April 20, 2020

Becky and I, our dedicated staff, and countless others involved with Roadburn are extremely overwhelmed by sense of community shown over the last few days – the Pretend Roadburn group has even been a huge lifesaver in the middle of some of the most uncertain times since WWII. Paralyzed by the global pandemic, and the loss of the actual festival, we didn’t even know what to do with ourselves – like all of you, we were heartbroken and stuck at home, worrying about the new normal, about our daily life, and the things and people we love all so much. On a personal level, I’m also worrying so much about all the creatives, and their struggles to keep going – it just hurts big time!

We weren’t even sure if it wouldn’t be appropriate for us to bring you a few little slivers of Roadburn spirit this weekend – again, so much grief and fear. As Roadburn’s our lifesblood, Becky started to reach out to a few artists, discussing ideas for a live session or two, a single Q&A, and a daily playlist to keep things humble. And then came along a group of wiley Roadburners staging something of a takeover to keep the festival going – we simply couldn’t believe the outpouring of love online, from Roadburn Radio coming to you from Tilburg, or this glorious Facebook group set up by Peter Huibers and Jeriël van der Land – you all pulled off such a miracle! It ignited us to start relentlessly working on the Weirdo Canyon Dispatch (thank you JJ, Lee and the others as well), and reaching out for more live sessions and such (thank you Becky). Suddenly it was like being at the festival, and engaging with everyone in ways that we have never felt or experienced before – the connection was palpable even online.

You gave Roadburn such a new lease on life over the last few days, letting us all celebrate the pretend festival from our homes, with so much passion, hope, and love coming from our screens, and oozing from our speakers. I’m still lost for the proper words to express my feelings and gratitude (the same goes for Becky and everyone involved), though, I’ll try. As you might know, we won the VNPF award for best festival earlier this year. Hereby, I’d like to hand over the award to our beloved community, as it’s you who kept Roadburn going in such an inspirational way during these trying times, and pushed it into a new realm beyond our wildest imagination. It’s something we won’t forget for the rest of our lives, as we’re all connected for life.

The award is yours forever!

Becky and Walter on behalf of the entire Roadburn crew and the 013 venue.