Page 1

– In Words & Numbers –

le guess who ?


10th anniversary edition in words

& numbers



(Cover photo: Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids, by Melanie Marsman) This photo: Bo Ningen, by Jelmer de Haas

– Le Guess Who? 2016 –

– In Words & Numbers –

le guess who ?

2016 - 10th anniversary edition

“Come not just for the music, but the location and spirit of the whole thing, and be beguiled.” – The Thin Air (ie)

In November 2007, Le Guess Who? was born: a festival with an everchanging format that maintains a steady focus on adventure, and over the last decade, we’ve grown into a leading international music festival. During our 10th Anniversary Edition in 2016, we brought together influential artists, some of whom had also performed at previous editions, and together with our devoted audience, we celebrated the art of sound & experiment in and with the city of Utrecht. After 10 years, we came full-circle, which resonated in the festival’s artwork. Colors and graphics illuminated different contexts and connections within the program, with free jazz next to Gregorian chant, doom metal next to Brazilian samba, and the celebratory Indian ensemble the Rajasthan Express next to Ethiopian children’s circus Debre Berhan, who performed in the Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital in Utrecht during Le Guess Who?. With this magazine, we capture the responses and emotions of festival-goers from near and far, as well as examining the impact of the festival in words & numbers. - Le Guess Who? Team


– Le Guess Who? 2016 –

“The 10th edition of Le Guess Who? was perhaps the most eclectic lineup of the year — featuring a Brazilian samba queen, an experimental accordion composer legend, and even regular festivalgoers yet somehow the festivities felt close-knit, balmy, and even cozy.”

Phurpa, by Tim van Veen

– Consequence of Sound (us)

Les Filles de Illighadad, by Melanie Marsman

Chicago house music hero. That may be jarring to


The Dwarfs of East Agouza, by Jelmer de Haas

– In Words & Numbers –

“Nu de meeste popfestivals zijn uitgegroeid tot risicomijdende massabijeenkomsten, biedt dit festijn ruimte aan de buitenstaanders, bizarre ideeën en naar verborgen kleinoden speurende muzieknerds.”

Pauline Oliveros, by Tim van Veen


“Le Guess Who?, dat is luisteren in totale, gefocuste verbroedering.” – Cultureel Persbureau


Photo: Digable Planets, by Jelmer de Haas

– Le Guess Who? 2016 –

“People are here to listen, to enjoy and to share their love for the normally below the radar music. They go out to see the newcomers and the obscurities with the same kind of welcoming enthusiasm with which they greet the most well-known names in the lineup. There’s something refreshingly effortless in the ambience. Could this finally be the modern festival dream of ‘no headliners’?”


Weyes Blood, portrait by Juri Hiensch

– One Quart Magazine (fi)

– In Words & Numbers –

“Le Guess Who staat inmiddels bekend als hét festival voor genredoorbrekende en vooruitstrevende (pop)muziek, waarvoor het publiek vanuit wel dertig landen afreist naar Utrecht.” – de Volkskrant

Screenshots: Pitchfork (US) & New York Times announcements of Le Guess Who? 2016.


– Le Guess Who? 2016 –

Le Guess Who? 2016:

14.650 visitors 181 performances 20 locations

Le Mini Who? + Le Bazarre:

5.500 visitors 64 performances 30 locations

• Le Guess Who? 2016 attracted visitors between 17 & 68 years of age. Average age: 35 years.

• 65,8% of audience was a returning festival visitor. • Main reasons to visit Le Guess Who?: - The quality and diversity of the program; - Discovering new music as well as the city of Utrecht; - The intimate atmosphere and festival’s authenticity.


William Tyler, by Jelmer de Haas

• 46% of tickets sold abroad, in 54 different countries.

– In Words & Numbers –

What overall grade would you give the festival? 68,4%: 5/5***** 28,4%: 4/5**** 2,9%: 3/5*** Average grade: 9,2

What is the highest level of education you have finished? Master’s degree: 38,9% Bachelor’s degree (HBO/WO): 39,9% Vocational school (MBO): 7,5% High school: 9,7% • Other: 4% Most common types of studies: Arts & Culture: 22,7% • Technology/Engineering: 16,9% Communication/Language: 13,7% • Social studies: 13,4% Economics/Management: 13,1%

Would you visit the festival again? Yes: 99,5%

Would you recommend Le Guess Who? to friends? Yes: 98,9%


– Le Guess Who? 2016 –

Tickets sold in 54 countries: Australia














South Africa







Czech Republic

Netherlands Antilles



New Zealand










United Arab Emirates



United Kingdom



United States



United States Virgin Islands

Hungary Iceland

Indonesia Ireland Israel Italy Japan Latvia


The Comet is Coming, portrait by Juri Hiensch


Photo by Melanie Marsman

– In Words & Numbers –

91% of visitors from abroad would like to visit Utrecht again outside of the festival

Beautiful Words most used by festival visitors to describe the city of Utrecht:

Compact Cosy Friendly Multicultural

“The most pressing musical reason to visit Utrecht is undoubtedly Le Guess Who?, a four-day, multi-venue festival in mid-November of startling quality and diversity.” – The National (uk)


Patty Waters, by Tim van Veen

12 Preoccupations, by Jan Rijk

Swans, by Jelmer de Haas

– Le Guess Who? 2016 –

Weyes Blood, by Juri Hiensch

– In Words & Numbers –


– Le Guess Who? 2016 –

“The festival with the line-up to end all line-ups.”

“For ten consecutive years, the festival brings new and exciting music to Utrecht. Since a few years, Le Guess Who? festival also gives the city an international buzz.” – Sounds From the Dark Side (nl)


Hannah Peel, portrait by Juri Hiensch

– The Skinny (uk)

– In Words & Numbers –

“Het Utrechtse tegentonenfestival uit de koker van Bob van Heur en Johan Gijsen is uitgegroeid tot één van de belangrijkste alternatieve festivals van Europa.” – OOR

“Le Guess Who? is much more than just a music festival. It is an annual gathering of true music, art and love worshippers. It is a hymn to the experimental, pure, open-minded, eccentric, underground

Jherek Bischoff, by Melanie Marsman

Jherek Bischoff, by Melanie Marsman

and legendary.” – Feva Kristina (nl)


– Le Guess Who? 2016 –

“Le Guess Who? verblijdt en verzadigt voor een jaar.” – de Volkskrant Gedeelte van Volkskrant-special over Le Guess Who?, plus recensie


– In Words & Numbers –


– Le Guess Who? 2016 –


– In Words & Numbers –

Publicaties: Volkskrant Trouw Telegraaf MOJO Magazine (UK) Full Moon Magazine (CZ) KlasseKampen (NO) Gonzo (circus) (BE)


Junun, by Jan Rijk

– Le Guess Who? 2016 –

“Een gedroomde afsluiter van een festival waar vanuit de hele wereld mensen samen komen om zich eens te verdiepen in andere muziek. Noem het sentimenteel geneuzel, maar muziek is nog steeds een ideaal middel om je blikveld op andere vlakken ook wat te verruimen. En dat kunnen we best gebruiken.”

Karolus Magnus, by Jan Rijk

– 3voor12 over Junun


Junun, by Juri Hiensch

– In Words & Numbers –

“Waarschijnlijk bestaat er wereldwijd geen festival dat zo de diepte in durft te gaan als Le Guess Who dit jaar.” – Noisey

“Le Guess Who? heeft zich ontwikkeld tot een festival dat bewust afstand neemt van hokjes en vastgeroeste genres en dat bijzondere muzikale ontmoetingen programmeert.” – Mixed World Music


– Le Guess Who? 2016 –

“Ik zag hoe zowel de vijftigjarigen als jonge indiekids elkaar in de armen vallen van euforie.” – Noisey


Junun, by Jelmer de Haas

– In Words & Numbers –


– Le Guess Who? 2016 –

Le Mini Who? 2016, by Gido Leijtens

Development of Le Guess Who? 2016 artwork Illustration by Suuns’ Joe Yarmush Layout/typography by Loudmouth


Le Gig Poster?, by Gido Leijtens

– In Words & Numbers –


– Le Guess Who? 2016 –

“What was your most memorable moment of Le Guess Who? 2016?”

Savages, by Jelmer de Haas

From our visitors survey:

“Entering Tivoli and soaking

“Getting lost on the way to De Helling, and having

in the magnitude of it all,

a local to walk me to the venue even though he

the beauty of the structure

didn’t know about the festival and it was late and a

and the art and sounds.”

bit out of his way...”

“The singer of Savages walking on the hands of the public.”

“Discarding my time-

“Seeing Elza Soares up on that throne, in that

table on Saturday, and

dress, with that hair, petting that man as if he was

just seeing where

her dog.”

I would end up.”

“Coming back from a year of waiting. Breathing the atmosphere, beautiful.”

“I’ve never been so easily moved to tears by so many different artists - despite of being surrounded by a festival crowd. Nearly every performance had it’s special magical moment.” 26

Treasure Guide 2016

– In Words & Numbers –

“Finding an article on the back page of the

“Lonnie Holley talking about

Treasure Guide about ‘memorable moments’ that

the European castles and

quoted my daughter’s 2014 ‘memorable moment’.

how moved he was when he

She still has the Le Guess Who? question mark that they smuggled out of Moira under their coats :)”

first saw a real castle. Until then he’d only known them from fairy tales.”

“Sunday night on my way home on my bicycle though my deserted hometown feeling satiesfied after LGW16.”

“The start of Junun. The band came out and

“When I saw the joy that a

the feelings of happiness and melancholy came

couple of debutants had at

together as it was the perfect closure of Le

their first Le Guess Who?.”

Guess Who? 2016.”

“The first time coming up to the square near Pandora again and seeing all these beautiful likeminded people.” 27

Elza Soares, by Juri Hiensch

Elza Soares, by Jelmer de Haas

– Le Guess Who? 2016 –

“Ze is in tranen, want het is waarschijnlijk de laatste keer dat de oude dame in Nederland te zien zal zijn. Soares’ optreden heeft veel van een hoogmis en is als zodanig onvergetelijk.” – DJ Broadcast


– In Words & Numbers –

“A memorable celebration of multiculturalism, of the much-needed breaking down of barriers in these strange times.” – QRO Magazine (us/uk)

“Het aantal unieke shows is ongekend. Terwijl veel festivals vissen in dezelfde vijver, heeft Le Guess Who? ogenschijnlijk een eigen universum gecreëeerd waaruit het kan putten.” – 3voor12

“In the form of Brazilian samba empress Elza Soares, whom I will admit to having mere passing knowledge of before this weekend, Le Guess Who? also dishes up the best show I’ve seen all year.” – The Quietus (uk)


– Le Guess Who? 2016 –


– In Words & Numbers –

“I leave Utrecht feeling like we might just be able to stay sane with more experiences like this. Music isn’t just desirable. – FACT Magazine (uk)

Suuns, by Melanie Marsman

It’s necessary, invaluable. It’s how we know who we are.”


– Le Guess Who? 2016 –

“Utrecht wordt overspoeld door internationale artiesten en muziekfanaten.”

Wilco, by Juri Hiensch


“Most festivals are described as being like nowhere else on earth, but at Le Guess Who?, alternate states and ways of being feel

Patty Waters, portrait by Juri Hiensch

legitimately possible.” – The 405 (uk)


– In Words & Numbers –

“Combining the very best of experimental music, whilst in-habiting numerous galleries, venues and churches of the most beautiful Dutch city – Utrecht that is. What more can you ask for, really?” – Ponto

Jessy Lanza, by Jelmer de Haas

Fendika/The Ex Festival, by Tim van Veen

Alternativo (pt)

“Op Le Guess Who? worden de meest uiteenlopende artiesten gebonden door hun liefde voor het experiment.” – Trouw


– Le Guess Who? 2016 –

“One of the best festivals we’ve been to all year.”

Jackie Lynn, portrait by Juri Hiensch

– The Line of Best Fit (uk)

“Le Guess Who? feels like an escape from what’s going on in the world as much as a reaction to it. In a broader sense, it’s a magnificent experience in large part due to its international outlook and efforts to shrug off Eurocentrism.” – The Quietus (uk)


I Speak Machine, by Melanie Marsman

“Le Guess Who?: door liefhebbers, voor liefhebbers.” – UUT

Suuns, portrait by Juri Hiensch

– In Words & Numbers –

Le Mini Who? 2016, by Melanie Marsman

“Le Mini Who is hét Noorderslag van de underground.” – 3voor12


Tashi Wada & Yoshi Wada, by Tim van Veen

– Le Guess Who? 2016 –


Wilco, by Jelmer de Haas

Mario Batkovic, by Tim van Veen

Circus Debre Berhan, by Tim van Veen

The Mandolin Sisters, by Tim van Veen

– In Words & Numbers –


– Le Guess Who? 2016 –

“Music as a means of escape has perhaps never seemed so vital, and as people scurry between floors at TivoliVredenburg and out towards the other venues there’s a sense of how important it is that art, in all its forms,


Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba, by Jelmer de Haas

Circus Debre Berhan, by Tim van Veen

can be a refuge and a unifying force.” – Drowned in Sound (uk)

Swans’ Michael Gira, portrait by Juri Hiensch

– In Words & Numbers –

“Le Guess Who? has time and time again proven itself to be one of the world’s most innovative indoor festivals.” – All Things Loud (nl)

“Het inmiddels wereldbefaamde Utrechtse festival moet het niet van grote namen hebben, maar van de nieuwsgierigheid van de bezoekers.” – AD Utrechts Nieuwsblad


– Le Guess Who? 2016 –

“By dividing the festival up over various venues, Le Guess Who? effectively transforms Utrecht into a weekend-long musical playground and encourages visitors to explore the city’s wider cultural landscape.”

Le Bazarre, by Melanie Marsman

Le Feast, by Sabrine Baakman

– The Culture Trip (uk/us)


‘10 Years of Le Guess Who?’ City Expo, by Juri Hiench

– In Words & Numbers –


– Le Guess Who? 2016 –

Screenshots: video portraits, by Le Guess Who? & de Volkskrant

“It’s hard to define what brings all the artists together, but I think an interest in mystery; music that’s undefinable. That’s something I really value in music.” – Julia Holter

Screenshot: Wilco’s ‘Take Away Show’, presented by La Blogotheque & Le Guess Who?. Recorded at Museum Speelklok’s restoration room in Utrecht 42

Photo by Gido Leijtens

– In Words & Numbers –

Thank you:

TivoliVredenburg • Distorted Channel • Gemeente Utrecht • Fonds Podiumkunsten VSBfonds • Fonds 21 • Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds • K.F. Hein Fonds Boellaard Fonds • Residenties in Utrecht • Fentener van Vlissingen • EKKO • De Helling dB’s • Leeuwenbergh • Janskerk • LE:EN • RASA • Stadsschouwburg Utrecht • Theater Kikker ACU • Moira • Centraal Museum • Louis Hartlooper Complex • Loudmouth • Triomf Gaudeamus Muziekweek • Best Kept Secret • Just Like Your Mom • La Blogotheque Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht • Handprinted Stuff/Atelier Diks • de Volkskrant Het Productiekantoor • Vrije Geluiden • 3voor12 • The 405 • The Line of Best Fit • The Wire Drowned in Sound • SPEX • Full Moon Magazine • • This is Underground Elise Mathilde • Gonzo (circus) • Recordplanet • Do Brasil • Consouling Sounds


– Le Guess Who? 2016 –

“Dazed, happy, we leave reminded beyond doubt that there are music festivals, and then there is Le Guess Who?”


Photo by Gido Leijtens

– MOJO Magazine (uk)

Le Guess Who? 2016 In Words & Numbers  

Le Guess Who? is the Netherlands’ go-to event for exploration, collaboration, and musical boundary-crossing. In 2016, the 10th Anniversary E...

Le Guess Who? 2016 In Words & Numbers  

Le Guess Who? is the Netherlands’ go-to event for exploration, collaboration, and musical boundary-crossing. In 2016, the 10th Anniversary E...