Passioen at the festivals
When we say summer, we say festivals. It’s that time of the year again here in our part of the world: summer festivals. I dance, walk, play, eat and feast with friends and family and sometimes even with total strangers and, I play a little game: “find as quickly as you can all the things that are made with Sioen textiles or made entirely by Sioen”. Call me crazy. And you’re probably right. But then, all my colleagues are, because I am sure they have the same defect as I have. We call that “Passioen”.
It’s not a spelling error. You read it right: Passioen, a contraction of the words Passion and Sioen. It is a drive that all employees of our company have: a will to grow, to push boundaries and to explore. It’s that quirky little extra, even when we’re not at work. That enthusiasm, in Dutch we call it “goesting”. And yes, even at the festivals. It’s a fun game, especially because there is lots of Sioen to find: products, people, ambiance. Admit, this makes you at least a little curious, doesn’t it?
Scaffolding nets, stages and tents
It starts from the moment you approach the festival sites. Most festivals have majestic grand entrances with arches and scaffoldings making queuing lanes for people with one day tickets, e-tickets and combi tickets. Line ups and programs and colourful advertising banners make these scaffoldings an attraction. Guess who’s producing the banner material for all this? Indeed, Sioen.
The festival tents and stages are real pieces of technology nowadays. They are ingenious textile constructions, often with extra inner liners for light effects and acoustics made with... Sioen technical textiles. Even the ropes to raise the tents and manipulating the stage curtains? Made with... Sioen yarns.
The nadars that separate the plebs from the VIPs and performers are covered with... fabrics of Sioen.
Rest, drink, eat and play
Believe me, when you start to pay close attention, you’ll see Sioen everywhere. The lounge areas at the festivals are equipped with bean bags, gigantic cushions, pillows and couches made with... Sioen textiles.
Small beer tents. Made with... Sioen textiles. Even the colourful bouncing castles and soap sliding slopes are made with Sioen textiles. At some festivals, the grand stages in all forms and colours are in fact inflatables, made with... Sioen membranes.
Are you eating health food from the food trucks at the festivals? Your veggie seaweed burger is a little bit Sioen since the seaweed might have been grown on Sioen textiles. The brewery that made your beer sure did filter with Sioen filter cloth.
When it rains
When it rains, the temperature at the festival site often drops. Literally and figuratively. The performance of the artists must be substantially better to get the public going when it’s raining cats and dogs. Sometimes it is and then the experience is even better than under a bright starry rainless sky. The performance of Foo Fighters at Pinkpop in 2011 was a legendary one. The crowd was soaking wet and danced all through the performance when suddenly, the sun broke through. Along came a magnificent rainbow. Dave Grohl pointed up to the sky and said: “First rainbow in a rock show I’ve ever seen in my life.” Epic.
Nothing of that magic during the concert of Fleetwood mac at Werchter Boutique this year. No magic, no sizzling, no dynamics. These oldies seemed to lack panache. Or maybe my expectations were too high, that could also be the case. Joe Jackson did a better job at Cactus Festival in Bruges then. Goes to show that an old hand in the box knows how to play the public, even in the rain.
But when the artist cannot convince me, then my environment has all my attention: the people, the cameras, the stage construction, the backpacks, the beach chairs, the lightning. I’ve seen it all. With special attention I’m looking in the crowd to see a glimpse of our “Flexothane” fabric. There are plenty! Rainwear jackets and ponchos in green, red or blue, made by Sioen, without you knowing.
Even the cameras that are capturing the performances for live streaming (except during the concert of Fleetwood Mac where filming was strictly prohibited) are covered with a fabric of Sioen protecting against the rain. There’s fabric of Sioen in the lightweight backpacks hipsters now own and our mesh (fabric with the holes) in beach chairs.
Anything but rain at Graspop this year. Metal music. Very heavy metal music. And a glowing hot sun all day long. I saw quite some people with a sunburn. All guys. Just noticing. The red cross volunteers attending these poor sods were dressed in garments made by Sioen and so was the odd police officer that patrolled along the camping site. Slipknot as a closing act was loud and aggressive, pumping up the crowd one last time. Sorry for the guys with the sunburn. They missed a great concert.
Overall, I find it reassuring to know that caregivers are there 24/7 to help and to intervene when disaster strikes, or help is needed. Policemen, fire fighters, ambulance staff, emergency services units, civil services, the bodyguards of the stars even the military, they all wear Sioen. The day I find myself with a sunburn, at least I’ll know that my caregivers are properly dressed. We’re protecting the protectors.
Not all of them of course. We’re not the only supplier in the world. And not all the above-mentioned products are made with our textiles neither. They might have. And the vast majority are for sure. We’re the market leader in professional protective garments and in technical textiles, so the odds are high.
Bet you, you’ll never go to a festival as you used to, right?