Archive for the ‘History’ Category

On Friday June 23rd, 1989 (at noon) the Vort’n Vis was opened. It was on the day of an ‘Ieper rally’. A month before (Sunday May 21st) the association, that has been operating the Vort’n Vis since then, was founded. It was then called Autonoom Jongeren Centrum (AJC) [autonomous youth centre]. A few years later the name was changed into Autonoom TrefCentrum (ATC) [autonomous meeting centre]. After the turn of the century the name became Autonoom Regionaal Trefcentrum (ART) [autonomous regional meeting centre], which remains until today. A few weeks earlier (op May 2nd) the first cracks had appeared in the Iron Curtain; that was the beginning of a new era in which the Vort’n Vis could blossom.

The drawing on the poster of the opening was designed by Patrick Cherchye; the fishbone-logo by Jan Moerman. On June 17th we spread a combative press-release. A minority that wasn’t welcome anywhere else, would no longer hide for the tourists and wanted to be no longer dependent of others, hence establishing its own independent sanctuary, where they could do their own stuff and be their own selves. The founders didn’t want to wait until others did something but wanted to do it themselves. They challenged the dictatorship of the majority, the monopoly of the existing cultural institutions and political parties of those times, and the imposed bland options. They also wanted more diversity in the cultural spectrum, and a more creative and less unimaginative cultural life in Ieper. Even then they criticized the anti-social aspects of tourism at the expense of a part of the own residents.

The times and circumstances have drastically changed since then. Now there’s a Vort’n Vis generation active that wasn’t even born at the time of the foundation of the association, but the spirit and ideals of the Vort’n Vis are still the same. They are just conceived in a more contemporary manner by the younger generations. Whether some like it or not: 30 years on, the Vort’n Vis and IeperFest became a part of the history, the social fabric, an even the identity of Ieper.’

‘Doomy’ Jan Claus (‘president’ of the association at that time)

 

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On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Vort’n Vis Kim Lefevre has constructed a few podcasts (only in Dutch unfortunately) on the early days of the Vort’n Vis and its association:

* Trailer

* Vort’n Vis Origin Story

Midden jaren ’80. Enkele tieners zoeken een ruimte om te repeteren met hun bandjes maar worden overal buitengezet. Ze ontmoeten Jan Claus, een iets oudere punk die hen wil helpen en tegelijkertijd een vrijplaats wil creëren in hun thuisstad, wat niet zo simpel is in het oerconservatieve Ieper… /// Mid 80s. A few teenagers are looking for a place to rehearse with their bands but are refused everywhere. They meet Jan Claus, a slightly older punk who wants to help out while at the same time trying to create some kind of sanctuary in their hometown, which wasn’t that simple in the ultra-conservative Ypres …

* Leed [the annual alternative festival in September]

Het is juni ’89 in Ieper. Op de Kiekenmarkt is een bouwvallig voormalig burgercafé de uitvalsbasis geworden van een bende jonge punks. Ze hebben nu niet enkel hun repetitieruimte maar ook een café inclusief publiek. En zelfs een naam. De Vort’n Vis. Jan Claus kan nu eindelijk zijn droom om in Ieper een autonome vrijplaats te creëeren waar maken. Ze vliegen er meteen in en organiseren van eerste keer een festival, het Leedfestival. Maar dat was buiten het stadsbestuur en de politie gerekend. /// June ’89 in Ypres. On the Kiekenmarkt, a dilapidated former popular pub has become the base of a gang of young punks. Now they not only have their rehearsal-room but also a pub, including an audience. There’s even a name. The Vort’n Vis. Finally Jan Claus can realize his dream of creating an autonomous sanctuary in Ypres. They immediately get started and organize a fest (the Leed Festival) for the first time. But that didn’t take the city-council and the police into account.

* De Zwitsers! [The Swiss!]

Het eerste turbulente jaar van de Vort’n Vis is achter de rug en hun Leed festival blijkt een succes. De café trekt een zeer bijzonder allegaartje van lokaal publiek maar voor de bands die in de Vort’n worden geprogrammeerd komen mensen van heinde en verre. Veel mensen herinneren zich nog legendarische shows en ook de zanger van ‘Green Day’ krijgt in deze aflevering een cameo. De Vort’n trekt ook nieuwe vrijwilligers aan, waaronder een van de organisators van de inmiddels ter ziele gegane Smurfpunx. Er zijn ook twee spijtige voorvallen die nog steeds een diepe indruk nalaten op de mensen die er toen bij waren. /// The first turbulent year of the Vort’n Vis is over and their Leed festival proves to be a success. The pub attracts a very special local mix but people come from far and wide for the bands that are programmed in the Vort’n. Many people still remember legendary shows and the singer of ‘Green Day’ also gets a cameo in this episode. The Vort’n also attracts new volunteers, including one of the organisers of the by then defunct Smurfpunx. There are also two unfortunate incidents that leave a deep impression on the people who were there at the time.

* Sojamelkjes [Soy-milk]

De jaren ’90 was de populairste periode van de Vort’n Vis, zelfs tot in Japan toe kregen ze een soort cultstatus in de Hardcore en Punk. Dat was niet enkel door hun zeer succesvolle Leedfestival, maar ook door een tweede festival: Hardcore ’92. Dit bracht een nieuwe scene naar de Vort’n: de Straight Edge. Hun cleane levensstijl was eventjes wennen voor de Crusties en Punks die tot dan toe de Vortn bevolkten en dat zorgde soms voor ongemakkelijke confrontaties. /// The 90s were the most popular period for the Vort’n Vis; even in places like Japan it developped some kind of cult-status in the hardcore & punk scene. Not only because of the very successful Leed-festival but also because of the other (summer) fest: Hardcore ’92. That brought a new scene to the Vort’n: Straight Edge. Their clean lifestyle was something to get used to for the crusties and punks that had populated the Vort’n until then, and that caused some uncomfortable confrontations.

* Eigen Baas [Boss in Your Own House]

De brouwer wil het gebouw op de Kiekenmarkt voor veel te veel geld verkopen en de Vort’n Vis-ers staan op straat. Ze vinden een pand aan de Sint-Jacobsstraat en kunnen daar een deal sluiten om het te huren. Het gebouw is ideaal qua ligging en heeft zelfs een zaal! Na de verhuis raakt de werking wat in het slop maar er komt nieuw, enthousiast bloed binnen die de boel weer op gang trekt (Bert, Jeroen en Sander). /// The brewer wants to sell the building on the Kiekenmarkt for far too much money and the Vort’n Vis people find themselves on the street. They hit upon a building in the Sint-Jacobsstraat and are able to close a deal to rent it. The building is ideal in terms of location and even has a room that can serve as a venue! After the move, the operation falls a bit into a mess but new, enthusiastic volunteers come in to get things going again (Bert, Jeroen and Sander).

* Tijdelijke Autonome Zone [Temporary Autonomous Zone]

Met een gebouw dat samenhangt met een metalen harnas hebben de Vort’n Vis-ers niet veel keuze, alles moet plat en heropgebouwd. En daarvoor hebben ze twee dingen nodig: geld en vrijwilligers. En beiden zijn schaars. Nieuwe medewerker Siebe is zijn carrière nog maar begonnen in de Vort’n en hij moet al verhuizen. Omdat de Vort’n hun werking niet wil stilleggen krijgen ze van de brouwer een ander pand toegewezen aan de Diksmuidseweg in Ieper. Hun Tijdelijke Autonome Zone, het TAZ. Het pand is een voormalig rendez-vous huis en is naar goede gewoonte een versleten krot. Vooral het zaaltje waar er optredens werden gedaan werd geroemd om zijn mini-afmetingen. Intussen breekt de zwaarste periode in de hele geschiedenis van de Vort’n aan… /// A building held together with a metal armour: the Vort’n people don’t too much choice, everything had to be torn down and rebuilt. And to be able to do that they need two things: money and volunteers. And both are scarce. New collaborator Siebe has just started his ‘career’ in the Vort’n and already has to move. Because the Vort’n does not want to stop their ‘operations’, the brewer gives them another building (on the Diksmuidseweg in Ieper). Their Temporary Autonomous Zone, the TAZ. The building is a former ‘rendez-vous’ house and, as usual, a worn-out shack. Especially the room where the concerts were happening had minute dimensions. In the mean time, the toughest period in the entire history of the Vort’n is coming…

* DIY verdomme! [DIY dammit!]

Door het werk en de benefieten van de vele vrijwilligers staat het er, het nieuwe gebouw. Het is een zware periode geweest maar het blijkt nog maar eens: You just can’t kill de Vort’n Vis. De eerste fase van de verbouwingen zijn afgerond, alles om de werking terug te kunnen opstarten en nu komt de tweede fase, de zaal, repetitieruimtes, kunstateliers,… En de ‘shitworkers’ kijken erop terug en beseffen nu pas wat ze allemaal hebben gerealiseerd en dat bijna allemaal DIY verdomme! /// Thanks to the work and benefits of the many volunteers, the new building is a fact. It has been a tough period but once again it shows : You just can’t kill the Vort’n Vis. The first phase of the renovations has been completed, everything is in place to be able to restart the operations and now comes the second phase, the venue, rehearsal-spaces, art-studios,… And the ‘shitworkers’ look back and realize now they’ve accomplished and almost all in a DIY manner damn it!

* Siempre Vort’n Vis!

De allerlaatste aflevering van de saga van de Vort’n Vis want het verhaal is verteld. De Vort’n staat er, na dertig jaar, nog steeds en zal hopelijk altijd een plaats kunnen bieden aan mensen die in de mainstream hun ding niet vinden. Alle verhalen zijn verteld, maar ik wou jullie nog een bonus-aflevering geven. Deze bestaat uit twee delen: Ik vroeg aan iedereen die aan het woord is geweest doorheen de podcast wat zij denken over de toekomst van de Vort’n. Zal het blijven voortbestaan? En in welke hoedanigheid? Het tweede deel is een verslag van ons 30-jarig verjaardagsfeest: het tweedaagse festival. Het zal zijn alsof je er bij was! Ofwel was je erbij en kan je het zo nog eens herbeleven. /// The very last episode of the Vort’n Vis saga. the story is told. The Vort’n is still there, after thirty years, and hopefully will always be (cap)able to offer space to people who don’t find their thing in the mainstream. All stories have been told but we wanted to give people this bonus episode. It consists of two parts… I asked everyone who has shared their thoughts what they think about the future of the Vort’n. Will it continue to exist? And in what capacity? The second part is a report of our 30th birthday party: a two-day festival. It will be as if you were there! Or you were there and you can relive it again…

TO BE CONTINUED …

Preludes to Ieperfest

Posted: September 16, 2016 in History
Tags: , , ,

ieper-hardcore-festival

The yearly hardcore festival (around half of August) organised by the Vort’n Vis, is nowadays usually referred to as Ieperfest. Since the scope of this website is the concerts related to the Vort’n Vis until leaving the premises at Kiekenmarkt 7 (May 2001), only the fests until 2001 will be listed…

Brob

Besides the names Hardcore Vistival and the nickname Ieperfest the several editions of this festival in the 90s were called differently…

(1992) Hardcore 1992

In 1993 there was no fest…

(1994) Hardcore Festival ’94; (1995) Hardcore Festival ’95]

(1996) Hardcore, The Next Generation

(1997) Hardcore – The Next Generation

(1998) Hardcore: The Next Generation

(1999) Ieper Hardcore festival

(2000) Hardcore: The Next Generation ???

(2001) 2001: A Hardcore Odyssey [flyer: Vort’n Vis HC Fest]

 

As far as I can remember the organisers were: Edward Verhaeghe (1992) [with the help of the V.V. ‘shitworkers’], Hans Verbeke [and friends] (1994-1995), vzw [not-for-profit assiocoation] ART [Autonoom Regionaal Trefcentrum (Autonomous Regional meeting-space)] Vort’n Vis & Genet recs [Bruno Vandevyvere’s record-label] (1996 -2004)…

From 2005 to early 2015 there was the “factual association” IeperFest/YperVist (consisting of 2 “members”: vzw ART Vort’n Vis & vzw Genet). The summer-edition of 2015 was still prepared by the “factual association” but vzw Ieperfest (that started halfway 2015) effectuated it. The reason why people decided to switch to vzw Ieperfest was because the risks surrounding the organisation of the festival were increasing (the heavy weather and the disaster it caused at Pukkelpop in 2011 – where a few Ieperfest-collaborators were present); and to preclude the personal liability of individual IeperFest-collaborators.

Between 1992  & ’98 the fests took place at the Vort’n Vis pub (and/or barn), located at Kiekenmarkt 7, Ieper/Ypres. In 1999 & 2000 at the Stedelijke Academie voor Muziek en Woord [Municipal Acadamy for Music and Drama], d’Hondstraat 59, Ieper/Ypres. And in 2001 things were happening at the Jeugdstadion [Youth Stadium] Ieper, Leopold III laan 16, Ieper/Ypres. (There were also some WinterFest editions – at Zaal Fenix, Leopold III laan 16 and at the JOC Ieper, Fochlaan 2.)

Jan Claus

vv-forever

We’ld like to encourage the ‘old’ and the ‘next’ generation to keep contributing their recollections/impressions/stories about all of this…!

Goodbye to Kiekenmarkt 7

Posted: December 18, 2015 in History
Tags: , ,

Siempre Vort'n Vis

Since the early days the activities of the Autonoom Jongeren Centrum (AJC; autonomous youth-centre) were taking place in the pub (and the ‘barn’) located at Kiekenmarkt 7 (Ieper/Ypres). The name would later be changed into Autonoom Regionaal Trefcentrum (ART; autonomous meeting-centre). In the spring of 2001 (April/May) the non-profit organisation was forced to move because the brewery that they rented the pub from, didn’t wanna continue the lease.

The (concert-)history we’re trying to give here is from the early beginnings to the moment of this move. As Jan Claus, co-founder, puts it: it spans the period of right before the fall of the Berlin Wall (89-11-09; the Iron Curtain was opened 89-05-02 in Hungary) until a bit before 9-11 (which was in 2001)… The foundation of the association was 89-05-21 and a month before that, the opening of the pub.

VV verhuis 2001the ‘second’ generation saying goodbye to Kiekenmarkt 7

They moved to a new location (which they bought June 2003) at Sint-Jacobsstraat 3, a small kilometre away. That building was in a poor condition so they decided to tear it down and rebuild it. There’s a main building and a multi-functional (concert-) venue (and rehearsal-space) in the back. They got some subsidy from the Flemish government but a lot of the costs of the reconstruction (which the collaborators are doing themselves) is payed for by donations and benefits. During this, activities were taking place in a TAZ (Temporary Autonomous Zone) @ Diksmuidseweg 59, where they’d moved to December 2012.

Read more on the Vort’n Vis today!

some images (courtesy of Steve Noyelle) of the ‘rehousing-procession’:

VV verhuis 2001 (Steph)VV verhuis 2001 (couch)VV verhuis 2001 (sign)

We need all possible help from anyone who was involved to complete the history – please get in touch!

Pit's logo

Around the same time of the conception of the Vort’n Vis, an ‘indie’ pub was set up in Kortrijk: The Pits (Actually it’s The Pit’s). People that frequented it and the bands that they invited were not necessarily hardcore/punk but there was an overlap…

From their history-writing: >> November 1st 1988 Het Rond Vierkant [a local pub/hang-out] was officially buried but some of the loyal customers united in a non-profit organisation called Bang Zoom Noise (B.Z.N.) and opened their own pub, The Pits. The first intention was to organise concerts.<<

After cooperations with the local Limelight and De Kreun (commercial concert-places), and the 4AD in Diksmuide, B.Z.N. found themselves forced to organise their own space. This continues, even today… Check ‘m out on the www!

Some people that were active in and around the non-profit organisation that was the foundation for The Pits were also doin’ other sub-cultural stuff. On the local Radio Solar there was e.g. a 3h program called Blitzkrieg Bop (hosted by Joost Dierick, I believe) that highlighted mainly “alternative music” (info, theme-programs, ‘specials’) and lasted until it got banned (early 90s). They also did a free monthly newsletter that would evolve (I think) into the Pitstop (that you got free with a membership).

Within the boundaries of B.B. a man named Peter Arthur Caesens (“the local buffoon and author of bestsellers”; as Edward Verhaeghe described him in the 1st issue of his zine Do It) was given the opportunity to do a 1h guest-appearance that he filled with “ranting and blustering”…

P.A.C. was a bit of a cult-figure in the Kortrijk area. He also performed at the Vort’n Vis a few times… On his website he calls himself an artist, poet, dancer, composer and performer.

Joost Dierick told me he had already been on stage with P.A.C.’s choir ‘Consortium Musicae Perversae’ at a gig with ‘Chronic Disease’ (90-02-24). ‘Bowy’ (Dirk Bauwens, one of the founding-fathers of The Pits) described these once as “the Dadaist realisation of the combined wet dreams of P.A.C. & Sid Veritas”…

Brob

I did 3 appearances, I think… Once I did a solo-act where I danced to the music of Bartok’s first concerto for piano, if I remember well… It was on a kind of international festival on a Sunday-afternoon; I believe it was a Straight-Edge concert [96-08-18; see guestbook-entry].

VV 96-08-18 - (book C) Peter Arthur Caesens“On behalf of the institute for ponamology and as commander of the underground Revolutionary Military Forces for the promotion of Artisitc Muzak” [PONAM = Permanent ONterecht Afgewezen Minnaar; Permanantly Unfairly Rejected Lover]

But most legendary were the 2 performances with the vocal ensemble ‘Consortium Musicae Perversae’ (that originated at The Pits); under my direction. The first time there were a lot of people and they were stage-diving. The second time there was hardly no audience and one of my singers (‘Herr Brunkel’) was pretty drunk. He tumbled of the stage with a full glass of Duvel. The Consortium could’ve become a hype, if only the singers would have persevered a bit. The composition changed many times – upto 4 times over the years. ‘Sid Veritas’ (Thierry Meerschman), ‘Herr Brunkel’ (Christoph Bruneel); also Dirk ‘Bowy Bauwens in the beginning… We sang (a capella) our own kooky adaptations of a diversity of things (the midieval Carmina Burana, Bach, Boyce, folk-tunes and pure improvisation)…

Here’s a quote of my friend Herr Brunkel (February 2014): “Gig of the Consortium @ Vort’n Vis: full moon, poor organisation because unannounced concert, resulting in = public nihil. The singing incredibly out of tune, like a cat (not bad with a rotten fish – Vort’n Vis – dish) with a full moon of Duvels for ‘Brunkel’ and ‘blue clouds’ for Sid Veritas’…”

‘Ugly Papas’? I toured 2 years with them… Perhaps I played with them in the Vort’n Vis?

Peter Caesens

96-08-18 Caesens (Do It 2)

It was my idea to invite P.A.C. He also read from his own work, I believe. Happened at a few fests that I was involved with…

Edward Verhaeghe

The ‘Ugly Papas’ (also from the Kortrijk area) were in the final of Humo’s Rock Rally in 1990. They played “non-conventional, decadent but tight blues-rock with humour”. The band consisted of Dick Descamps (bass), Dr. Dekerpel (guitar), Luc Dufourmont (vocals; ex ‘Two Russian Cowboys’ – these had already performed at a Smurfpunx-gig: 88-10-23) and Eric ‘Rik’ Debruyne (drums). Did they perform here or just visit?

Brob

VV 96-08-18 - (book C) Ugly Papas

An interview with the Vort’n Vis ‘policy-makers’ Jan Claus & Bruno Vandevyvere, by Joris De Buysser

(Bonds Of Friendship #6; June 1992)

Vort'n Vis (B.O.F. #6) 1992

92-09-05&06 2 day festival VV

92-09 extra

Hardcore ’92… This could be considered as the first Ieperfest… The years before around half of September there had already been a few fests named Leed (the Vort’n Vis’ alternative to the city of Ieper’s mainstream Leet festival). The latter had a more punky/crusty feel to it. The Ieperfest tended to offer more straight-egde bands… It gradually moved towards a weekend around half of August. And eventually turned into a huge event (not unlike a lot of the commercial summer-festivals) outside of the Vort’n Vis premises.

Unfortunately (and that already was from the beginning), it turned out to be a market-place for big/commercial labels and distributions (local and others). I’ve never been able to see what the value of that was and I kept reacting against it…

Brob

The first weekend of September there was the double-day fesitival. It was supposed to be a promo-weekend for vegetarianism (there was 1! stall by GAIA, Global Action in the Interest of Animals) but it was more a promo-weekend for Warehouse recs (Edward’s pre Good Life label) and ‘Nations On Fire’ There was a music (record/CD/zine) -fair on Sunday but also on Saturday there was already a market goin’ on! Awful! I refused to set up my stall between Bernd (Lost & Found) Granz‘s table with bootlegs and other crappy collectioners’ items, and other money-greedy ‘distributors’. Sunday they were there too so I decided to show an alternative with really DIY stuff and fanzines (no-one else was selling any!). Saturday I talked and talked (hardly saw any of the bands – I already saw most of the SxE-bands here 2-5 times; ‘Abolition’ were great, and nice people!) to old friends, new friends and people from everywhere: UK, Germany, Holland, Canada, Portugal, etc. [Peter Hoeren (Crucual Response recs & Michael Müller, Armin Hofmann (X-Mist recs), Moses Arndt (Zap), Big (‘Man Lifting Banner”), David Dutriaux (‘Scraps’ & ‘N.O.F.’) & Belle, Dennis Niesing (‘Crisis Of Society’), Wil Van Straalen (WRF recs)]

Jaak, the drummer for ‘Nations On Fire’ (Vegan Society and GAIA militant) announced that this was a last show with the band for him. Apparently the ‘Positive / Powerful / Political’ slogan had become to empty for him and selling/collecting records (of some of the others in the band) was not fulfilling enough…

Quite some people didn’t want to come because they thought it was too militantly SxE. I thought it was too consumerist. Pity they didn’t show up, we could’ve offered some ‘counterbalance’…

Brob, personal communications Sep/Oct ‘92

Jase Step One (UK) – Spencer Ching F. Ma(c)k (Can) – Ted Wong (Can) – Rob Franssen (Nl) [courtesy of Jase Fox]

More on the complete bill:

5 sep ’92: Ironside (UK), Strong Event (Ger), Blindfold (Bel), Shortsight (Bel), No More (Lux), Feeding The Fire (Nl), Spirit Of Youth (Bel)

6 sep ’92: Abolition (Ger), Nations On Fire (Bel), Strength Of The Will (Bel), Inner Circle (Ger), Agent 86 (USA), Punishment Park (Nor)

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

VV 92-09-06 - (book A) Stef Smits“Long time ago I saw so much uniformity”; Stef Smits, sociologist

VV 92-09-06 - (book A) Armin X-MistArmin Hofmann

VV 92-09-06 - (book A) Bernd L&FBernd Granz

VV 92-09-06 - (book A) Steffen Rosetour-promoter (‘Nations On Fire’ e.g.)

VV 92-09-06 - (book A) Anneke“Long time ago I slept so much!” ; Anneke Schuurman, Puffy zine

VV 92-09-06 - (book A) Corey AbolitionCorey von Villiez

VV 92-09-06 - (book A) Patrick, SwitzPatrick Kolb ???