Straatkunst Festival – Delft Street Performers

Delft makes full use of its large and handsome main square. Dominated by the magnificent Nieuwe Kerk at one end and the spectacular Stadhuis at the other, most weekends during the summer will find something happening there. Last week it was marching bands, this week street performers.

Although most of the acts performed in the ten designated areas in the square, the Markt, there was lots going on in the streets around including a peripatetic circus stilt-walker and two guys with their tiny stage precariously perched on the edge of a canal doing an act with cardboard boxes and a disappearing teddy bear.

In all, over the three day festival, there were about 25 acts ranging from Japanese jugglers to manic violinists, from free-style jazz to reggae. Although the weather had suddenly turned from heatwave to damp and chilly the festival continued with performers, on the Saturday at least, trying to protect their instruments and props under tiny canvas-covered stages. The UK was represented by Sid Bowfin who, dressed in white tie and tails, khaki trousers and trainers, demonstrated his virtuosity on the violin but not before a lot of manic hyperactive tom-foolery which included involving members of the audience.

There were a couple of things I really liked for kids, encouraging them to be creative. There was an area full of old off-cuts of wood and a selection of basic tool for kids to make things – hammering nails in seemed very popular. For the more technically minded children Repair Kid was on hand in a psychedelic caravan with a shed load of electrical bits strewn on the ground. There were computer innards, old vacuum cleaners and lots of things with wires attached. Despite the intricacy of some of the items on offer, hammering still seemed to be a favourite response to them.

Delft is a beautiful, easily reached city with an awful lot happening. Always worth a visit.   Michael Hasted    June 2017