The Fair Grounds

DROPSTUFF MEDIA presents The Fair Grounds: folk culture meets high tech and high art!

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 for everyone

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 team up with existing fairgrounds but also artists, designers, museums and cultural institutions. We use a combination of new and social media, virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, 360° and 3D video, drones, robots, projection, cameras, sensors, self-driving cars and other applications, but also more traditional media such as theatre, photography and physical (art)objects.

Coming soon to a festival near you

Just like a traditional fair, The Fair Grounds functions as an international travelling 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. Kicking off its running tour in 2018, the project has since 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. In 2020, The Fair Grounds has been selected to exhibit at the prestigious American SXSW 2020 Art Program.
Are you interested in having one, several or all of the installations of The Fair Grounds at your festival, event, congress or meeting? Do not hesitate to contact us for more information. You can send us an e-mail at info@dropstuff.nlgive us a call at +31 (0) 35 677 19 12 or use this contact form

Come all and enjoy The Fair Grounds!

Tourlist ‘The Fair Grounds’ 2020:

• SXSW Art Program – Austin, Texas (USA) – 15 – 21 March
• SintLucas StartUp Festival – Boxtel (NL) – 2 April
• La Bonne Aventure Festival – Dunkirk, France (FR) – 26 – 28 June
• Olala Festival – Lienz, Austria (AT) – 20 – 27 July

Tourlist ‘The Fair Grounds’ 2019:

• Kermis Amsterdam Westerpark (NL) – 8 – 17 March
• Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden, Germany (DE) – 5 – 7 April
• Kingsday Amersfoort (NL) – 27 April
• Preview: ‘Bumper Ballet’ – La Biennale di Venezia, boatstop ‘Arsenale’ (IT) – 8 – 10 May
• Premiere  ‘Bumper Ballet’ – Dutch Technology Week Eindhoven – presented by Eindhoven Museum (NL) –  20 – 26 May
• La Bonne Aventure Festival, Dunkirk, France (FR) –  21 – 23 June
• Sunny Side of the Doc / Pixii, la Rochelle, France (FR) – 24 – 27 June
• Festival de Onderstroom, Vlissingen (NL) – 5 – 7 July
• Olala – Internationales Straßentheaterfestival, Lienz Austria (AT) – 26 – 27 July
• Park Hilaria Kermis Eindhoven (NL) – 2 – 11 August
• BigArt Hembrug Zaandam (NL) – 11 – 15 September
• INNOVATE Arnhem (NL) – 3 – 5 October
• Dutch Media Week Hilversum (NL) – 12 – 13 October
• THE ARTS + / Frankfurter Buchmesse – Germany (DE) – 16 – 2o October
• De Betovering The Hague (NL) – 19 – 25 October
• Beyond Human Festival Leiden (NL) – 4 – 10 November

Tourlist ‘The Fair Grounds’ 2018:

• Preview: Kermis Amsterdam Westerpark (NL) – 9 – 18 March
• Preview: MESH Festival for Creativity and Design (NL) – 23 March
• Kingsday Hilversum (NL) – 28 April
• Preview: ‘Carnaval des Moutons’  Mediabites VondelCS  (NL) – 6 – 8 June
• Batjes Roeselare, Belgium (BE) – 22 – 24 June
• Milkshake Festival Amsterdam (NL) –  28 – 29 July
• Lowlands Festival (NL) – 17 – 19 August
• Dutch Media Week Hilversum (NL) – 1 – 9 September
• Hogeschool van Amsterdam (NL) – 7 September
• LekArt Culemborg (NL) – 28 – 30 September
• THE ARTS + / Frankfurter Buchmesse – Germany (DE) – 16 – 2o October
• Cinekid Festival, Amsterdam (NL) – 20 – 26 October
• De Betovering, The Hague (NL) – 20 – 27 October
• Let’s Gro, Groningen (NL) – 20– 27 October

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.

Download The Fair Ground Catalogue 2020 here

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