Kings of Colors Festival will go down in Den Bosch, the Netherlands this September and it will be bigger, better and more diverse than the last year. We recently became media partners for the festival and caught up with the organisers to get a better insight in their event.
For the people that don’t your organization, what is Kings of Colors?
Kings of Colors was founded by Jan-Henk of Ieperen and Patrick de Kaste in 2013 and the image can be described as raw, pure, creative, colourful and cocky. Kings of Colors arose from a big wish and a strong need to provide a niche within contemporary art platform namely: Graffiti and Street-art. Our motto is “the street as a stage”. There is so much beauty created on the streets.
With Kings of Colors we want to share our passion for graffiti and street art so everyone can experience and enjoy this creative, cheerful and energetic subculture. Kings of Colors not only about showing Graffiti itself but the atmosphere and thus the lifestyle surrounding this fascinating subculture, often inaccessible, is equally important.
What is the purpose of the festival?
The common thread in the Kings Festival of Colors is graffiti and street art, but also we are always looking to connect with other art forms. Partnering with organizations art first sight in concept and activities far apart, but the with creativity and fun as unifying factors! Here the cooperation with non obvious organization and activities are not shunned. The spread to other art forms and cooperation with other cultural organizations, is a thoughtful and deliberate choice to make the festival attractive and interesting to the widest possible audience.
Kings of Colors focuses on the people from the scene, their supporters and fans of the four elements within the hip-hop culture (Graffiti, Deejaying, Emceeing and Break dancing. Through her appearance the festival is rooted in the world of youth. The subculture covers the in-crowd split between the youth with an interest to learn or active in the scene, but also an old guard who played an active role during the past 40 years. With a nice additional programming Kings of Colors strives to make the festival attractive for the out-crowd, a diverse group of visitors with curiosity about this creative subculture.
The connecting factor for our visitors; they are people who are open to a surprisingly pleasant afternoon that provides insight into the origin of a great subculture and associated atmosphere and lifestyle of dance, music, visual arts, illustrations and graphic designs.
The two-day festival has more to offer: under the guidance of professional artists, visitors can actively participate in graffiti workshops, a mini ramp and street course for skaters and BMX riders, a Kids of Colors area with activities specially for kids, a tiki carver showing the discipline of Hawaiian woodcarving, a custom culture artist showing the art of graphic design and pin-striping, B-boy and break dance battles…….to name but a few examples.
Picture yourself chilling with friends, enjoying nice food and drinks, music playing in the background and art being created right then and there! The intended effect: “The artists need to feel as if they are visiting the festival and the visitors need to feel as if they are the artists.”
Who are some of the people rocking KOC this year?
We got a good line up, mostly Dutch writers 80/20 but also some foreigners. We’ve got: Romeo & Mega, Puaks, Druid, Moron, Dvirus, June, Telmo & Miel, Mata, Rhon, Soy, Kak, Bonsai, Cear, Chas, Knal, Poen and many more….
Looking back on last year – the festival’s first edition – what surprised you guys the most?
The Hall of Fame Den Bosch is a popular and well-known spot in the scene. For us it is therefore surprising that in the area of graffiti and hip hop nothing is organized in Den Bosch. We have always believed in the fact that in Den Bosch there is a need for a festival like Kings of Colors. The whole idea came after a day are painting with a couple of friends and acquaintances. From the beginning we have said it should not be graffiti jam, there are already enough jams in the Netherlands.
To stand out we have to be special and create a festival atmosphere. In devising and preparing the festival, you make a certain idea of what the festival really should look like. If in reality it turns out to be exactly what you had imagined, it really gives a great feeling.
If we look back at the first edition, what surprised us the most was the open and relaxed atmosphere during the festival and diversity in visitors. The festival is held in Den Bosch, how would you describe the scene in the south of the Netherlands? We’ve got a small scene in Den Bosch, we’ve got some true Old-skoolers and new skoolers and everthing in between.
For the festival I made the decision to get a lot of writers from different city’s across Holland. I think its going to be interesting seeing all those peoples together and working whit each other.
What does the future hold for Kings of Colors?
Kings of Colors has as main objective to complement to the vibrancy of the cultural offerings in Den Bosch, not only in 2014 but in years to come. We offer an exciting, progressive and innovative festival that is accessible to everyone and where visitors, young and old, can actively participate. Learn to understand each other, inspire each other and respect each other by creating art, communicating with each other and share experiences. We do this by paying attention to:
- Unhidden: Netherlands deserves an accessible festival that focuses on the four elements in the Dutch hip hop culture: graffiti, deejaying, emceeing and break dancing. Accessible by Kings of Colors standards means: that everyone is included in a large creative family, even as a newcomer you can feel at ease in an everyday environment. Kings of Colors Festival, our vision: all four elements prominently on a stage in a way that creates cross-age interest.
- Show Quality: The festival focuses on the quality of Dutch graffiti and street art. We must, no need to be proud of the fact that in the field of Graffiti and Street-art the Netherlands has been playing an important role since the 80s in Europe.
- Stimulate Talent: With Kings of Colors we want to stimulate the emergence of new talent by lowering the threshold for young people in addition to showing the national quality in the field of graffiti and street art. By giving workshops at the festival, we encourage the transfer of knowledge and techniques to our young audience.
Aftermovie Kings of Colors Festival 2013