No top act for WUR centenary

With more than 1100 votes, the Arctic Monkeys were the favourite act to perform at WUR’s centenary celebrations. But now it seems the organization wants a student band.
Stijn van Gils

Arctic Monkeys singer Alex Turner will unfortunately not be performing in Wageningen. © Shutterstock

A Facebook message posted 15 March last year showed how seriously Wageningen University & Research was taking its anniversary. ‘Of course one of the festivities will be a big opening party,’ read the university’s post. The organization called on everyone to vote for their favourite performing artist. The message on WUR’s Facebook page ended with ‘We will do our best to get the most voted artist here in Wageningen!’

The call got a huge response with more than 4500 people casting a vote. With almost 24 percent, the Arctic Monkeys were the clear winners in this poll. The British indie rock band finished comfortably ahead of numbers two (the Swedish DJ Avicii with 12.6 percent) and three (the US group Major Lazer, 12.5 percent).

But now it turns out that the ambitions for the WUR party are rather more modest than was originally suggested. No international acts — instead the Dutch National Student Orchestra (NSO) and WUR band the Sound of Science will be opening WUR’s centenary celebrations.

Geurt Heimensen of 100 years of WUR no longer remembers how that message got abroad initially. At first they had big ideas about the programme, he says. ‘We only started thinking about the specifics of the programme in March.’ Even so, he is pleased they have got the two bands. ‘It is unique and rather special to have the Dutch National Student Orchestra come to Wageningen.’

Students on campus were philosophical about the decision. ‘I didn’t actually expect it to happen even when I voted,’ says Lola Koppelman. The Nutrition and Health student thinks it’s ‘also nice’ that there will be a student band. Others are not bothered by the change either. Max Steenbrink, an International Land and Water Management student, immediately adds that the Ceres band Malac Banda is available too.

There is indeed a good chance that this band will get a place on the stage during WUR’s centenary: there is a festival on 15 September for which they are still looking for Wageningen bands.

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