Chatting with Noreen Van Holstein, festival director of LaLaLand Goa


If you find yourself in Goa this weekend, looking for something to do, look no further than Nagoa, Arpora. What’s happening there, you ask? It’s the scene of one of Goa’s magical festivals. Taking place on the grounds of a beautiful old Goan mansion, LalaLand Goa is a festival of joy, magic, happiness and, music. With the success of one edition under this mantle, it’s now time for people to enjoy themselves at the second edition on the 19th and 20th of October. We spoke to Noreen Van Holstein, LaLaLand Goa’s festival director to learn about the brilliant mind that gave us LaLaLand Goa.

In conversation with Noreen Van Holstein, LaLaLand Goa’s festival director

Noreen is originally from the Netherlands. 15 years ago, together with her then boyfriend who is now her husband, Noreen moved to India. A bold move indeed. They lived in Delhi for 12 years but big city life was not how they saw themselves living and eventually moved to the sunshine state of Goa. They have since lived here for the last 3 years and now have 3 children.

As she says, “I never had the intention of staying so long in India. The plan was one or two years. But then India is such a fascinating country and I am obviously entrepreneurial in spirit. I love bringing together creativity and the arts with a social message or social impact. I like to change people’s minds very subtly.”

Creating social awareness with various issues

Noreen Van Holstein is definitely a lady of many talents. Besides bringing Goa, the LalaLand Festival, she had set up a company named Gotcha! Impact Media Pvt. Ltd in Delhi while she lived in the capital. Through this company, Noreen helped a bunch of people to bring out their talent and creativity. They designed a lot of postcards with creative social impact messages and distributed them all over the country through their network. According to Noreen, these free postcards can be found in different bars, restaurants, and cafes all over the country. The idea is to share them and share the social messages they bring.

She explains why her family moved to Goa. “We did that because Goa is paradise for most people and for us, especially coming from a big city like Delhi. We did it for our children, giving them the freedom to cycle to school, the freedom of swimming at the beach, the nature that surrounds us, fantastic!”

Tackling the garbage issue

Noreen noted that Goa faces a big issue with garbage. She says, “When I moved to Goa, I started working on two things. One is, I worked with the Museum of Goa. We did a lot of programmes there. I developed programmes, events just for the positioning of the Museum of Goa as an institute of collaborations and crossover of the arts. That was my position there. And then I started doing programmes in waste management.”

She adds that in tackling this problem, she is running a programme in schools, educating 10,000 school children on waste management. This is being done together with the Goa Waste Management Corporation.

Interestingly enough, Noreen also initiated the Tera Mera Beach programme which was done in collaboration with Drishti Marine, the people that take care of beach cleaning as well as safety on Goa’s beaches. These are the waste management programmes that she spends a lot of time working on. As Noreen says, “Sustainability, for me is quite a logical thing to incorporate in whatever we do. I know we are living in a consumerist world so it’s not easy but I think it should always be on your mind especially if you work with larger crowds.”

The beginning of LaLaLand Goa

In creating LaLaLand, Noreen decided to bring together all sorts of elements that would not normally be seen or found together. She enjoyed being a part of events while at MOG but found that she could not immerse herself completely into the planning and execution of these. Standing in the garden of MOG, she thought that it was time to create something bigger and fun for everyone, a festival that imbibed magic and happiness. She decided to bring together different disciplines, not just related to the arts. She just basically wanted to give people a good time.

Speaking with passion about this project, she says, “LaLaLand is based a little bit on a concept we have in the Netherlands called The Parade. And that’s what I did. We just brought elements that I just like, which give happiness. And that was the start of LaLaLand. And it was amazing to see so many fantastic artists just flock to LaLaLand. That was the first edition and again now it’s really fantastic. Every evening we have about 10 performances. So that is what the second LaLaLand is going to be like.”

Event details

Note that passes are considerably more economical when bought in advance – online ( or at LaLaLand partner locations (see FB/website)

Event Name: LaLaLand Festival
Event Dates: 19-20 October 2018
Event Times: 5 PM – 11 PM
Event Venue: Don Joao, Nagoa, Near Circle of Dreams, Bardez, Goa 403519
Tickets: Rs 350 for garden area and Rs 499 for garden plus theatre (presale prices). Kids Rs 150 and Rs 250.

Check out what’s in store at this edition of LaLaLand Goa by clicking on the link.