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Get Familiar: SMIB x TNO Festival

Get Familiar: SMIB x TNO Festival

Amsterdam-based creative collectives SMIB and TNO have been a pivotal part of the next generation of culture within our home city. Taking on fashion, music and more with their unique visions, they are now back to present their annual festival. In anticipation of the event, we caught up with them to see what we can expect.

How did the SMIB x TNO festival get started?

SMIB and TNO are informally already long-time friends, besides being partners.
When we started as innocent young organisations, we rented our first anti-squad office together. This was in an old kindergarten, in IJburg.

This location was right next to a small city beach, called Blijburg. In this area there are not a lot of exciting things going on for young people, and one of the residents came up with building a small skate park.

At this time SMIB was finishing their first tour, and with TNO building our first collections, we always find it important to create a platform with and for creatives.This momentum, and location, gave us the inspiration to try to realize the ambitious plan to do a small festival on this beach we go to so much. This as a celebration of the movement and sub-culture around SMIB x TNO

Who is on the lineup this time around?

There is a great deal of diversity between the acts and SMIB & TNO seem to be flying their flags high and proud with these performers next to them.

You can expect our family, the main artist Yung Nnelg, Ray Fuego, KC etc. We have newcomers that have put in great work as JMANI, NOELL3, Kleine Crack alongside landed artists as Bartofso, ADF Samski, Oomtow and many more. Also expect some suprises…

DJ acts contain names as Kingdom Sound, Abstract and Jolani Jones!

How do you go about choosing who is on the line-up?

First and foremost, we are SMIB and TNO, so our homegrown people will always have the main role. Around that, we try to be a platform for young upcoming artists, that are not programmed much elsewhere but is doing the work. By combining forces with the more landed artist, we attract a crowd that is open for experimention, new and the obscure.

It's always a challenge to program, since we are two small organizations, but nevertheless we’ve had some of the biggest artist playing at our festival.

What can people expect from this edition of the festival?

Besides having two stages of live acts and DJs, who are ripping the crowd apart, there are sports and game facilities, food and drinks by our friends and family Broodje SMIB

The first SMIB x TNO Fest was the recipe for the years to come, a day of celebration of our movement. Growing our festival, crowd and business, came down to this point that we are doing our biggest festival till date, for our 5 year anniversary.

You have a relatively young squad, what is it about that youthful energy that keeps this crew pushing on?

A very naive and motivating vision. We have never been schooled or experienced by trying the regular way, but more by offering our services in the early stages to our OG’s.

As we were those young guys, knocking on the door of the cultural field, we must stay aware that this energy never dies, it multiplies and comes back stronger with the next generation. By staying in touch, keep being inspired and humbled always.

Hopefully, this resonates still, as we are getting older and older.

What other types of events have you done in the past?

In the core of our business arts and culture is deeply rooted, in many ways we try to activate the spirit of these core values. Pop up’s, Milkshake bars, Live performances, panels and more, activations and programming are important factors in experiencing the brands SMIB x TNO.

You managed to get at least one event down during the lockdowns, how does it feel to be back in full force?

Thinking out of the box is an important vision we carry with us and what we practice, so any situation challenges us to be creative and strive for new ideas.

Now that we are back in this full force state, things feel fresh and more energized with this new generation. Also, we are not the same organizations as 3 years ago, so to rediscover ourselves and impact of ourselves has been an amazing process.

And now the world is open again you seem to be growing and growing, what are some upcoming ideas and events that you have coming?

Grachten Festival’s 25th Anniversary in the Johan Cruijf Arena, the First time taking place there as well, the music will be curated by BnnyHunna.

What made you choose this new location?

We have more freedom to let our vision come into existence, as an independent entity we want to move forward, professionalize and take ownership of all our processes’. This all pushed us to enlarge and upgrade as a team. Still, Amsterdam is our home and we will always keep it home.

Can we expect two sound systems like last time?

There is a great deal of diversity between the acts and SMIB & TNO seem to be flying their flags high and proud with these performers next to them. How do you go about choosing who is on the line-up?
Together with SMIB we go through what artists have been releasing lately and also the ones that speak the language of were we are heading as a collective at the moment. Very important is the work you’ve put in, the commitment as an artist, also the uniqueness, relevancy

What can people expect from this edition of the festival?

Energising shows and a lot of surprises!

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