Music & events

Faber is back once again with spectacular LED innovations De Vrienden van Amstel LIVE Anniversary Edition

Vrienden van Amstel Live LED show with large screens
Tribe Company/ Amstel Bier Nederland
Music & events
Date – 2023
Location – Ahoy, Rotterdam
Photo credits – Jorrit Lousberg
Rotterdam – The event is known for being ‘the biggest bar in the country’. De Vrienden van Amstel LIVE. World famous all around the Netherlands. An audiovisual musical festival with international allure. Just to throw in a few superlatives into the description of this annual show at Rotterdam Ahoy. And now in 2023, it’s time for its 25th edition.
Vrienden van Amstel rotating stage with LED screens
Vrienden van Amstel LED screen

Audiovisual musical festival with international allure

“It is an honor to be able to contribute each year on behalf of Faber towards the success of this public event, which is unique in every respect,” explains Faber’s Sales Manager Jeroen Jongenelen.
Vrienden van Amstel LED screen

The history of De Vrienden van Amstel LIVE goes back to 1998. In January that year, De Heeren van Amstel, a pub on Amsterdam’s Thorbeckeplein, was the first recording location for the music show. After the first edition, the show was called De Vrienden van Amstel LIVE, anchoring the branding of the well-known beer brand – which acts as the main sponsor – in its name. Amstel and friends remained inextricably linked elements in the advertising concepts over subsequent decades. In the following years, the show toured the country and was recorded in various bars. The traditional final episode of the series has taken place at Rotterdam Ahoy since 1999. The 2021 and 2022 editions were ravaged by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 edition was produced as a live stream and in January 2022 the event was actually cancelled.

300 000 visitors

“Producer Tribe Company therefore had every reason to make the anniversary edition in early 2023 even bigger and more spectacular than ever. A concert series of no less than 20 shows was planned, which attracted in total some 300,000 visitors. Twenty nights with a line up of 28 artists who performed together for more than three and a half hours.” According to the organizers this is a record which is held by Frans Bauer who performed 16 nights in front of a sold-out Ahoy. The list of artists for 2023 includes the names of celebrities such as Typhoon, Guus Meeuwis, Miss Montreal, RONDÉ, Krezip, Rowwen Heze, Frank Boeijen and Maan. “An extra special highlight is the performance by Barry Hay, the front man of Golden Earring,” Jongenelen adds. “He opened the first edition a quarter of a century ago and is now on this stage for the last time.”

Strings in chandeliers

For Faber’s Project Manager Ben Augenbroe and his team, every edition of De Vrienden van Amstel LIVE is first and foremost a fantastic challenge. “Over the years, we have supplied a variety of projection and LED installations. For the 2023 concert series, for example, they came up with installing LED into a piano that is placed on an LED stage. Optically, the image continues from the piano onto the floor below. A real visual tour de force.” Naturally, a lot more LED is included in the stage design as standard and the B-stage is also fully converted to LED. “One very special feature of this edition are the LED strings that are incorporated in large chandeliers. These are relatively new LED applications and therefore quite a substantial challenge for us to integrate them in an attractive way.”

Vrienden van Amstel LED screen
Safety and reliability

By far the most work for Faber lies in the preparation. Just think of the conversion of the stage design into all the construction drawings, with a focus on safety and reliability at all times. But also the phase before that, when we look at how to design the constructions so as to make their assembly on location as efficient as possible later on. No matter how much professional experience is involved, Faber always delivers customization at every stage. Nothing is copied or taken for granted. It is the responsibility of the project managers on duty to keep a close eye on this.

The show will go on

Until January 27, De Vrienden van Amstel LIVE was running full blast at Rotterdam Ahoy. For four weeks, the whole city on the Maas was dominated by the anniversary edition. Visitors were already welcomed when they arrived at Rotterdam Central Station with music from a giant jukebox. In addition, the audience nationwide was involved in all kinds of ways: via social media, competitions, a tour bus and even a special documentary that can be viewed on Videoland. “It is impossible to imagine the music calendar without this event,” Jongenelen believes. “In those 25 years it has grown into a leading music festival, which pays attention to every facet of the experience. Light, image, design, top acts and top sound… it all comes together on that stage. We consider it a privilege to be able to contribute towards the unique and unforgettable experience that is De Vrienden van Amstel LIVE year after year.”  

And for those who considered ordering a ticket for the 2024 edition… sold out. Without even having any idea of the line-up, the public is already booking and buying en masse. There are 14 shows scheduled, with space for 200,000 ‘friends’. This show will go on.

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