The Fair Grounds

DROPSTUFF MEDIA presents The Fair Grounds: folk culture, arts and technology connected.

The Fair Grounds is an artistic project by the Dutch new media art collective DROPSTUFF MEDIA. The Fair Grounds consists of multiple independent installations where traditional amusement rides have been updated with new artistic or social narratives. The result is a truly new fairground where every ride has been modified or enhanced and tells a surprising story in the public space: folk culture meets high tech and high art!

For instance, take a ride on The Fair Grounds 1.0, a virtual reality rollercoaster ride using 6 converted kiddy rides. Take a spin in the augmented reality carousel of Carnaval des Moutons, a merry-go-round ode to the zoetrope. Or hop into the self driving bumper cars of Bumper Ballet and experience the difference and similarities between bumping & dancing.

A new media fairground
The Fair Grounds aims to combine the rich history of traditional fairgrounds with modern day technology and innovation to create a place where once again new insights and stories are being presented to a broad audience. Historically, fairgrounds and travelling fairs have always been the ‘unwritten portion of the story of the people’. Fairgrounds and the arts are both ways of storytelling that evoke wonderment in traditionally different target groups. By combining these worlds, The Fair Grounds creates a broader, more inclusive place where rapid technological, social and creative changes become accessible to an audience that does not necessarily have access to it.

The Fair Grounds creates a new creative common ground where one’s own experience is key: to see, touch, hear, taste and experience it for yourself. Finding common ground where ‘inclusive‘ replaces ‘exclusive‘ inside the cultural sector. To reach this goal, we collaborate with cultural festivals, art galleries and real fairgrounds but also with other artists and designers, museums and cultural institutions.

Just like a traditional fair, The Fair Grounds functions as an international project. It crosses both borders and boundaries by visiting high-art cultural events like the Venice Biennale as well as traditional fairgrounds and local festivities. The project has visited festivals in France, Austria, Germany as well as its origin country of The Netherlands. It has won multiple awards, including the NICE Award, a European prize for social innovation.

Portfolio installations The Fair Grounds
 • SXSW – Austin, Texas (USA)
• La Biennale di Venezia, Venice (IT)
• La Bonne Aventure Festival – Dunkirk, France (FR)
• THE ARTS + / Frankfurter Buchmesse – Germany (DE)
• Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden, Germany (DE)
• Olala Festival – Lienz, Austria (AT)
• Batjes Roeselare, Belgium (BE)
• Sunny Side of the Doc / Pixii, la Rochelle, France (FR)
The Netherlands:
• Lowlands Festival
• Cinekid Festival, Amsterdam
• Festival de Onderstroom, Vlissingen
• Park Hilaria Kermis Eindhoven
• BigArt Hembrug Zaandam
• SintLucas StartUp Festival
• Dutch Media Week Hilversum
• Dutch Technology Week Eindhoven
• De Betovering The Hague
• Beyond Human Festival Leiden
• Kermis Amsterdam Westerpark
• MESH Festival for Creativity and Design
• Mediabites VondelCS
• Milkshake Festival Amsterdam
• Hogeschool van Amsterdam
• LekArt Culemborg
• Let’s Gro, Groningen

The Fair Grounds is supported by: VSBfonds, BankGiro Lottery Fund, Prins Bernhard Culture Fund, CLICKNL Fieldlab Virtual Worlds

In collaboration with: Het Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid in Hilversum, EYE Filmmuseum Amsterdam and Eindhoven Museum.

Interactive mixed media art fair
Folk culture meets high tech and high art

2018 – present

Concept & design

The Fair Grounds is an artistic project by new media art collective DROPSTUFF MEDIA. The project builds a collection of artworks where amusement rides are presented as art installations. New narratives have been added to fairground attractions as well as to old forms of folk culture. Each ride has been updated with rich stories of cultural heritage, the imagination of the arts and the wonderment of new technologies. The result is a truly new fairground where every ride has been modified, enhanced and now tells a surprising story to a mix of generations: folk culture meets high tech and high art!

Winner of the NICE Award 2019 – european centre for creative economy

Finalist of the SXSW 2020 Art Program

More info and bookings:

Phone: +31 (0) 35 677 18 79