Finally a fan get together in The Netherlands again after all.

It’s been a tragic year for all the fans. We suddenly lost one of our Bee Gees early this year. A BGFC Brunch Event again this Spring we therefore couldn’t organize but instead we decided to organize a new type of get together in September. It became an official BGFC Event mostly planned and organized by Gerry Pelser a.k.a. Melody and it turned out to become an even bigger happening than the usual BGFC Brunches as more than twice as much fans attended this Event and they came from many different countries. In fact one or two days before the actual Get Together, quite a number of fans already arrived in the hotels in and near Bovenkarspel to spend a whole weekend in The Netherlands. The location of De Buren as well as the surrounding area were wonderful and so was the weather throughout the weekend.

The day started around eleven o’clock when the door opened and everyone was welcomed by Mary. She took care of the registration, the lottery tickets etc. etc. Everyone arrived shortly afterwards despite of some fans who may have lost the road a bit so when we officially opened the Event at eleven thirty most visitors had found their seats in the cosy bistro of De Buren (translated in English by the way that is: The Neighbours!).

At the entrance welcome to the BGFC Event
Everyone has found their seats

I welcomed all visitors with a short word in Dutch and English, told a bit about the plans for the day and the location which had two different floors. Upstairs where we planned most activities, where most of the seats were and a bar and downstairs where there were seats as well, the video performances, another bar and a quiet corner where fans could talk with Rosalien about our tragic loss of early this year: the death of Bee Gee Maurice. Rosalien in fact is one of the Dutch fans who visited Maurice just a few months before his death and talked with him and took the last photos.  Candles are shining in front of a beautiful photo of Maurice

This photo report she’d taken with her to the Event to show the fans. In fact throughout the day we spent some extra attention to Maurice in some modest way. Rosalien of course had a huge and beautiful framed photo of Maurice on her table which she later on that day gave for the lottery. Another beautiful photo of Mo (also later on used for the lottery) was all day present on the billiard table upstairs and candles were shining in front. This photo should tell the visitors: Maurice is also with us today and will always be in future. A new item during this Event was the fact that throughout the day there was very special Bee Gees music to be heard and all material was gathered and put on CD by Gerry (Melody) specially for the Event and next to that she’d also asked all visitors before coming to send her a list with special requests of songs the fans would like to hear during the Get Together. In the weeks before Gerry had received a special okay from Stichting Brein to use all special BG material she wanted to. 

Candles are shining in front of a beautiful photo of Maurice
Rosalien at her own table downstairs

Stichting Brein is the company in The Netherlands who has to take care of the fact that no illegal and / or unreleased material of music groups is being used, sold or distributed in any way.  Rosalien at her own table downstairs So that was very special for this Event and many fans took the chance to send in their fave Gibb material on a list and Gerry used it all, the most exclusive songs and of course also all those many, many very well known hit songs of the group. We gave away already some first prices right at the beginning of this Event to two persons who were amongst the very first ones to sign in for this Get Together the so called Early Bird Prices. This was for the Dutch fan: Fleur Fröhlich and for the foreign fan from Spain: Jose Manuel. Both received a CD copy of the originally by the Dutch BGI fan club released fan club single with several very special Maurice Gibb songs: Laughin’ Child, Soldier Johnny, Something’s Blowing, Journey To The Misty Mountains (also with okay of Stichting Brein). Before I ended my opening word I had to say hello to all fans from Terry Bridge of course, President of the BGFC who couldn’t attend this time because of personal reasons. I gave a hello from Yuko, president of the other BG fan club in Japan with whom we have contact and who had sent a letter to wish us all a wonderful day. And there was a message from Barry Gibb who wished us a great day on behalf of the Gibb Family. The original Barry Gibb letter I afterwards gave to Gerry as a present as she had done so much to make this day a success.

After all these hellos and messages I gave the mike to Rosalien who explained about the fact that this Event in some way would pay some extra attention to Mo and to begin with she told everyone again about the plans of her Tribute Book and then before we continued the day we first held one minute silence to remember Maurice Gibb. This was a very special and touchy moment for all of us!!

The silence was followed by a compilation CD (made by Gerry of course) of all kinds of Maurice related songs however due to the time schedule we could only use half of the material which mend in the end that we unfortunately had to stop the CD earlier and therefore for instance songs like the so wonderful sounding: “The Bridge”, of which we were able to let you hear the complete and good quality version, could not be played . Although herewith we promise to use the rest of this Maurice compilation CD, including this unreleased material, eventually during some future Event.!!

Our youngest BeeGees fan Fleur

In the location down stairs we had a video program where fans could watch videos all day. This was a big success like for instance the tape we’d received from Miami Beach: a tape of the Spirits Tour made for the Gibb Family themselves by RSO, a wonderful contribution of the Gibb Family to this special Event as all the Gibb boys including Maurice and Andy we could see once again singing on stage together. Also there were shots of their Spirits Tour Plane and of course back stage making fun with people like David English etc. Another big hit was the video tape from the Australian Concert of 1971.

Downstairs watching the special videos
Time for lunch

Everyone was very busy talking with each other, upstairs, downstairs and even outside on the terrace in the little harbour as the weather was lovely. And around half past twelve lunch was served at the tables with soup, different rolls and something to drink.

A beautiful personally by Barry signed mini poster and the winner is ......!

Then around two o’clock it was time for the first part of the big lottery. Tickets only cost 1 Euro a piece so everyone was able to take part and have a chance to win nice items. A beautiful personally by Barry signed mini poster and the winner is ……!

The organization of this Event had given lots of items for the lottery for free and some items were bought, also some of the fans gave items and of course there was material from Miami Beach and from the Japanese fan club. We had some special items from Mo’s paintball shop, a wonderful T shirt from the 2000 concert in Florida, a great Bee Gee cap, a CD signed by all three!!, a signed photo poster of Barry, many very special CD’s, a picture album of Spirits Having Flown, a Now Voyager bag, books with sheet music, German promo material of TIWICI, BGFC stickers, luggage tags, a one free year contribution to the fan club, a wonderful mouse pad with Maurice photo, a lovely mug with Maurice photo too, a video CD, very special CD’s from Japan, , all kinds of back stage passes, some copies of the Maurice Fanclub EP, an nice Saturday Night Fever apron, and sooooo much more… Evelyn Schulz from Germany won the Maurice mug and this item was send to her after the meeting as it had not been delivered yet. As well as the item for Ine Brilman from Enschede, The Netherlands. She had won the Maurice Gibb mouse pad and received it home right after the Meeting as well.

Outside "De Buren"

Around half past two it was time for the sound clips competition. We had a number of 10 sound clips of Bee Gees tunes to listen to and fans who choose all the right titles won a price. The very youngest guest of the Event: Fleur from only 12 years old, won this competition. By the way the oldest attending fan was around 60 and here you can see that Bee Gees music and BGFC Events are for all ages!!

At around half past three we had our second round of the lottery and this time amongst all the other beautiful items Rosalien gave away the two beautiful Maurice photos as well. We also planned to take some time to give the people a chance to buy several BGFC items but as we had received so many lottery items we’d decided to do a second lottery round instead of using that time for selling BGFC items which will probably be done some other time again who knows!!

Like everyone already knows there were no sales tables planned this time. Stichting Brein could see during the Event in Bovenkarspel that there indeed were no sales tables with any illegal material. Between four and half past four some nice snacks were served and it was almost time again to say goodbye.

It was almost five o’clock when I took the mike again. It had been a wonderful day and so many people had enjoyed themselves and told us they’d had a fine day. That feels good. We made clear to all visitors that despite of the wonderful day they’d enjoyed it had been a difficult time for all the people of Bistro De Buren as shortly before our Event started one of their relatives and friends had died. In fact normally the location would have been closed then due to family circumstances but we’re very glad that one decided to stay open for us during this Event. It must not have been easy but they did well and I’d like to thank them for that. It’s a pity the location had to close after our dinner party but we all understand the reason.

At the end of the day we wished all fans a good journey home in two languages again. Many of them would stay for dinner and even a great number stayed in the area for the rest of the weekend. We mentioned the fact that everyone would receive another memory of Maurice Gibb at home shortly after the Event. And everyone could take home a free poster of TIWICI when leaving. Of course I presented a big bunch of flowers to Gerry (Melody) who’d taken care of most of the organization of this Event, also her girl friend and her children had helped a lot during this day. Thanks for all your warm and wonderful responses and who knows we’ll ever organize another BGFC Event somewhere in The Netherlands!!!

While everyone left the location, the people of De Buren made everything ready for the dinner party that started at six o’clock. All the visitors who’d stay for dinner were enjoying the sunshine and the lovely outside location for a while. Then the cook, dressed in a Saturday Night Fever outfit, blew a whistle outside in the little harbour to let everyone know that dinner was ready and we could come in again. During dinner we enjoyed of course more Bee Gees music and around eight o’clock we were finished and everyone went home or to their hotels etc.

The cook serving starters
Enjoying the dinner

The BGFC Event in Bovenkarspel had ended and had been a success. Thanks to the people of De Buren, thanks to the organization and thanks to all the visiting fans