WORM 25 – Future focus – with Kamiel Top

As the institute turns 25, WORM announces its new relationship with the world: Ultimate Playground. We encourage you to read all about our new plans here. We asked those who have experienced, and experiences of, WORM to comment on how they see us in this transition year. #Wunderbar stalwart and team leader (and someone who is soon to leave us, sadly,) Kamiel Top reflects on his time here.

You live in Rotterdam, can you tell us a bit about your relationship with the city?

My relationship with the city has been going up and down, ever since I lived here. I’ve been overwhelmed by the city, as well as deeply in love, confused, inspired or bored. There’s a certain rhythm here in daily life, very specific to Rotterdam. It’s repetitive and trustworthy. And fortunately full of potential, there’s always new things starting. I think that’s what keeps it going here. I definitely feel at home in Rotterdam.

You help run the bar teams at WORM over time: but can you remember your first impressions of the place?

I cannot properly remember my first time at WORM, but I do know that I loved to watch bands here. It was my favorite venue in Rotterdam right away. I would also go to the club nights, surprised by everything that was going on. Impressed by the crowd, the individuals. Chilling in that old suffocating smoker’s room. It felt like there was so much going on at once, too much to be even aware of. I loved that. It was chaotic and cozy. Sometimes it still feels like that. And then I’m working.

I think you have once played WORM in your band?

That’s true, I played a show upstairs with GGGOLDDD. I think it was 2016, something like that. I remember being impressed by the amount of smoke on stage. You could barely see someone. We can’t do that anymore.. fire alarm and everything.

How have you seen WORM develop, and operate, both from close up and in your peer group?

I started working here two years ago, and I noticed it was all still a bit in the post-pandemic mode. I think WORM was and is still struggling a bit with getting back to that old level. The long-term director went away, then there were a couple of interim directors who all did their own part. There has been a lot of coordinating. Now we have a refreshing new directors duo, hopefully for the long-term. It’s really important to have the right people in the right place, and having a clear vision as a whole. I do think that WORM can improve on being a better ‘whole’, internally. But I feel like people realise this, and people are working on this. Externally WORM has been a bit more quiet the past years, but I think it’s time to be louder again in the coming years.

Which of the three points of WORM’s new principles (found here in our Mission Statement) do you feel most attuned to, or affiliated with, when you use WORM?

I would say Fertile Ground. I think WORM distinguishes itself by giving space to all sorts of different, cultural events. There’s always a cultural or communal aspect. Something for you to pick up or learn. Getting a different angle. To me WORM is anti-normal and it’s a fertile ground for everyone who doesn’t belong in what’s considered normal. Anything can grow here. It’s inspiring.