On a summery 30°C Saturday in Dordrecht all kinds of people with interest in Japanese culture gathered for the first edition of Dordtse Matsuri. As mentioned earlier we were really looking forward to this event due to the activities and music acts. But did it meet our expectations?
When we arrived we were a bit confused, is this it? There were some stands outside but no sign of what kind of event was happening. Inside the big building next to the stands was the rest of the activities. Before getting in we had to go to the cashier to scan our tickets and got a goodie bag, we were one of first 100 visitors. This goodie bag was filled with flyers, coupons, candy and a origami crane. Goodie bags are always a nice idea and very welcome!
Not much later after our arrival it was time for lunch and what better way to try out the food stands outside when you have an empty stomach! We tried out some delicious takoyaki, which was a bit pricey, but very Japanese and suited the event perfect. As dessert on this hot day we took colourful kakigori to cool down and it was so refreshing.
Back inside there were different rooms with activities but they were spread all over the place, there wasn’t a map so it was a bit confusing. We ended up at an aikido workshop which was really interesting and you could also join if you wanted. Beside sports there also was a gameroom, room full of merchandise you could buy, a room to relax and read manga and shodo (Japanese Calligraphy) workshops. For €10 you could also let them write your name in kanji which Léonie did. Sadly the calligraphy workshops itself were at the same time as all the music acts so we couldn’t try it. About the music acts, we’ve seen them all and it was worth skipping workshops for it. Below are our experiences of the acts.
High Tech Low Life
The Dordste Matsuri got a special visit from a band from the future. The year 2069 to be precise in which the world is in fire and chaos. Through their industrial sounds, retro synths with raw instruments the band told about it in more detail and hope this will be a warning for all of us. Although they are not a popular band (yet) they know how to interect with the crowd and make them hyped. What we did missed was a member introduction, what are their names? This would add a bit more trust to those who doubt they are from the future. The music was liked by some but also disliked by others, their “raw” part is something unusual and special. To understand what we mean it’s a really a good idea to check them out for yourself one day!
An already well known duo in the Netherlands at cons but Saetori has never seen them before so this was our first time! If you think it’s only the aliens with speakerboxes as head standing behind a DJ set on stage then you’re wrong. First of all there is Ufo Joe who can communicate in English which means he can dance and pump up the crowd when needed. (And he did!) Beside Joe, The alien duo has made a lot of collaborations with different singers from planet Earth which also joined the stage to sing live for us. They also made remixes of well known songs from Earth and it was a big variety of music. Due to this variety we heard multiple opinions wether people liked it or not but all in all it was a really nice show!
This Visual-Kei inspired band from Germany almost live in Dordrecht since the last time we saw them in the exact same city was just a few months ago. From an openingact earlier this year to a mainact at the Dordtse Matsuri, these guys keep growing. The show started perfectly on time and the room was filled with people to end their day at the Matsuri with a blast. At the start everyone seemed to be a bit shy but slowly everyone started headbanging and smiling. In the crowd everyone was doing their own thing, whatever they felt like, it was a really good atmosphere. The setlist was mostly full of very heavy songs and VII ARC gave off the real Visual Kei vibe. So those who never felt it before have a new experience now. We wonder where those German dudes will pop up next time in the Netherlands and hope our readers will be there too!
So did this event meet our expectations? Yes it did! It was the first time for this matsuri to exist and there are some things to work on. According to what we have seen on facebook there will be a second edition next year and they will use feedback to make the event even greater. We are already looking forward to it!