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Chef’Special Joshua on test festival: ‘You feel the audience’s desire’ | NOW

The Back to Live pop festival in Biddinghuizen took place on Sunday. For Chef’Special foreman Joshua Nolet it felt “bizarre and unreal”, but at the same time “like coming home” to be back on stage after a year and a half.

“Above all, it was just completely crazy not having done this for a year and a half, standing on stage with fifteen hundred people who went crazy. On the one hand that very familiar festival feeling; on the other hand it is very special because you are so used to the measures “, says Nolet in a conversation with after the band’s performance.

‘Crazy to see everyone entwined together’

It was crazy for the singer to see everyone now “completely intertwined”. “You feel how great the longing is for that. You saw that everyone was amazed all the time and thought: oh, yes, this is all possible now,” says Joshua while indicating that he has not quite landed yet and cannot find the right words .

Normally Nolet always goes to the audience during shows. “That is a kind of impulse reaction. Now I had to tell myself that I was allowed to.”

Chef’Special during the Back to Live festival in Biddinghuizen. Photographer: Ben Houdijk

‘Like coming home to a house you haven’t been to for a long time’

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Guido Joseph, the guitarist of the band, indicates that they were quite nervous about their performance. “I think the nerves mainly came from the fact that it was a while ago. Then you want to show that you can still do it. But the moment you play the first note and look at each other, it is immediately very familiar again. ” Nolet can only confirm this. “It was like coming home to a house you haven’t been to for a long time.”

It is painful for the band that it can take a while after the test event before they are back on stage. “Normally you have another festival next week.” They hope for the entire industry that more will be possible soon. “You also noticed today to everyone behind the scenes that this is what they prefer to do. We are very happy that the guarantee fund has come through so that festival organizers can get to work,” said Nolet.

What the rest of the year has in store for the band remains logically uncertain. “We do have a number of shows, including our AFAS Live show in December which has already been moved three times. It remains to be seen, we are in any case ready.”

Bilal Wahib

Bilal Wahib also performed at the festival today. “It was so fucking loud, I can’t explain that in words. My voice is completely hoarse,” says the singer. “I sang well, I sang wrong. Everything was possible and everything was allowed. I am still completely full of adrenaline.”

Nervous defecation

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Wahib was quite nervous before his performance, he admits. “When I’m nervous I always have to shit, but once on stage it always seems like my body has lied to me because then I don’t have to at all anymore. They had those click toilets here and I won’t go on them.”

Fortunately it immediately felt familiar on stage. “You can’t do much wrong because these people really come to party. When I showed up everyone immediately started screaming. I’m so happy that I started singing, I now really realize how beautiful this profession is.”


Because Wahib’s biggest hits came out during the corona crisis, he has never realized how many fans he has. “I haven’t been able to feel it yet. So I got two people on the podium for every number. We cuddled, because that was allowed now.” The singer also says that he ended up in a moshpit and that the audience has worn him.

The singer clearly enjoyed it. “I want to do thousands more shows if I may.”


The corona trial event was organized by Fieldlab Events, a joint initiative of both the corporate and public events sector and the government.

A dance festival took place at the same location on Saturday. 1,500 visitors wade per festival day. All visitors wore a face mask and a tag, which later analyzes, for example, how long they have been in the vicinity of other visitors.

Visitors were tested in advance and also had to deal with all kinds of checks, such as a temperature measurement, at the entrance. Then they were allowed to move freely around the festival site and behave as naturally as possible.

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