TT Festival 2018

I visited the TT Festival last night. In a lead up to the trainings and races of the Dutch MotoGP on the TT Circuit of Assen the TT Festival offers lots of fun and activities from Wednesday until Saturday. Musically it’s a bit of a sad affair these days, but luckily there’s lots and lots of other things to do, beginning with a funfair!

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TT Festival Assen

On Saturday June 29 the MotoGP was races in Assen and on the days preceding that, our little town is bustling with festivities. A funfair is opened a week in advance and on Wednesday halfway to the big event the center of Assen is transformed into a huge festival area with lots of music.

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Jacqueline Govaert and Ben Saunders @ TT Festival

I love my hometown, but truth be told, Assen isn’t much of a lively town. Except that one week a year, when we’re taken over by bikers. When the TT Motorraces come to town, the week leading up to it Assen turns into a biker-city with three days of festival with musical performances for just about every taste.

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Cuby & The Blizzards and Mooi Wark at TT Festival

On Thursday June 24 the second night of the TT Festival started and as the Dutch were playing the last match in the first round of the world cup, a large screen was set up for the crowd to see the match and as the Dutch won, the crowd were happy. A good start of the evening and in preparation to the first gig the DJ had the crowd jumping, singing and doing the polonaise, with beer flying through the air and an ever more cheery bunch of festival goers.

But they were here for music (well, a lot were probably mostly there for the beer, but must were there for music) and Thursday was the Night for the ‘Assenaren’ (inhabitants of Assen), but we didn’t mind if you weren’t from Assen. As long as you had a good time. Th first act of the evening was out national Blues legend “Cuby & The Blizzards”, the band that practically introduced blues to the Netherlands.

The band has been inactive for a few years but have been on the road for a long time again now and still produce new songs and albums and they have a loyal support. Musically they’re also still very good. Not as raw and rock-like as the new generation of bluesbands, but they manage very well.

Playing a set consisting of lots of old time favorites and some new work, they played a great set and these days they expanded the band with a horn-section, where I recognized one of the New Cool Collective members. A great gig and I was glad to see these men still hold their own

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Although at first I told myself that I’d go home after Cuby & The Blizzards, standing where I stood, I thought I might just as well wait for the next act: Mooi Wark. A band singing in Dutch dialect. The songs are a bit camp and are based on utter nonsence, but I must admit that if you filter out the lyrics and the idiotic nonsense in between the songs, the music itself is tightly played and at times even reminds me of Status Quo. Beer was flying around a lot and the crowd was getting jollier by the minute so once I had my photos I got the heck out of there. It was fun, but not really my kinda music

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