Online happenings for January

During the current period of lockdown, people are looking for digital entertainment and so here’s a short round-up of activities for online inspiration and pursuits to pass the time during January. Why not travel around the country – virtually – to discover the delights of illustration, opera, music and illumination?

It’s a New Year and there’s lots to be hopeful for – yey, 2021 is finally here! – though, it starts off slowly while we still do our bit to stay home and keep our distance for the first few weeks at least. Let’s get back to discovering videos online and being entertained by how people are getting creative. Here are some of the events that have been uncovered that you might like to schedule in this month.


Toneelschuur & Filmschuur

Toneelschuur and artist Joost SwarteWhat: Joost Swarte illustrations
When: Order by 7 January

Toneelschuur, like all our cultural institutions, is closed at the moment. Though, you can still watch all the scheduled films online courtesy of Picl and you can grab yourself a specially-designed t-shirt if you order this week! Visitors may already be familiar with the artist Joost Swarte (he designed the visuals that adorn the venue to help visitors keep 1.5 metre distance; details here). Well, now, together with the Haarlem entrepreneurs of Zeef Your Local, Toneelschuur offers t-shirts, sweaters, hoodies and aprons emblazoned with illustrations that Joost specially designed. It is a great way to give support and in return you get a cool design, completely environmentally-friendly. Deadline to place orders: 7 January! Details


Dutch Nationale Opera

Dutch Nationale Opera

What: Not a classical opera
When: Until 19 February

In FAUST [working title], you can take you on a journey to another world – and it is all online, for free. The description reads: ‘A new generation of music theatre makers from the Netherlands took Goethe’s Faust as their inspiration and sought to find an answer to the strange situation in which we are living right now. Together with numerous composers and artists from all over the world, they created, in a very short time an unusual performance. Not a classical opera, but a poetic, musical reflection on who we are and where we are going.’ Watch online throughout January and beyond! Details

Amsterdam Light Festival

Amsterdam Light Festival
What: Illuminating online tour
When: Throughout January

Amsterdam Light Festival Edition #9 is different to usual. There is no walking tour, though there are a select number of artworks dotted around Amsterdam (the exact locations are not being identified) and the festival will be sharing information and stories online, so you can enjoy the illuminations without having to leave home. The organisers comment: ‘This year, there is no light walk but our light keeps shining. The light art will enlighten a much broader audience online. Together with the artists and our partners we’re redirecting all of our energy to this new approach, in order to still be able to enlighten the city during her darkest days.’ Details


Eurosonic Noorderslag

Eurosonic 2021What: Music festival and conference
When: 13 to 16 January

The 2021 edition of the music showcase, festival and conference ESNS (Eurosonic Noorderslag) that normally takes place in Groningen will now be a fully digital edition, accessible from your own home. You can watch the festival concerts for free via the ESNS platform (registration required) and you can also pay (reduced fee) to join the industry conference with live streams, on-demand panels, keynotes and sessions covering a fantastic range of musical topics. Details


Studio Drift

Studio Drift NYE drone showWhat: Dare to dream again
When: 1 January

In case you missed it, we share here the illuminating way that Studio Drift welcomed the New Year. Remember back in May when the creative team lit up the sky with a bright red beating heart? (see here) Well, they did it again in the form of a short film and drone performance above the river Maas in Rotterdam in which they counted down to the start of the year. As noted on the studio’s Instagram: “In light of the alternative celebrations on New Year’s Eve, a short a film has been created that embodies the feeling of a ‘new day’. The film reflects on the old (2020) and looks forward to the new (2021). The story follows a fairytale like figure, which slowly lets go of all the troubles and burden of the past year.” View the short version on Instagram here and full 10-minute film on YouTube. Details

Slowly let go of all the troubles and burden of the past year

Carmel McNamara