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Published on June 28th, 2015 | by Robbie Joseph


Tivoli Vreden Burg – a musical City with a City – Utrecht, Netherlands

It is no accident that this centre was built in Utrecht. Music can be heard literally everywhere in the city. On every stage, but also in its famous wharf cellars, cloister gardens, at the top of Dom Tower, in and around the industrial halls on the city’s outskirts. At the countless festivals from small and intimate to large internationally renowned musical gatherings. A fine network of practice spaces, small halls and big complexes, three musical training programs and many more training opportunities for talent behind the scenes gives young talent the opportunity to grow.


The Cultuurhuis Kanaleneiland initiative sees all kinds of projects organised for the kids in this neighbourhood. One of which is the project Music Unites. Teenagers from Utrecht and Morocco worked together on a track called “Vrijheid” (Freedom). At the Liberation Festival in a park in the neighbourhood, they presented the song and the video clip. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyzLmBbqCU4

My hosts Lidy and Arlette also told me about Kytopia, a music laboratory (or “innovatory” according to artistic founder Colin Benders a.k.a Kyteman) in the old Tivoli. It is a musical playground that immediately invites you to try out new sound combinations, to look for technical innovations and even to rediscover forgotten technology. Kytopia is also a centre of knowledge. Sharing information, experiences and equipment occurs on a daily basis. At the same time Kytopia is a centre of production, where tracks and operas are written, where single songs and entire albums are recorded, video clips are produced and shot, video walls are designed and programmed, where performances and tours are prepared, marketing campaigns are launched, artworks are designed etc. etc.  Kytopia covers every aspect of the musical chain.

This diversity is also seen in the different music genres that are produced at Tivoli. Pop, Jazz, Dance, Indie, Drum ‘n Bass, Electro, Classical, Opera, Hip Hop, Blues, Reggae, in Dutch, in English or in African – there are no restrictions. There is so much more to explore, so much more to discover, so many new combinations to make, so many new roads to walk. The opportunities are vast and limitless.

All of these aspects combined are what makes Kytopia a perfect setting for musical innovations and the development of talent in the midst of current musical practice. On a regular basis Kytopia works with Dutch conservatoria and other music schools and there is always room for interns. In association with Popsport Landelijk, several times a year Kytopia houses talented young bands. They can attend workshops, show other bands what they have to offer and Kytopia offers them, with a program called De Muziekbasis, personalized coaching. Additionally Kytopia works with De Coöperatie, a musical platform for pop talent. With master classes and special projects they focus on young talented musicians who have already started a musical career. ​

Pan Podium is currently discussing with the Utrecht Culture Ministry to get the steelpan and its music to be included and fused within all their musical projects in the Tivoli.

Visit the following link to read and view more about the Tivoli –


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