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|Fellowship Participant - Johan Gijsen|
CEO / Co-Founder
Johan Gijsen’s career in music started at a young age; at 15, he began promoting pop shows at a youth centre in his hometown of Roggel. Ten years later, he moved to Utrecht to start as a music programmer at famous Dutch music venue Tivoli.
After Tivoli merged in 2014 with Vredenburg to become TivoliVredenburg, a modern venue representing a uniquely diverse range of genres, Gijsen was appointed as senior booker. He resigned in 2017 to turn his focus entirely to Le Guess Who?, the music festival he co-founded in 2007. Next to Le Guess Who?, Gijsen also became involved in the creation of Into The Great Wide Open festival in the Netherlands.
As a fervent out-the-box thinker with deep roots in music, Gijsen has an ongoing personal drive to enthuse people for the more cutting edge, adventurous and underrepresented music. With Le Guess Who?, he developed an outstanding case on various levels.
Over the years, he has gained a great variety of experience and success across a number of subjects; the lifting of sociopolitical barriers, cultural ecosystems, inclusivity, creative partnerships with cultural institutions and championing expressions of new forms of art and culture.
Gijsen was voted “Utrechter of the Year” in 2016. He recently enlisted and finished the Leadership in Culture program (LinC4) offered by the Ministry of Culture and Utrecht University.
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