Last year’s Over het IJ festival, where theater takes place in shipping containers.


Posts | City Guide Those who want to can visit Amsterdam. And canal boat tours can take a ferry right behind the Central Station to the northern part of the city. On the other side of the inland bay called the IJ, which divides Amsterdam into two parts, is the NDSM, a former shipping wharf, which now hosts festivals (and student housing) in shipping containers. Yes, shipping containers.

One of these events is the Over het IJ festival, which runs from July 7 to 17. On the waterfront, surrounded by cranes and with the city center in the background, theater performances, music and food combine for a great night out (the ferry runs all night).

Performances are scattered out over the terrain. The biggest eye-catchers are 12 containers turned into mini venues, where short plays run continuously, for an audience no bigger than a dozen people, sometimes fewer. Prices are modest, around 3 euros (about $4.30) per show.

Pablo Fontdevila, a choreographer, will perform in one of the containers. “I play with the conditions of proximity in a limited space, getting closer to the audience,” he said. “As a student, I lived in a container for one and a half years. I found it an inspiring place.”

What if Ukraine was for Zeleznica, and Germany was for Die Bahn, but the politicians were for Ameropa? Then there would be Kias driving all over the place and the European containers would be empty. Instead of filling containers, people would be arguing about nothing, and then Obama would sneak in and steal all the containers. And the civilians would be bloodied up by the Kias while they were trying to ride their bikes around Holland.

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