What is the Geestdrift Festival?

This is some information in English on the Geestdrift Festival. We notice that every we have more English speaking guests at our festival. Here you find some information about the festival, some reviews and how to get your ticket or find a place to stay in the city of Utrecht.

The Dutch Geestdrift Festival is a unique substantive, progressive, arty and edgy indoor festival with a program filled with beauty, engagement and meaning. The festival is organized once a year in one of the most beautiful churches, in the Netherlands, the Geertekerk in the centre of Utrecht.
The Dutch word ‘geestdrift’ means zeal, inspiration and liveliness. Separately the word ‘geest’ means spirit and ‘drift’ means fury, urge or drive.
In the five years of its existence, the Geestdrift Festival has become a household name within the rich cultural scene of the ancient city of Utrecht.

Geestdrift Festival differs from any other festival in The Netherlands by mixing art with social topics, theatre with philosophy, both classical and modern music with questions of modern meaning making. By creating space to rethink, and have artist recreate (former) faith traditions that can inspire, shock and move you at the same time. Geestdrift Festival inspires to be a platform for discussion and a playful reacquainting with ancient rituals and traditions of faith trough art, theatre, modern dance, poetry and music. We offer our visitors a striking program with both known and unknown national and international artists and speakers, making room for the search on what remains holy to us today.

The festival program
Some international artists and speakers that have performed at previous editions of the Geestdrift Festival are: The American poet Christian Wiman, the Irish philosopher Peter Rollins, Swedish songwriter David Åhlén , New Yorks street queen Baby Dee, the French pianist Charles-Henri Maulini, the Irish poet Padraig O’Tuama, English radical philosopher Kester Brewin, from Cansascity the Spokenword artists Listener, German art-rock Sea&Air and many more.

The fifth edition of Geestdrift Festival will be held on Saturday the 28th of October at the Geertekerk in Utrecht. Our program starts at twelve in the afternoon until twelve at night. This year professor in philosophy John Caputo will be joining us for two sessions. From the Czech Republic we welcome the well-known economist Tomas Sedlacek who will do a special reading of the book ‘The economy of good and evil’. Furthermore the Syrian dancer Ahmad Joudeh will be dancing at the festival and the Dutch journalist Roozbeh Kaboly will be speaking about the news we don’t get to see in the media. The Dutch philosopher Welmoed de Vlieger will be taking us down the path of one of her great loves, the mystic Meister Eckhart. We are also delighted to tell you that Trevor Gordon Hall, with his marvelous guitar compositions, will also be part of the festival. There will plenty of music, poetry, theatre, art and film to make your day at Geestdrift Festival worth while.

The program is being further developed at the moment but we promise to surprise, inspire en move you.

So what is Geestdrift Festival like?

 Singer David Åhlén:
“It was a special feeling to play at the festival. The beautiful church, the people, the atmosphere and light.
A place that invites contemplation and beauty.”

English philosopher Kester Brewin:
Geestdrift is, quite simply, wonderful: wonderful people, in a wonderful city, with a program full of wonders at every turn. I loved it.
From the food to the music and the openness to ideas, this is not only a very special place, but one so much needed in the global conversation about faith, equality and justice.

Spoken Word Artist Listener:
The Geestdrift Festival for me as an artist was very different from any other festival I’ve played. In my day there I was enjoying the speakers and music and people that came so much that I almost forgot I was there to perform, and then before I knew it was time to get on the stage and be a part of the festival in our way. Geestdrift is a very unique inclusive experience. I felt as though anyone, regardless of why they were there, was as much a part of the festival as any one else.

Philosopher Peter Rollins:
“In the world swapped by festivals of all kinds, Geestdrift stands out as a unique event that blends radical ideas, dangerous conversations and inspiring art to create an immersive — day experience designed to challenge, engage and transform in equal measure.”

Poet and activist Padraig ‘O Tuama:
“I found that the Geestdrift festival was a wonderful gathering of doubt and devotion. Bringing artists, performers, musicians, theologians and writers together, this festival explores corners of belief and belonging. I was inspired by the mixed crowd, the mixed religious perspectives, the mixed media and experiences. It is a balm and a delight.”


More info and how to get your tickets

The fifth edition of Geestdrift Festival will be held on Saturday the 28th of October in the Geertekerk, Geertekerkhof 23 in Utrecht. The Geertekerk is situated at about a fifteen minute walk from Utrecht Central Train Station.

The price of a whole day ticket is 30 euro at the door, 25 in presale
Tickets can be booked at www.geestdriftfestival.nl/tickets or by sending an email to: miranda@geestdriftfestival.nl

Info for guests from abroad

We try to facilitate our international guests as much as we can in order for them to be part of the Geestdrift Festival experience. This means there will be talks and other programs in English but we can also arrange a translator for you personally. We’ll also gladly help you find a place to stay in Utrecht if needed. Don’t hesitate and contact us at info@geestdriftfestival.nl
The nearest airport is Schiphol, just outside of Amsterdam. It takes you half an hour by train to get from Schiphol to Utrecht Central Station. If you need any help with this, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

We hope to see you at Geestdrift Festival on the 28th of October Utrecht. More info in Dutch can be found on www.geestdriftfestival.nl and www.facebook.com/geestdriftfestival