How did I end up at this end of the summer festival in The Netherlands? .. yeah thats kind of a blurr. But my friend had an extra ticket, invited me, a flight was booked, and boom I’m in Amsterdam. This festival was located in Utrecht.
SMEERBOEL, I was told basically means “messy” (or directly translated from Dutch “Grease”). As someone who’s never been there before the word messy wasn’t the most exciting one to hear in regards to where I was about to go, but I was intrigued. I honestly had no idea what to expect, neither did the friend I went there with. We were just going with it. For non-europeans (aka us lazy Americans) riding bikes isn’t typically the everyday, everywhere norm. But out here it is, so transportation wise most people either rode their bikes, took buses or like us walked. I think someone said it took us like an hour to walk, but between chugging vodka straight and drinking gin and apple juice, the time flied.
As soon as we get there we walk into what looks like a fair. There were maybe 3 bigger stages were DJ’s played and hundreds of people gathered to dance, multiple little tent areas or game areas catering to drinking and music, then just off games scattered. This is exactly what a playground for adults looked like. Adult playground paradise to be exact.
So right away you could tell why the festival was called “messy”. One game you ran and then jumped on a blow up animal then raced down a water/glittered slide thing. Next to this were old cars and huge barrels filled with water to serve as “hot tubs”. Next to that were huge Captain Morgan barrels with seats to serve as a merry-go-round-isque ride. Then there were these broken down looking hippie decorated houses, kind of in resemblance of a typical “fun house”at a fair.
In good Smeerboel fashion I got painted on and painted a stranger. She said she made a palm tree, (I’m not quite sure about that though lol.)
They have a bunch of colors and glitter and paint brunches and there’s just a train of people painting one another, it was great.
They have a system. You don’t use real money but actually you trade in your cash for these pins (as shown on the left). I think that’s a great concept, instead of potentially losing money, rumbling through coins and bills, you give either whole pins or half. I can’t remember the equivalent of dollars per pins maybe 2-3Euros per.
Most of the DJs (more like all) were playing house/ deep house/ techno/ club/ trance/ EDM music. I love that type of music in this setting. Everyone is vibing, and feeling the base and just carefree dancing.
There was this hidden tent that you could only get to through a hidden porta-potty and in that tent they played reggae and some top 40 mix.
Shoutout to all the wonderful people I met there :-*