About the festival

For more than twenty years the historic town of Deventer in the Netherlands has celebrated culture and arts on the streets. While ‘Op Stelten’ (‘on stilts’) is now used largely as a figurative sense, the performers are truly of the highest level and come from all over Europe. During the weekend of 5 till 7 July 2019 the centre of Deventer turns into a giant open air theatre stage and attracts thousands of enthusiastic visitors. The entrance is free, with exception of a few ticketed performances. 

In the last years ‘Deventer Op Stelten’ has developed strongly content-wise into a internationally acknowledged festival in professional open air theatre. As a result of its specific form and artistic quality, ‘Deventer Op Stelten’ has grown out to a leading festival for international open air theatre, and was declared the winner of Best Public Event of The Netherlands in 2014. Each year, the festival is visited by more than 125.000 visitors and is seen as an extraordinary, festive and world class cultural festival.

Friday July 5: 20.30-24.00h
Saturday July 6: 12.30-17.00h and 20.30-24.00h
Sunday July 7: 12.30-17.00h


Deventer Op Stelten 2018, a retrospective

After a fantastic opening evening on Thursday the 5th of July 2018 where over 1250 elderly and disabled people enjoyed the performance of ‘Exit’ by Inextremiste in city park ‘Worpplantsoen’, three days with over 168 performances and 125.000 visitors followed. The city was one big theatre during the international theatrefestival ‘Deventer Op Stelten’. De organization is looking back on one of the best festival editions yet.

One of the highlights of the festival was the art project of building a cardboard church with two towers of 25 meters tall, by artist Oliver Grossetête along with 1250 city residents and festival visitors. It was a unique experience to see so many people, young and old, work together, and with great pleasure.

Other highlights where the performance ‘Alice on the Run’ by Theater Titanick and ‘Odyssee’ by Theater Gajes. There was poetry at Noustube and Klown Konzept, a festive vibe at the parades of Remue Ménage and Le Snob and captivating dancing was seen at Compagnie Furinkaï and Compagnie Pernette.

Other smaller performances that made Deventer Op Stelten that special this year: Cheeese Cake Compagnie that fitted just right on the little square ‘t Klooster’ it took place, the toilet humor of Okidok and the inimitable ‘All the Fun’ of Compagnie Ea Eo in the small hall of the city theatre.   

Furthermore, there was the successful musicfestival ‘Hoogtevrees’, the beautifull ‘Tipping Point’ by Ockham’s Razor, the balanced La Mondiale Générale, raw music-theater by BOT, an applause-project by Jeroen Diepenmaat, minitheatre by De Stijle Want and Electric Circus, and loads of smaller acts on the city square ‘de Brink’.

We want to thank all the artists, volunteers, builders, subsidizers, sponsors and visitors.

Watch the official aftermovie of 2018:


Oliver Grossetête - Creation and construction of a cardboard church at 'Deventer op Stelten'  (by Smurfit Kappa):