Blues Before Sunrise

Amsterdam’s most well-known urban park, the Vondelpark, will be illuminated with blue light. The conventional warm white light from all 275 street lamps in the park will be replaced by blue toned light from the period of March 7 until March 25.

The Blues Before Sunrise project, is an initiative of Stedelijk Museum in collaboration with the British artist and film director Steve McQueen. McQueen uses the idea of illumination to transform the environment, changing the atmosphere and people’s perceptions of Vondelpark.

Quoting Stedelijk Museum director Ann Goldstein, McQueen’s Blues Before Sunrise will also heighten the sensation of routine activities and simply transform the nighttime experience of a common space into an unusual, beautiful experience.

The title "Blues Before Sunrise" is taken from the song written in 1934 by Leroy Carr and performed with Scrapper Blackwell.

blues before sunrise steve mcqueen

It was not a simple process for Stedelijk Museum to launch this project. After having done many meetings with the Amsterdam police and other neighbourhood committees, the museum finally has a "green light" to proceed.

Blues Before Sunrise is part of the Temporary Stedelijk 3: Stedelijk @, a diverse programme aiming at enhancing the visibility of the museum while it is (temporarily) closed. 


Ayu Mashita


Ayu Mashita

Former Lifestyle Editor of IamExpat, music enthusiast, social media aficionado and brand strategist in the making :)

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