On Sunday 19th September 2010, we classical musicians will once again compete with the famous “Dam to Dam.” This 26th edition of “Dam tot Dam” (Dam to Dam) is the largest running event in the world and the largest business run of its kind. The name comes from the start and finish cities of AmsterDAM and ZaanDAM. [More information in English here.]
I say we will compete WITH not compete IN this “Dam tot Dam” because we are competing for the attention of the audience and the logistics of getting to the church on time. The Oosterkerk, like other central attractions, will not be reachable by private car or bus. The main roads will be closed to traffic to allow the 10 English Mile, the 4-English Mile, and the mini Dam tot Dam.
A year ago, the third Sunday in September, we gave a free concert of contemporary works in this 17th century church. No longer used for religious services, the church offered regular organ concerts and art exhibitions for the community
We were being paid a flat fee so it did not matter how many people came. The concert itself, like this year’s, was entirely FREE to the public. Unaware of this marathon, we arrived to a deserted Amsterdam that Sunday morning. We got off at Muiderport station and walked a good 15 minutes with our costumes, guitar, music stand, and music scores. It was all quiet on the eastern front (oost means east in Dutch). There was enough space for several hundred.
Only 20 people came to the free concert.
We wondered how the Funen Concert at nearby Funen Park 125 (also on the east of central Amsterdam) fared at 15:00.
This year, I will be giving a concert with French horn player Emile Kaper at 15:00 i.e. AFTER the Bekkers Piano Guitar Duo concert. Unlike the Oosterkerk concert, the Funen Concert pays the musicians based on a percentage of total revenue. This year it’s 10 euros per ticket at entry. The maximum capacity is 40. Reservations are not required but requested. Thus it’s vitally important that anyone what wants to attend our concerts know just how to get to these two concert venues with respect to the marathon.
—- continued on next blog post: How to travel around Amsterdam during the Dam tot Dam