Surfana Festival is not like any other festival. It’s a small gathering of people that love nature, who want to learn new interesting stuff, like blindfolded wine tasting, meditation, dye a bandana or maybe you’ll finally have the courage to get on a surf board and learn how to surf. Also, the line-up is not your average music acts. With artists from Australia, South-Africa, Ghana and Canada, the experience will be immersive. Surfana has created a vibe where surf culture meets festival culture. We interviewed founder and passionate surfer Maarten Zwetsloot, about surfing and spirituality, making choices, and why Surfana Festival is special.
When you talk about surfing you start to glow. We read that surfing is a spiritual experience. Is that true?
“Isn’t everything a spiritual experience? But yes, it is. You can learn a lot of life lessons from surfing. Because the circumstances in the water are so dynamic, you must be patient. You want the perfect surf, and when this doesn’t happen you should tell yourself it’s okay. Just enjoy the water and the freedom. Try to build a connection with nature, that’s how you get out of your head and really start relaxing.” Why is freedom an important value for Surfana? “Our mission and vision is to choose happiness and freedom. Instead of just dong what is expected. This is how our Surfana Diving Surf School started. My partner Lars van der Veen and I wanted to surf and teach other people what a great experience surfing is. After opening his first school in Zandvoort, I JOINED AND we opened a second school on Vlieland Island. To boost our brand we set up Surfana Festival in 2011. It was an instant hit with 250 people attending. Everything we do is to be and make people happy and to create freedom for ourselves and others. That’s what makes Surfana Festival such a special event. We’re a collective of several little companies, and we all have that same mission.”
Why did you decide to work with The Good Guyz for Surfana Festival 2018?
“In the beginning I thought The Good Guyz would turn Surfana Festival into a small Amsterdam Open Air-kinda-event. Because in my mind they only design big stages and do the production of large festivals and events. However, after talking to them and explaining in which areas we need help, we made the perfect business agreement. The Good Guyz will take care of the whole back-end and logistics, so we have more time and freedom to think about the front-end; the vibe, the crew and stage designs. It’s a perfect match because The Good Guyz have a relaxed approach and vibe too, but a very professional work ethic.”
What are the future ideas for Surfana Festival?
“In 2017 about 2500 people attended Surfana Festival. We don’t want to go any bigger than that. We want to maintain the vibe and atmosphere we have now. Also it’s the maximum number of visitors for the location at Campingsite The Lakens in Zandvoort. However, we also do Surfana Surf Trips, so a combination with Surfana Festival and international Surf Trips would be the way to go.”
Surfana Festival 2018 is 7, 8, 9 & 10th of June.