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Ought playing at Le Guess Who? 2015 | © Juri Hiensch
Ought playing at Le Guess Who? 2015 | © Juri Hiensch
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Utrecht Gears Up For Le Guess Who? And The World's Largest Record Fair

Picture of Tom Coggins
Updated: 2 November 2016
Le Guess Who? will be celebrating its tenth anniversary this November, an occasion that will coincide with the largest record fair in the world. From live shows and specially curated events, to over 500 record dealers, an exhibition dedicated to Prince and much more, here are all the details.

Both of these events will take place in Utrecht, a picturesque Medieval town in the center of the Netherlands. Le Guess Who? has always called the city home and has become a vital part of Utrecht’s cultural calendar. Although this annual alternative music festival has grown significantly over the past ten years, it has remained at a manageable size – an impressive feat considering the scope of its lineup.

Shabazz Palaces at Le Guess Who? 2015 | © Tim van Veen / Le Guess Who?
Shabazz Palaces at Le Guess Who? 2015 | © Tim van Veen / Le Guess Who?

This year Le Guess Who? will be curated by Wilco, Savages, Julia Holter and Suuns. These musicians are united by their experimental approach towards their given genres and have each created resounding back catalogues that go beyond conventional musical categorization. Le Guess Who? has given these artists reign over the festival’s program, consequently allowing them to create individual line-ups that feature equally groundbreaking bands, producers and solo performers.

Julia Holter | © Jelmer de Haas / LeGuessWho?
Julia Holter | © Jelmer de Haas / LeGuessWho?

All of these acts lean towards the avant-garde and create cutting-edge tracks that draw on recognizable musical styles while employing obscure, original or historical techniques. To accommodate this extensive roster of artists, Le Guess Who? has teamed up with several cultural initiatives throughout Utrecht. A large portion of the festival will take place inside TivoliVredenburg, a multi-storey venue that contains five massive concert halls. Other smaller sites will also host events during Le Guess Who? including the Medieval church Janskerk, and Utrecht’s municipal theater.

ivoliVredenburg | © Juri Hienschj / LeGuessWho?
TivoliVredenburg | © Juri Hienschj / LeGuessWho?

By dividing the festival up over various venues, Le Guess Who? effectively transforms Utrecht into a weekend-long musical playground and encourages visitors to explore the city’s wider cultural landscape.

Le Guess Who? will take place alongside another momentous musical event, namely the 46th edition of Mega Record & CD Fair. On the 12th and 13th of November Utrecht’s Jaarbeurs convention center will house the largest record expo in the world and is set to attract over 500 dealers. This cult event is a staple within the international vinyl collecting scene and brings together a massive crowd of like-minded music aficionados.

© Record Planet
© Record Planet

The fair resembles an enormous indoor market and is contained within 12,500 square meters of exhibition space. Secondhand, newly pressed, and antique editions are all available inside, and the amount of records on sale is always astounding. This year, the team behind Mega Record & CD Fair has decided to pay tribute to Prince and will be holding an exhibition dedicated to the artist’s monumental contributions to music. Numerous scholars and artists will be making an appearance during the event, including Clinton Heylin, the author of several well-received books on Bob Dylan.

📅 Le Guess Who? runs from Thursday, November 10 to Sunday, November 13.

📍 TivoliVredenburg, Vredenburgkade 11, Utrecht, +31 30 231 4544 (box office)

📅 Mega Record & CD Fair runs from Saturday, November 12 to Sunday, November 13.

📍 Jaarbeurs, Jaarbeursplein, Utrecht, +31 30 295 5911