Let’s start with a big THANK YOU ALL!!!
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
What a wonderful festival we had. Due to the wether of course, but also due to the 750 Land Rover equipes from 12 countries throughout Europe!
What started with an idea around 2 years earlier finally ended up with a smashing Land Rover festival containing all the ingredients a Land Rover lover can wish.
We’ve published our story and review of the festival in our LRCHs club member Magazine of which you can download the festival part below.
Because the text is in dutch, we offer you the translation hereby.
Also we’ve placed some more unpublished photo’s in our gallery. We can’t get enough of this, do you? 😉
You joined the Festival but not a club member (yet)?
No problem. Just send us an email with your name, address etc.
But remember, we’ve only got a small amount of extra issues available.
Anniversary weekend a great success!
We can look back on a fantastic anniversary weekend, from 18 to 21 May. But how did the organization go from the perspective of Jeroen Hoftijzer, chairman of the 35 Years LRCH jubilee, and Norbert Duijvelshoff, LRCH board member in charge of communication? A conversation with two passionate Land Rover enthusiasts…
The phone rang, our chairman Raymond on the line. Everything alright? Yes, sure. Busy? Yes, definitely. Then you can certainly take the lead as ‘jubilee chairman’ for the 35 Years weekend… That was a year and a half ago. I didn’t immediately say yes. I thought the previous team was too big and consisted of volunteers who already had a lot on their plate. Pffff, can we really make this happen?
After discussing with Raymond, I set up a ‘new’ core team specifically for the jubilee. We kept the other committees informed at regular intervals and asked for their input. I would like to give a big compliment to these committees because they understood very well what they had to do and at which moments to do it!
It starts with an idea… Almost two years ago, the inevitable question came up. I had already said that I wouldn’t do ‘it’ again after organizing a large event for the LRCH three times before. But well, all the ideas and plans made my knees weak…
The fact that the club was founded in 1988 led us to the 80s theme. That also explains the buttons we used for the anniversary; totally eighties! The colors in the logo and the graphic designs also refer to that period. And what about the smileys on the anniversary clothing?
But then everything still had to be put together… Easier said than done.
Going back to a year and a half ago: a brief assessment showed that no suitable terrain had been found yet, which met the requirements formulated together with the board. What were the non-negotiables: the terrain had to be in the Netherlands, preferably have a 4×4 section, be suitable as a camping site for 600+ teams, and so on. So, we started searching. After visiting many terrains, we initially ended up at Toverland. Unfortunately, the negotiations about the terrain and accompanying catering fell through.
Despite having good contacts with Defence, we also got a no. The answer was understandable: due to the war with Ukraine, Defence needed all available terrains. No exception was made for the LRCH. We understand that very well.
Kasteel Middachten had already come on our radar thanks to a contact Egon Kooi had. At first, we had disregarded the option, but we thought, let’s talk: can’t hurt. If only we had done that earlier! From the first moment, the conversations went smoothly and the discussions about the K3 terrain were clear and good.
When the location of Landgoed Middachten came into view, I got excited!
This was the location where everything would come together. Location visits allow you to experience the spaces and see the possibilities. The idea of a more festival-like event (even more so than the 30th anniversary already was) would come to life here. The gears started to turn…
We had a short encounter with a sea eagle flying over the area (which we never actually saw), but the local ecologist from K3 explained to us that as long as we kept a sufficient distance, it wouldn’t be a problem. The most fun requirement was set by the Count and resident of Middachten himself: the urban course and especially the bridge had to be present. After all, that is part of a true Land Rover event and… he is right.
With the location secured and the contracts signed, brainstorming about the layout of the grounds could begin. Where do we place the food trucks? Where will the big tent be? Where do we have the big BBQ? But also questions like: where do we get fresh water from? Where is the sewer? In short, countless things for the team to solve.
From the moment we shared the first messages on social media (exactly 1 year in advance), we were overwhelmed with enthusiastic reactions from both domestic and international sources.
That enthusiasm grew as we revealed more about our plans.
The lounge area was created as a result of the 75th anniversary of the Land Rover brand this year. After all, three-quarters of a century ago, the drawing of the original Land Rover shape was made in the sand on the beach of Red Wharf Bay. We wanted to bring that beach feeling here, complete with beach chairs. Unfortunately, we couldn’t bring in sand, but the 50 beach chairs were a hit!
Many people sat in the sun there with their eyes closed, enjoying it, and rightly so.
To honor the G4 and Camel Trophy, foreign clubs were invited and speakers were approached. Thijs Maartense and Rob Visser hadn’t looked at their equipment and photos in years, but for this presentation, everything came alive again. They enthusiastically told their story to a full tent of listeners. How cool was it to have all the G4 and Camel cars standing together in front of the tent?
The routes to the off-road terrain were also the cherry on top.
We were well on our way and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky when out of the blue, six months before the event, we received a call from the municipality of Rheden. We had to apply for a nitrogen permit! My goodness, I’ve never had such a depressing meeting with the core team. We really didn’t know if it would work out. The worst-case scenarios were discussed with the board, because what if it didn’t happen? What would the damage be? Luckily, Raymond had a contact who does these calculations daily. The nitrogen specialist kindly put aside his busy work to prepare the calculations for LRCH. These calculations are a black box for laymen, but not for this agency. Once again, pffff… would this be the last hurdle before the anniversary could start? We could continue, but we had decided to minimize our social media posts. Why? We didn’t want to attract any more nosy people with the wrong intentions.
To involve and inform all stakeholders around the castle, we organized an evening at the castle leading up to the event. All the involved farmers, residents, and locals from the area were present during this presentation. Of course, there were some critical questions about traffic flows during the event. But after our clear explanation, there was nothing but understanding.
The campaign machine ran at full speed; almost every day we worked for the club. Perhaps that also contributed to the fact that we sold all the tickets within two months; unprecedentedly fast! However, due to the interim nitrogen issue, we had to abruptly stop the campaign. That’s why we couldn’t offer day tickets anymore and couldn’t give any more attention to the Concours d’Elegance for visitors from outside. Very unfortunate, because it definitely deserved more attention.
We are very happy with the participation of the many foreign clubs (participants from no less than 12 different countries in Europe) and a special thanks to the G4 Owners Club and the united Camel Trophy clubs from Europe!
For them, this was their first event at the invitation of a foreign club.
Now, the week before the event itself… The weather made itself known, it just wouldn’t stay dry. On the Friday before the event, I walked through deep mud tracks. Hhmmm, what to do? Can we quickly find more road plates? Luckily, Steven had contracted a very flexible company that could quickly scale up. Also taken care of; the access route (supply route at the back) was completely covered with plates to avoid the risks of stuck trucks or vans.
From the Sunday before the event, we set up camp at Middachten and started building the event. It went smoothly with the growing army of volunteers. What started with a group of 20 on Sunday grew into a pleasant team of around 50 volunteers on Wednesday. Fantastic, because we wouldn’t have been able to do it without them! Did everything go according to plan? No, not everything, but when you organize something like this, you have to be prepared for ad hoc changes, comes with the package so to speak. For us as the core team, it was great to have the committees around us: they are self-starting and know exactly what they need to do, wonderful to work with. Once again, thank you for your cooperation and commitment! In fact, the sense of camaraderie was very strong throughout the anniversary! Beautiful to see.
And then the Concours d’Elegance on Sunday. What better place to be?
Of course, the weather was on our side the whole weekend. From the entrance with disco beats by the DJ Defender to the farewell on Sunday afternoon.
But the idea of being allowed to do a static show on the castle’s front square for 75 years of Land Rover was a kind of moment of luck.
Registrations came from all over Europe, so we were able to display a very special collection of vehicles that you can only dream of. And what a wonderful ending to an insanely beautiful birthday party.
The event itself flew past me like a bullet train; your attention is demanded everywhere and nowhere, which is understandable. However, there was always time to catch up with someone or say a quick hello. It was nice to see that everyone was having such a great time at the off-road terrain: small and compact, but every square meter was well utilized by the Off Road and Trial Committee.
Was the anniversary a success? We believe so. The weather was fantastic, lots of sunshine. The program was flawless. The participants had a lot of fun. Yes, it was a successful anniversary!
We are particularly satisfied with the festival atmosphere we created. Relaxing and enjoying with like-minded people while having a bite and a drink, delightful! Additionally, we were also prepared for bad weather, the amount of tent space seemed large, but if the weather had been worse, we would definitely have needed it to accommodate everyone.
At the moment, we are already looking ahead. This was beautiful, but where are we going in 5 years? If it were up to Middachten, we would come back next year, but the current anniversary team thinks that’s too far, it should remain an anniversary, not an annual festival. Or maybe it should be?
We scrolled through almost 8,000 photos… It’s quite a challenge to choose for the magazine. The photos are amazing and we will continue to share memories for a while. After all, we can draw from this for the next five years.
Also, a huge thank you to our sponsors. Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to execute certain things as ambitiously. And of course, a big thank you for the hospitality of the entire team at Landgoed and Kasteel Middachten!
Your presence at the event was exceptionally appreciated.
It is impossible to thank everyone, but let’s at least express our gratitude to all the volunteers for their dedication and flexibility, and of course, all the participants who made the event, atmosphere, and excellent impression as it was. Hats off!
Find the review of the LRCH 35YRS Festival by the guyes of Terrein.nu here.
Octane Magazine did a very nice review of their Facebook page.
And also Overland Europe made an online article about our fabulous festival!
The All Road Committee started early on to map out several attractive routes starting from the festival location.
A route over the beautiful Posbank was no longer possible due to traffic disruptions. So we diverted to routes towards Apeldoorn, Eibergen, Vorden, and Ruurlo, with a “big day route” being a combination of routes. A route was also shortened for the evening ride.
All routes were test-driven and route books were made.
In the week leading up to the event, the routes were checked again and guess what? Yes, there was a road construction somewhere, and suddenly a fair was set up on one of the routes. That meant making route changes as quickly as possible and distributing them to the routes.
Never a dull moment, but what beautiful routes they were!
The terrain of K3 has already been mentioned. A sand quarry not far from a place where the LRCH had already set its routes decades earlier: Rhederlaag. Now a recreational lake with holiday homes around it.
The excavation of K3 is large and the cooperation is great. After previous explorations by the Off Road Committee, there was actually little that could be said. Can we drive? Yes.
With how many cars? No idea.
And why no idea? Simply because it is a dynamic terrain. The sand quarry is constantly evolving. A section where you can drive now may be gone in 2 weeks.
So a beautiful location, but a small drama for the committee, because they actually had zero certainties….
The conversations were hopeful and understanding, but it really got exciting when on Wednesday, May 16, the group from the committee went to the terrain and encountered the driver with his shovel.
Two days were spent creating mounds, hills, pits, and tracks. Test driving, then marking off, and then driving could commence.
What a location! Everyone who has been there still has a smile on their face!
Further down the same terrain, the Trial Committee has set up a number of tests to test agility and teamwork. A great course has been set up where we had a lot of fun driving and sliding. Pulling ropes, watching out for balls, and above all, having a lot of fun!
Facts & figures of the LRCH35YRS Festival
With such an event, you use quite a few things to ensure everything goes smoothly. Here are some numbers:
15 large distribution boxes
50 electricity hubs on the campsite
5 kilometers of thick main power cable
13 kilometers of power cables
1000 liters of foam for the foam party
280 ferry tickets
3000 navigation kilometers for the 5 all-road routes
1200 rolls of toilet paper
20 kilometers of barricade tape
170 slices of cake
4000 cups of coffee
2500 liters of beer
For the Club BBQ:
1600 burgers with buns
125 kg of salmon
200 kg of chicken
150 kg of pulled pork
150 kg of porchetta
10 crates of 5 kg tomatoes
10 crates of 5 kg courgette
20 kg of portobello mushrooms
20 kg of oyster mushrooms
100 loaves of bread
Over 200 kg of salads
The fries truck:
350 kg of fries
440 frikandellen (1 frikandel = approximately 17 cm, so about 75 meters of frikandel)
45 liters of mayonnaise
10 liters of curry
10 liters of peanut sauce
1 liter of ketchup
45 kg of pulled pork
25 kg of coleslaw
29 kg of chicken thighs
32 vegetarian options
48 kg of spare ribs
450 anniversary clothing items
64 water bottles
94 sets of valve caps
LRCH Catering during setup and teardown:
Executed by Corrie and Jan Buizert, Rob Vogelzang and Ellen Leene.
The expectation was between 25 and 37 people; it eventually became 83!
Food was provided 14 times and there were 5 afternoon drinks.
In the end, 840 meals were provided.
300 with and without bacon
14 kilograms of coffee
1000 liters of water
54 loaves of bread
169 different products went through 8 times before they were served
This time there were only 2 vegetarians; the rest didn’t realize that most of the meals were meatless 😉
1 sleepless night. Mashed potatoes were on the menu (which was planned earlier this year), but there was no kale, carrots, and onions available…
This was changed to fried rice and an additional 8 kilograms of rice was added.
And Bernd has processed over 1,000 emails to ensure all volunteers are deployed at the right place at the right time….
Besides, he did a marvelous job in administration, finance (budget) and coordination.
Maarten van de Hoogen
Jeroen de Graaf
Marco van de Peppel
Robert van der Wiel