The 15th edition of Buitenbeenpop, a unique music festival for people with learning disabilities, took place in Leopoldsburg, in Flanders, Belgium, on Friday 29 August.
Apart from some classic Flemish and Dutch singers, people with disabilities also performed on stage this year.
The ART-is Band consists of no less than forty artists with learning disabilities from Malta, Spain, Iceland, Poland, England, Finland and Turkey, together with actors from the theatre group Leopoldsburg – Opening Doors.
The opening performance for the festival, ‘Supercell’, was led by composer Alex Otterlei who had been inspired by the ‘supercell’ storm which ravaged a trail of destruction throughout Belgium on 9 and 10 June 2014.
The piece also encouraged audience participation, with comedian Steven Goegebuer asking the public in advance to imitate the actions that the actors were about to perform on stage.
After Supercell, musicians from the Charity Stay Up Late from Brighton, England, performed a punk/rock/metal set bringing their own a cover version of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit, an original composition by Ryan O’Donovan and the song ‘You don’t need words where we come from’ written two days before in a workshop with participants in the ART-is project.
All this was made possible with the help of a two-year European project, ART-is.
ART-is is a Grundtivg Learning Partnership bringing together arts organisations and artists with learning disabilities from across Europe.
It started in Iceland in October 2013 and ends with a final festival in Malta in June 2015. There have also been performances in London, Brighton and Kälviä (Finland) with visits to Madrid and Warsaw lined up.
Shot, edited and story produced by Anneke Verschave. 2nd Camera by Icaro Maiterena.