Robodock 2007


If I told you that I spent the weekend following a fire breathing mechanical horse through a bizarre realm of steam powered music and flaming serpents you might think that I have been taking advantage of Holland’s soft law on recreational narcotics and spent the last few days in a drug fueled fantasy land of hallucinations. However, before anyone decides to organize an intervention I should explain that I was in fact at the Robodock festival in Amsterdam.

What is Robodock you might ask?

Robodock is a unique international festival with technology, art, spectacle theatre, multimedia and industrial installations at its core. In co-operation with artists, technology students, architects, designers and theatre makers the festival is spectacularly designed by recycling scrap metal and other industrial waste products. This is an important part of the Robodock way of working and creating.

The festival’s pulse is an unpredictable combination of disciplines and bizarre theatrical applications in which fire, steel and this year’s theme ‘Rhythm and Time / Ten Years Transformation’ are important elements. None of the arts is excluded: theatre, music, dance, film, multimedia, visual arts, acrobatics, technical experiments and deejays.”

Stepping into Robodock is like stepping into a Mad Max movie. Every thing is made from salvaged and recycled materials which creates a post apocalyptic survivors market atmosphere.

I drank beer at a bar made out of slowly revolving pianos and attempted to play ‘Twinkle twinkle little star’ as I sipped my drink. I listened to an artillery cannon band perform music by firing flames from huge gas pipes. I watched a man demonstrate his flying platform. I danced to the music provided by a robotic band and I put a bet on a power sander at the power tools drag race but lost to an electric drill (only pride, not money).

Robodock 1
A Cylon fallen on hard times joins a local band as a drummer

Robodock 2
A giant fifty meter serpent mother that breathes fire protects her egg

Robodock 3
Only one person made the mistake of suggesting scrambled eggs

Robodock 4
Lots of drunk people trying to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Robodock 5
I think they need a bigger scarecrow

Robodock 6
These ladies are obviously carrying a torch for someone

Robodock 7
My ride home

Robodock 8
The only things that were missing were Tina Turner and the Thunder Dome

15 responses to “Robodock 2007”

  1. Wezz6400 says:

    “The only things that were missing were Tina Turner and the Thunder Dome”
    and you sitting backwards on a donkey being tied up with a mask on your head. :-P

  2. Ana Luisa says:

    Aham… “Festival”… Right…

  3. Invader Stu says:

    Wezz6400 – Who said that did not happen :p

    Ana Luisa – There were no drugs involved… I swear :p

  4. BlondebutBright says:

    Glad you had fun! The year I was there they had this bathtub contraption where naked people were climbing 20 meters into the air to enjoy a bubble bath. I can honestly say I’ll never see anything like that again as long as I live.

  5. ChickyBabe says:

    Hmm… is it geeky of me to this this looks cool?

  6. Emiel says:

    Boy, that seems like the coolest festival ever. I’ll remember it for next year. (Sorry, I can’t think of anything funny to say.)

  7. Damaris says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now, and I thought it was about time for me to comment. Ive been passed on the link to your blog by an ozzie friend, and it made me laugh several times. its amazing how you manage to describe the daily amsterdam life in such a funny way! Im dutch myself, I live in Amsterdam and ive been to Robodock aswell. well done for completing the almost impossible task of describing robodock in words!

    Keep up the good work!


  8. sophie says:

    oooh it’s amazing. it must be a fascinating visual experience!

  9. Invader Stu says:

    BlondebutBright – And I thought I saw strange things. I want to go again next year.

    ChickyBabe – Only if it’s geeky of me to say it was.

    Emiel – I’ll be going again next year.

    Damaris – Thanks :) It took me a while to work out how to describe it.

    sophie – It is :)

  10. Tess says:

    Ooooh Stu, how I miss Amsterdam after reading this… :( I’ve been to the festival myself and yes it’s totally awesome! Let me know next year and I will book a flight instantly!!! Happy to read you had a great time but I do so envy you… just a tiny bit ;)

  11. » Blog Archive » Robodock 2007 says:

    […] Invading Holland […]

  12. Manictastic says:

    Those crazy Dutchmen always finding new ways to pretend they aren’t high. You don’t fool us so easily!

  13. VallyP says:


  14. Invader Stu says:

    Tess – You can bet I’ll be going again next year :P

    Manictastic – We’ll have to try harder next time

    VallyP – Too strange?

  15. ChickyBabe says:

    Deal! :)

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