Photo: gogbot.nl
GOGBOT is an annual festival focused on multimedia, technology, music, and art. It takes place in the Dutch city of Enschede. The festival is organized by PLANETART, a local group of artists that create and initiate public projects, events and festivals.

PLANETART is a collective of artists that presents festivals and other events dedicated to art, technology, popular culture and mass media. In the early 2000s, PLANETART began to organize small festivals in various venues in downtown Enschede, including Astro Friezen, Exploding Digita, RealAudio, Sociale Dienst, Op Drift, The Gods Must Be Crazy, and more. In 2004, all these festivals merged into a single event that was named GOGBOT. Since then, the GOGBOT Festival has received international recognition for its innovative approach and accessibility.

The name “GOGBOT” consists of two parts. The first part, “GOG”, is a double reference. On the one hand, it sounds like the last name of the famous Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. On the other hand, it’s a reference to the Dutch slang word “gogo” which means “a little crazy”. The second part, BOT, refers to the organizers’ love for robotics and emphasizes that the festival is dedicated to both art and technology.

GOGBOT is a free to attend event because one of its main goals is to make art works accessible to a wide audience. Its program includes exhibitions, lectures, film screenings, workshops, seminars, live music and DJ sets, and many other events and activities for attendees of all ages and backgrounds. Traditionally, art academy graduates showcase their work at the festival and compete for a special award.

GOGBOT is also known for showcasing controversial works such as art installations dedicated to terrorism. Such works were presented by Jonas Staal, Tinkebell and Atelier Van Lieshout. At one of the festivals, topless activists of the Ukrainian-French radical feminist group sawed three crosses with a chainsaw as a protest against suppression of women by the Christian church and other religions.

Despite the controversy, GOGBOT is considered one of the most important art & technology festivals in Europe noted for making high-quality contemporary art accessible to a wide audience. It has an annual attendance of about 20,000. Each edition of the festival has focused on a particular theme. Past themes have included Mediapolis, Steampunk, Memes, Sex & Technology, Spaceship Earth, Intergalactic, and others.


Photo: Roy te Lintelo




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