Fifty years ago: Flowerpower, the Vietnam War, singles like ‘Waiting For the Sun’ (The Doors), ‘Do it again’ (The Beach Boys) and ‘The Dock of the Bay’ (Otis Redding) come out, Martin Luther King is murdered and young people revolt in their desire for freedom. It was during that period that Berry Visser started MOJO Concerts in an attic room in Delft.
From 12 April, Museum Prinsenhof Delft will celebrate the 50th anniversary of this special Delft company with the exhibition MOJO Backstage: Delft masters in the music industry. The exhibition shows the development of MOJO and how the company has grown into the largest festival organizer and concert promoter in the Netherlands. With this exhibition, designed by Peter te Bos, the museum shows how a small country can be great.
From 1968 to the present: MOJO as a “Delft master” in the music industry
Driven by his passion for pop music, Delft-born Berry Visser started the one-man company MOJO Concerts in 1968. With some bluff, he knows how to catch multiple bands in London for the first multi-day festival in the Netherlands: the Holland Pop Festival in the Kralingse Bos. Shortly thereafter Leon joined Ramakers, first as Berry’s assistant and soon as his partner. Together they organize many concerts and festivals that still attract tens of thousands of visitors, such as Lowlands and Pinkpop.
What once started as a one-man company in Delft, has grown into a Dutch market leader in the music industry with an American world player (Live Nation) as the owner. Since the first stadium concert with Bob Dylan, there is no celebrity that MOJO has put on the Dutch stage. MOJO also devises innovative solutions to help the public enjoy music more and more, from crush barriers to festival tents such as cathedrals.
About the exhibition
The MOJO Backstage exhibition shows how in fifty years MOJO developed into the successful company it is today. Visitors discover what is involved behind the scenes to organize a large-scale music event, but they also take on the role of the artist. Original posters, video clips, admission tickets and photos take the visitor on a trip down memory lane. In Virtual Reality, they get a backstage experience at a concert by Dutch most popular rapper Ronnie Flex in AFAS Live.
The exhibition was designed by Peter te Bos, lead singer of the band Claw Boys Claw and for years associated with MOJO as a designer for Lowlands.
The exhibition shows the development in a social context with attention to the dark side of the music industry in addition to euphoria. Berry Visser makes a cemetery from the inner garden of the museum.
The exhibition and peripheral programming have been made possible in part thanks to contributions from VSBfonds, Prins Bernhard Cultuur Fonds, Ruitenburg advisers & accountants and the Municipality of Delft.
Museum Prinsenhof Delft is working closely with MOJO for this exhibition.
Since 2017, Ruben Brouwer and John Mulder have been the directors of MOJO, supported by a management team and a Board of Directors in the person of Leon Ramakers. MOJO still operates from the city of Delft.