiful building dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam.

I’ve been to the ‘Dam a few times before and one of the many things I remember fondly is the beautiful food the city has to offer. After a bit of wandering and searching we got a great recommendation to go to a place called ‘Pata Negra’ which was a short walk away. It was a beautiful and eclectic Spanish restaurant with writing expressively carved into the walls and ceiling by previous visitors, beautiful painted tiles, loud Spanish music, a bustling atmosphere and best of all an impressive menu of incredible food. We might have ordered a little too much but it was worth the following food coma just for the experience alone. Beer, coffee and tapas was all very, very good. We waddled home through all the curious shops and galleries by the canals and somehow managed not to get lost! 

And then it was time for sleeeeeeep! 
Can’t wait to get started with the conference tomorrow.
TEH is a European network of over 50 independent cultural centres all around Europe. It provides a dynamic forum for ideas, experiences and exchange, supporting its members and their communities. The network facilitates and encourages artistic collaborations throughout Europe. Melkweg is an incredible venue which stands for pop culture in the broadest of senses. Each year it hosts hundreds of concerts, club nights, films and music films, theatre performances, and attracts more than 400,000 visitors. P60 , a citizens’ initiative, is the independent music and cultural centre of Amstelveen. It consists of a concert hall, a foyer, a café/restaurant and band rehearsal rooms. Each year around 50,000 people attend concerts and club nights and participate in talent development workshops, all of which occur in the multidisciplinary building.


[Read Katie’s entry for Day 2 here]