The Playground Residence

The Playground Artist Residence. Europe's first environmentally friendly residency program for music professionals. It's all about the process, not about the product.

- launched July 1st, 2022 -

That sounds good! Tell me more about it.


The Playground Residence is there to offer you, a musician, time and space to engage in (practice based) research and development, or create new and adventurous work. Because being a music creator, you need adventures and some headspace you can't get at home. Meeting like minded artists and professionals broadens your horizon. Our mission is to provide a playground. A place to meet other musicians and to provide a place to learn from eachother. But also a place to cooperate on making our planet a little healthier and kinder thru music.


There are several 'why's':

- During the recent COVID-19 pandemic, it became clear that pop musicians weren't able to practice the most important part of their profession: playing together in real life (besides performing for a reallife audience). Pop musicians build their networks by playing together and enjoying eachothers company. With The Playground Residence we are offering time and space to make music.

- Pop music is an artform, and one that renews itself and grows all the time. It's not only an artform, but also a major economical system. Pop music is often about 'efficiency' and a volatile moves. To make great music, you have to take your time. So no three day writers camp, or a short one day studio session in this case, but some time to recharge the battery and build a international network in good company.

- There are many support programs for initiating new music and partnerships in Europe. We want to offer a safe haven for both performing and creating pop musicians. This makes The Playground Residence unique, because we're also there for session musicians, beat creators and songwriters. And ofcourse we welcome lead artists as well.


- The Playground Residence provides musicians and music industry professionals with a place to create and engage. Not a just a weekend, but at least ten days - two weeks.

- It's about the process, not about the product. If a musician wants to work in solitude, we offer a private room and workspace. We also provide group spaces and bigger studios. We think it's fun and good to meet like minded professionals, with a healthy amount of privacy.

- The entire artistic product stays with its creator. Unlike writing camps, in The Playground Residence musicians can keep all rights and credits on songs and other created materials.

- The Playground Residence is there for professional musicians who need to recharge, broaden their horizons, or simply want new inspiration. We focus on music professionals (musicians, content creators and enterpreneurs), between 20 and 80 years old.

- Besides providing a playground for pros, we also offer several activities in which participants can engage, with a focus on social and environmental situations. This varies from taking a city tour, via sitting around a camp fire to business meetings and listening sessions at record companies.

- There will be two major residency projects each year in 2023 and 2024. Besides the main residencies we set up four peer meetings and gatherings per year. Those will take place in The Netherlands (Utrecht, Nijmegen, Maastricht and Zwolle). We encourage our participants to invite colleagues to join these peer meetings.


The Playground Residence is initiated from The Netherlands, but takes please at different locations around Europe. In 2023 and 2024 in The Netherlands and Germany. Sometimes in a big metropolitan city, close enough to the vibrant clubs to enjoy a good party, and far away enough of of sex, drugs and rock-’n’-roll to really focus on your own, new music. There are six music writing rooms available, all equipped with studio monitoring, a screen, table, chairs and power supply. Two of them are equipped with a full band backline. Our group accommodation is suited for 20 residents or for a maximum of six individual artists. Two rooms (one double, one single) have private bathrooms, and there are plenty communal spaces like living rooms, a small theater, a small bar and a garden.

For whom

The Playground Residence is there for pop music creators. In 2023 and 2024 we focus on professionals from The Netherlands and Germany. Our program is suited for everyone who's practising the type of culture that first became popular when the crooners in the early 1950’s hit the stage. So everything from electronic dance music, to hiphop, ska, americana to metal. If you’re looking for a place to hyperfocus on your music, write your business plan, but also interact with peers in your studio, have lunch, diner or a drink together with inspiring peers, then this is your place to be!

You are an open minded music professional, but there’s also place for like minded writers, playwrights, and fine artists. More into schlager music? Then this might not your type of project ;-).


In 2023 and 2024 we will organize The Playground Residence four times in total. Two times in Germany, Two times in The Netherlands. We start of in The Netherlands and Germany because we know these countries best. Besides those four residencies, we are building our international network. More countries will be added to our project list when we are ready.


The Playground Residence takes place every summer in Berlin and every winter in The Netherlands. There are four peer meetings scheduled throughout the year. The summer edition will take place from July 6th till July 16th in Berlin. We are currently planning the winter edition.


Residents for The Playground Residence are selected on the based on the provided portfolio and questionnaire. We invite whom we believe in and who we want to give a chance to create new work or to continue working on a project. Those who come, are not here by chance. We provide a safe and healthy environment. We provide good food and beverages and encourage traveling by public transport. For your stay at The Playground Residence, an unlimited public transport card is included. We also help you to travel to and from the venue in a climate neutral way (as far as possible).

All applications will be reviewed and selected by our advisory board (more info down below). Every applicant receives a written substantiation after the selection process. When selecting the group, we focus on:

- creating a group with professionals who may work well together

- demographic spread (seniors, mediors and juniors)

- different skills (we like to mix songwriters, managers, drummers, etc.)

- different social backgrounds

- full availabilty (there's no hopping in for just a day or two, only the full residency)

Make the world a better place!

We believe that musicians can make the world a better place. Why? Because music touches almost everyone. So why not become a role model for the rest of the world? That's why The Playground Residence:

- compensates the carbon footprint of their roundtrip, of all our residents.

We compensate every kilometer traveled, and the complete stay of our residents by donating money to Trees For All.

- only serves organic food to our residents.

We cater all organic foods, from local supermarkets and farmers. We value our meals together: food is prepared as a group activity among residents. There are fresh ingredients in our kitchen and pantry, every day, for every meal, snacks included.

- wants to make our world a nicer place.

We're only at the beginning yet. We realize that donating money to plant trees isn't enough to make our planet a better place. So feel free to share you're ideas on this subject with us.

Practical summary for future residents:

During The Playground Residence you get:

- full board, completely carbon neutral stay, public transport included

- time and space to work on your own music and with peers

- every week two interesting speakers on a non-music related subject

- every week three meetings with industry professionals

- lots of jam sessions / studio sessions (if you want to)

In return, we may ask you to share your The Playground Residence-experience during peer meetings we organize at several locations, like for example De Basis, Nijmegen (The Netherlands), Clash Learning & Exchange, Berlin (Germany), And No Man's Land Utrecht (The Netherlands). This way you can actively take part in creating knowledge about informal and non-formal learning in pop music.

Stuff you have to take care of:

- you have to pay a fee (depending on the location from €350 or a bit more) to take part

- trip to the residency location and back home

- you have to bring you own musical instrument


Music Hub Brabant

Music Hub Brabant is a unique network of more than 15 professional concert venues and festivals in the Dutch province of North-Brabant, who joined forces to promote and facilitate talented pop musicians

De Basis

De Basis, a unique permament residency for pop musicians and creative enterpreneurs in the Dutch city of Nijmegen. Provides spacious rehearsal studios, recording studios, office space, creative and technical support. Funded by the community.

Clash Exchange & Learning

Experienced professionals, who have been bringing together lots of musicians, educators from all over the world.


Supporting culture and enterpreneurship in Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Poppunt Drenthe

Supporting pop music in the Dutch province of Drenthe. Joining us in 2023.

Platform ACCT

Supporting learning networks in The Netherlands.

Pop in Limburg

Pop in Limburg initiates and organizes loads of pop music development programs in the Dutch province Limburg, as one of The Netherland's biggest pop music organisations they share a lot of experience with The Playground Residence.

Fontys Hogescholen

Fontys Hogescholen, FHK Research provided Thijs Schrijnemakers with a grant to execute a practise based study during The Playground Residence, with a focus on university alumni working in the popmusic industry.

Poppunt Overijssel

Poppunt Overijssel initiates and organizes loads of pop music development programs in the Dutch province Overijssel, with a unique connection to cool pop stages such as Metropool, Hedon, Burgerweeshuis and many more.

Provincie Limburg

Via Pop in Limburg.

No Man's Land - De Coöperatie

Joining us in 2023. More info t.b.a.

Sound Service Europe GmbH

Providing all gear from Focal Audio, Icon and Apogee.

Who's who?

We're a bunch of music industry enthusiasts, who are always there to help other professionals develop themselves. We have years of experience working for music platforms, universities, and music development programs. We joined forces to create the ultimate residency platform for pop musicians. Starting from The Netherlands, ready to conquer your hearts. We are united in Stichting Playgar (derived from playground (artist) residence or playground artistic research). Besides working together with our partners we mentioned earlier, this is who we are:

Practical stuff:

Thijs Schrijnemakers: pop musician, teacher and manager of Stichting Playgar.

Maike Fleuren: experienced project manager in music and arts, worked voor De Nieuwe Oost, De Basis, De Coöperatie and many more.

Dennis Fraters: experienced project manager at Clash! Exchange and Learning in the social and educational domain.

Supervisory Board:

Sander Ruijters: chairman, educator, musician and annoucer at Pinkpop festival. 

Jorien Stravens: member, director of Stichting Popsport.

Virgil Rerimassie: member, scientific staff member at Health Council of the Netherlands and CEG, lecturer at UvA, musician.

Advisory board:

We are currently building our advisory board, with representatives of Poppunt Overijssel, De Basis Nijmegen, Pop in Limburg, Poppunt Drenthe, Clash! Exchange & Learning, BRUT (from 2023), No Man's land (from 2023) and Music Hub Brabant (in 2022). Marie Fol and Frank Kimenai are involved as independent advisors.

The Playground Residence
- contact us -

The open call for this summer's edition in Berlin closed on March 1st. You can fill out the form if you're still interested in future residencies, like the winter edition in december 2023. We strongly encourage independent artists, session musicians and music producers to apply. We will contact you within two days after completing this form.


Stichting Playgar

Thijs Schrijnemakers (he/him)



Dutch Chamber of Commerce registration: 86970674

Contact us: