This weekend is the 2018 edition of the Swingin’ Groningen festival and every year I try to at least get one night in and this year I visited on Friday evening as that had the best part of the program for me.
With a busy week I wasn’t able to do both Friday and Saturday of the Swingin’ Groningen festival, however I was by no way going to miss the whole festival and Saturday had some great names on the schedule. So after finishing my work on the Static Roots Festival, doing a ride on the Bianchi and fixing evening-dinner, I hopped in my car and drove to Groningen for more music!
Being a lover of Jazz -both the traditional and the more swinging, funky kind- I look forward to the Swingin’ Groningen festival every year. The festival has been put on hold a few times as it’s a free festival and money is tight, but if they’re on and I have a chance I wil absolutely check out some of the band and so it was I was in Groningen last night.
I love the Swingin’ Groningen festival: it’s a terrific free festival in the heart of Groningen and brings a mix of swinging Jazz, Soul, Blues and R&B. It was a huge shame last year’s edition had to be cancelled, but I was happy to be able to attend the Friday evening part of this festival (had to give Saturday a miss, you can’t always do everything…).
In 2004-in my early days as a concert photographer- I saw Polar Bear at the Swingin’ Groningen festival. Had never heard of the band, but they made a huge impression on me and their album ‘Held on the Tips of Fingers’ is -together with ‘The Best Band You Will Never Hear In Your Life by Frank Zappa- the root of my iPhone playlist. It has and will never be removed from that. So finally seeing the band after 10 years was just awesome.
Saturday was already the third evening of Swingin’ Groningen. I attended the first evening but had to pass on the second evening (missing the fantastic Dirty Dozen Brass Band). However I was able to make it to the third and last evening of this edition that held some interesting names.
It’s the 20th Anniversary of Swingin’ Groningen this year and that has to be celebrated! The festival was rebooted 3 years ago after having been on hiatus for a couple of years and -after a modest start- is starting to really grow again. Mixing wel known names with new talent is showing to be a good success. June 13th was the opening evening of the festival.
After Friday’s program Swingin’ Groningen was far from over. In the afternoon there were performances in various locations in the city, entertaining the shoppers with lots of music and in the evening it was back to the four stages I covered the day before. The afternoon I spent shopping and not shooting so no photos of thos gigs I’m afraid, but I did try my best to cover as much of the evening as I could whilst also enjoying the performances.
The 19th edition of Swingin’ Groningen is held this year. Quite impressive considering the 5 years the festival was on hold. It got a ‘reboot’ last year and thankfully they’re back to stay so this year Groningen was swinging again for a good three days.