Amersfoort was ripe for a stimulating festival, Thijs Trompert, Marisja Smit and Ron Jagers thought in 2007. The small group was soon joined by Sander van Mil and Willem Borra. Amersfoort, on the border of the Veluwe and the Randstad. Which way does the city want to look? Do we remain the (world) village or do we set our sights on the 'big' world. Reason for a pinprick: the Pornofestival. The full title: Porno, art on the edge, on the edge of the Veluwe and the Randstad.
The first press release created huge swells right away. Porn? Porn festival in Amersfoort? That's not possible and that's not allowed! The Criticasters were not sharp, observant readers. It eluded them that it was the announcement of an arts event. "Arts? No, it was porn. Bah!" Discussions ran high and even reached the Amersfoort City Council: "Shame. Under no circumstances should such a festival receive a subsidy." Now the organization did not intend to apply for a subsidy either, but this council discussion made the artists change their minds. A grant application with an extremely high, unrealistic budget was submitted. Coal on the fire. A publicity gift. The festival received national attention: articles in the Volkskrant, the AD and the Telegraaf, radio interviews on radio and Radio 3. The NOS newsroom devoted an item to it.
The festival was held in multiple locations. Central location, however, was Thijs and Marisja's studio. The large shed on the Eem, which at that time was not yet divided. Local 4 was an annex that included an installation by Ron Jagers and the pornographic drawings of Peter van Straaten. The video above gives an impression of the installation in Local 4. The photos below show the work that was displayed in Thijs and Marisja's shed. The festival lasted a weekend and attracted thousands of visitors from all over the country.