World Party

The Crossing Border Festival left my brain slightly overcast

World Party

God bless Holland and its generous weed laws and walkable city centers. In Den Haag, Holland, last week for the Crossing Border Festival, a whirl of music and literature that lands here in March, I had a foggy vision of Austin.

The Hague, a historical city and seat of Dutch parliament, was the perfect backdrop for this cultural summit, much like Austin is during South by Southwest. Their "downtown" was being reconstructed to accommodate only pedestrians and bicycles, the latter of which almost outnumber cars. The city government was involved with the fest at almost every level, proud to be exporting their arts scene. And the main venue was pleasantly efficient: a lovely theater that doubled as multiple stages.

It was an interesting collection of talent, too. McSweeney’s celebrated its 10th anniversary with readings by Me Generation figurehead Jay McInerney, young Brit author Richard Milward, and Liz Taylor lover Kathe Burkhart.

Grizzly Bear, Monsters of Folk, and Steve Earle proved the Dutch love big-name singer-songwriters, but there were also more intimate performances, like a solo Steve Malkmus doing "Shady Lane" acoustic to about 100 people, Jim White playing fireside during the day, and Belgian proto-metal trio Madensuyu.

Earlier in the week, five bands from the Hague who will be coming to South by Southwest played a teaser showcase. These kids were young and mainlining rock & roll almost exclusively. There's something in the air there, or maybe the water, or maybe it's the FEBO.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Audra Schroeder
SXSW Interactive Conference Quick Cuts
The Signal & the Noise
Statistician Nate Silver on more data, more problems

March 15, 2013

SXSW Film Reviews: 'Kiss of the Damned'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

March 15, 2013


Crossing Border Festival, the Hague

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle