Events

Everything You Need to Do in Amsterdam This Summer

Published On 05/25/2016 Published On 05/25/2016
Holland Festival | Holland Festival

Date

Event

Location

Jun 1-5

Explore the Berlin art scene at KunstRAI/Art Amsterdam The longest-running modern art fair in the Netherlands is back in its full RAI convention center-filling glory. Seventy galleries from the Netherlands and eight special guests from Berlin gather to share the bleeding edge of European creativity.

RAI Amsterdam

Explore the Berlin art scene at KunstRAI/Art Amsterdam RAI Amsterdam The longest-running modern art fair in the Netherlands is back in its full RAI convention center-filling glory. Seventy galleries from the Netherlands and eight special guests from Berlin gather to share the bleeding edge of European creativity.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 2-5

Grab a posh outdoor bite (or 20) at Taste of Amsterdam Amsterdam’s first major food festival is now a firm staple in the scene, featuring food-truck takes from top restaurants around the city, wine tastings, cooking demos, gourmet markets -- basically all the culinary decadence your stomach can handle, and then a few dozen bites more.

Amstelpark

Grab a posh outdoor bite (or 20) at Taste of Amsterdam Amstelpark Amsterdam’s first major food festival is now a firm staple in the scene, featuring food-truck takes from top restaurants around the city, wine tastings, cooking demos, gourmet markets -- basically all the culinary decadence your stomach can handle, and then a few dozen bites more.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 3-5

Get saxy at the Red Light Jazz Festival Amsterdam’s most infamous neighborhood gets classy (and reminds you how pretty it actually is) with one of the city’s favorite musical art forms.

25 locations around the Red Light District & Medieval Centre

Get saxy at the Red Light Jazz Festival 25 locations around the Red Light District & Medieval Centre Amsterdam’s most infamous neighborhood gets classy (and reminds you how pretty it actually is) with one of the city’s favorite musical art forms.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 4 Sat

Howl at the Full Moon Festival: New Moon at the Lake Break out your bike (to get there) and put on your dancing shoes. Get the summer of EDM started with a mix of trance, progressive, house, hardstyle, and more, under... well, the new moon at the lake.

Spaarnwoude

Howl at the Full Moon Festival: New Moon at the Lake Spaarnwoude Break out your bike (to get there) and put on your dancing shoes. Get the summer of EDM started with a mix of trance, progressive, house, hardstyle, and more, under... well, the new moon at the lake.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 4 Sat

Listen to some air-imported tunes from top Dutch DJ talent at The Flying Dutch festival Ten of the biggest Dutch DJs (meaning 10 of the world’s biggest DJs) gather for what festival organizers claim is the biggest outdoor dance fest in the Netherlands (because it’s happening in three cities -- including Eindhoven and Rotterdam -- at the same time). The DJs travel between the locations by helicopter to get in all three gigs in one night.

Olympic Stadium

Listen to some air-imported tunes from top Dutch DJ talent at The Flying Dutch festival Olympic Stadium Ten of the biggest Dutch DJs (meaning 10 of the world’s biggest DJs) gather for what festival organizers claim is the biggest outdoor dance fest in the Netherlands (because it’s happening in three cities -- including Eindhoven and Rotterdam -- at the same time). The DJs travel between the locations by helicopter to get in all three gigs in one night.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 4-5

Air out your dancing moves at Amsterdam Open Air AIR nightclub’s summer outdoor party has become the place to be for all the pretty people looking for some deep house, disco, eclectic, hip-hop, house, and techno grooves.

Gaasperpark

Air out your dancing moves at Amsterdam Open Air Gaasperpark AIR nightclub’s summer outdoor party has become the place to be for all the pretty people looking for some deep house, disco, eclectic, hip-hop, house, and techno grooves.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 4-5

Knock your own socks off at the Shoeless Weekender The final closing festival of this barefoot movement again takes over Amsterdam’s artists’ village with barefoot dancing and open-air gezelligheid.

Ruigoord

Knock your own socks off at the Shoeless Weekender Ruigoord The final closing festival of this barefoot movement again takes over Amsterdam’s artists’ village with barefoot dancing and open-air gezelligheid.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 4-26

Inject a mega-dose of culture at the Holland Festival Established way back in 1947 (otherwise known as the "Yay, freedom!" days), this is the Netherlands’ first and foremost performing arts festival. Events run the gamut, from theater, opera, and dance, to live music gigs, film screenings, and art exhibitions.

Various locations

Inject a mega-dose of culture at the Holland Festival Various locations Established way back in 1947 (otherwise known as the "Yay, freedom!" days), this is the Netherlands’ first and foremost performing arts festival. Events run the gamut, from theater, opera, and dance, to live music gigs, film screenings, and art exhibitions.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 7-Aug 30

Play film geek at Noord’s most popular beach bar with the Films with a View Summer Screenings As if Pllek weren’t mobbed enough by the 20/30-something boating/ferry-riding hordes during the sunnier months, the city’s favorite beach bar (sorry, Blijberg, it’s a location thing) gives you a reason to come by around sundown on Tuesdays, too, with a different film gem on the big outdoor screen every week.

Pllek

Play film geek at Noord’s most popular beach bar with the Films with a View Summer Screenings Pllek As if Pllek weren’t mobbed enough by the 20/30-something boating/ferry-riding hordes during the sunnier months, the city’s favorite beach bar (sorry, Blijberg, it’s a location thing) gives you a reason to come by around sundown on Tuesdays, too, with a different film gem on the big outdoor screen every week.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 9-12

Dig into some waterside street food delicacies at Het Hoofdgerecht “The Main Course” food festival is one of the worthier outdoor food truck-type fests to pop up in the past few years and challenge de Rollende Keukens for foodie festival supremacy -- or at least a portion of its audience on the rebound, with many of the same trucks standing by.

Het Stenen Hoofd

Dig into some waterside street food delicacies at Het Hoofdgerecht Het Stenen Hoofd “The Main Course” food festival is one of the worthier outdoor food truck-type fests to pop up in the past few years and challenge de Rollende Keukens for foodie festival supremacy -- or at least a portion of its audience on the rebound, with many of the same trucks standing by.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 10-12

Groove to McCartney and Major Lazer at PINKPOP It’s the Netherlands biggest music festival celebrating a random Catholic holiday (Pentecost, or Whitsun) that we, for some reason, still get the day off for! Seriously though, it’s really big: other top-billed names include Lionel Richie, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Rammstein. Camping tickets are all sold out (unless you have TicketSwap), but day tickets are still going for about $95 a (pink)pop.

Megaland, Landgraaf

Groove to McCartney and Major Lazer at PINKPOP Megaland, Landgraaf It’s the Netherlands biggest music festival celebrating a random Catholic holiday (Pentecost, or Whitsun) that we, for some reason, still get the day off for! Seriously though, it’s really big: other top-billed names include Lionel Richie, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Rammstein. Camping tickets are all sold out (unless you have TicketSwap), but day tickets are still going for about $95 a (pink)pop.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 11 Sat

Set sail with the Voor Pampus Bootrave It’s a party on a boat... to an island with the ruins of a fort. There’s no way this won’t be epic. (But you’ll have to watch TicketSwap if you hope to get on board.)

From Amsterdam Central Station to Pampus Island

Set sail with the Voor Pampus Bootrave From Amsterdam Central Station to Pampus Island It’s a party on a boat... to an island with the ruins of a fort. There’s no way this won’t be epic. (But you’ll have to watch TicketSwap if you hope to get on board.)

Date

Event

Location

Jun 11 Sat

Feel good at the Happy Feelings Festival This one is for the fans of classic house, ‘90s, and 2000s tunes, R&B, and hip-hop, who also don’t want to blow their whole bank on one summer fest.

Contactweg 60/Thuishaven

Feel good at the Happy Feelings Festival Contactweg 60/Thuishaven This one is for the fans of classic house, ‘90s, and 2000s tunes, R&B, and hip-hop, who also don’t want to blow their whole bank on one summer fest.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 11 Sat

Go back to The Promised Land Open Air Remember how popular we said the Open Air festival had gotten? Naturally they decided to do another one a week later, this time for the more nostalgic crowd. Expect house classics from the ‘90s to dominate.

Spaarnwoude

Go back to The Promised Land Open Air Spaarnwoude Remember how popular we said the Open Air festival had gotten? Naturally they decided to do another one a week later, this time for the more nostalgic crowd. Expect house classics from the ‘90s to dominate.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 12 Sun

Rebel against your stove at the Dutch Raw Food & Lifestyle Festival Embrace the raw movement, or just dabble for a day, with fresh food, demos, and workshops (some in English) on a pretty farm a world away from the busy city center.

Boerderij Langerlust

Rebel against your stove at the Dutch Raw Food & Lifestyle Festival Boerderij Langerlust Embrace the raw movement, or just dabble for a day, with fresh food, demos, and workshops (some in English) on a pretty farm a world away from the busy city center.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 12 Sun

Let nature take your breath away during the Gaasperplasrun Keep the healthy theme going with the summer’s only major run. Choose your own adventure: one, two, five, or 10km around one of the (barely in the) city’s most beautiful lakes.

Bijlmer Sportpark, Nelson Mandela Park

Let nature take your breath away during the Gaasperplasrun Bijlmer Sportpark, Nelson Mandela Park Keep the healthy theme going with the summer’s only major run. Choose your own adventure: one, two, five, or 10km around one of the (barely in the) city’s most beautiful lakes.

Open Garden Days | Flickr/d_vdm

Date

Event

Location

Jun 17-19

Peep behind the gates of the rich and historic during the Open Garden Days Twenty-five of the coolest, most historic, and most beautiful private gardens throw open their gates to the city’s peeping Toms and Tinas. Forget cramming in with the tourist masses at the Begijnhof this weekend, and get ready for some seriously herbaceous luxury.

25 locations in Central Amsterdam

Peep behind the gates of the rich and historic during the Open Garden Days 25 locations in Central Amsterdam Twenty-five of the coolest, most historic, and most beautiful private gardens throw open their gates to the city’s peeping Toms and Tinas. Forget cramming in with the tourist masses at the Begijnhof this weekend, and get ready for some seriously herbaceous luxury.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 18 Sat

Party along the IJ at Festifest Despite the confetti cannons, the organizers bill this popular relative newcomer as “the smallest festival of the summer”... meaning TicketSwap beckons once again!

Noorderlicht

Party along the IJ at Festifest Noorderlicht Despite the confetti cannons, the organizers bill this popular relative newcomer as “the smallest festival of the summer”... meaning TicketSwap beckons once again!

Date

Event

Location

Jun 18 Sat

Lose yourself to the beat (or something) at the Mystic Garden Festival Celebrating its five-year anniversary, this festival knows exactly what it likes: deep house, house, techno, and tech house. We are definitely not not not telling you to bring party favors. We’re simply letting you know that everyone else most definitely will be.

Sloterpark

Lose yourself to the beat (or something) at the Mystic Garden Festival Sloterpark Celebrating its five-year anniversary, this festival knows exactly what it likes: deep house, house, techno, and tech house. We are definitely not not not telling you to bring party favors. We’re simply letting you know that everyone else most definitely will be.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 18-19

Get weird at the Solstice Festival Goa and psytrance come out to play at Amsterdam’s favorite artistic community. Also on site: an exhibition about “psychedelic art and science.”

Ruigoord

Get weird at the Solstice Festival Ruigoord Goa and psytrance come out to play at Amsterdam’s favorite artistic community. Also on site: an exhibition about “psychedelic art and science.”

Date

Event

Location

Jun 18-19

Get the full story on Amsterdam’s look at Architecture Day Actually two days (cheaters), Amsterdam’s ARCAM architecture “museum” gathers up architects and enthusiasts around town for lectures, landmark (bike) tours, and, this year, ultra-modern self-built projects (40 of ‘em) in the city’s newest neighborhoods.

Various locations

Get the full story on Amsterdam’s look at Architecture Day Various locations Actually two days (cheaters), Amsterdam’s ARCAM architecture “museum” gathers up architects and enthusiasts around town for lectures, landmark (bike) tours, and, this year, ultra-modern self-built projects (40 of ‘em) in the city’s newest neighborhoods.

Date

Event

Location

Date

Event

Location

Jun 22-30

Scope out Europe’s freshest stage talent at the ITs Festival Amsterdam “ITs” stands for “international theater school,” and that’s exactly what this festival is: a roundup of the best work from new graduates of theater schools around Europe, with a heavy focus on Amsterdam’s and the Netherlands’ own offerings. Shows, often either wordless, in English, or subtitled in English, cover acting, dancing, singing, and miming. Yeah, miming is still a thing (and a lot cooler than what you’re thinking of).

Locations around town

Scope out Europe’s freshest stage talent at the ITs Festival Amsterdam Locations around town “ITs” stands for “international theater school,” and that’s exactly what this festival is: a roundup of the best work from new graduates of theater schools around Europe, with a heavy focus on Amsterdam’s and the Netherlands’ own offerings. Shows, often either wordless, in English, or subtitled in English, cover acting, dancing, singing, and miming. Yeah, miming is still a thing (and a lot cooler than what you’re thinking of).

Date

Event

Location

Jun 25 Sat

Get funky with jazz at the Wicked Jazz Sounds Festival The popular Sunday night party at the Sugarfactory brings live jazz, funk, soul, hip-hop, groove, and swing to the open NDSM air.

Noorderlicht

Get funky with jazz at the Wicked Jazz Sounds Festival Noorderlicht The popular Sunday night party at the Sugarfactory brings live jazz, funk, soul, hip-hop, groove, and swing to the open NDSM air.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 25 Sat

Make like Aladdin at the Nomads Festival Does Amsterdam have enough summer music festivals? Never! Expect the favored mix of house and dance classics, this time against a vaguely Arabian backdrop.

Sportpark Riekerhaven

Make like Aladdin at the Nomads Festival Sportpark Riekerhaven Does Amsterdam have enough summer music festivals? Never! Expect the favored mix of house and dance classics, this time against a vaguely Arabian backdrop.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 25-30

Go craft at the WESTwaARTS festival Podium Mozaïek takes over Erasmuspark for this free, family-friendly (but also alcohol-friendly) mix of music, art, and activities.

Erasmuspark

Go craft at the WESTwaARTS festival Erasmuspark Podium Mozaïek takes over Erasmuspark for this free, family-friendly (but also alcohol-friendly) mix of music, art, and activities.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 26 Sun

Experiment with new tunes at the Strange Sounds From Beyond festival And now for something a little different: this brand new fest is for fans of experimental electronica.

Noorderlicht

Experiment with new tunes at the Strange Sounds From Beyond festival Noorderlicht And now for something a little different: this brand new fest is for fans of experimental electronica.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 29-Jul 3

Dance around the world at the Roots Indoor This international music festival, 19 years strong, features modern world music in concerts around town.

Melkweg, Tolhuistuin, Bimhuis, North Sea Jazz Club

Dance around the world at the Roots Indoor Melkweg, Tolhuistuin, Bimhuis, North Sea Jazz Club This international music festival, 19 years strong, features modern world music in concerts around town.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 30-Jul 7

Watch dancing at a Julidans event Top-level talent in modern and experimental dance from around the world descends upon some of the city’s coolest indoor and outdoor venues.

Various locations

Watch dancing at a Julidans event Various locations Top-level talent in modern and experimental dance from around the world descends upon some of the city’s coolest indoor and outdoor venues.

Keti Koti Festival

Date

Event

Location

Jul 1 Fri

Celebrate freedom at the Keti Koti Festival July 1, 1863 marked the end of slavery in the former Dutch colony of Surinam. The city’s huge Surinamese population and tons of others who appreciate their food and music take over Oosterpark on this date to celebrate at the “Broken Chains” Festival.

Oosterpark

Celebrate freedom at the Keti Koti Festival Oosterpark July 1, 1863 marked the end of slavery in the former Dutch colony of Surinam. The city’s huge Surinamese population and tons of others who appreciate their food and music take over Oosterpark on this date to celebrate at the “Broken Chains” Festival.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 1-3

Dance with the EDM-loving masses at PITCH Festival Probably in large part due to its indoor-outdoor Westerpark location (not to mention the top talent it pulls in), this has become the single most must-attend summer festival for the EDM kids (er, adults!).

Westergasfabriek

Dance with the EDM-loving masses at PITCH Festival Westergasfabriek Probably in large part due to its indoor-outdoor Westerpark location (not to mention the top talent it pulls in), this has become the single most must-attend summer festival for the EDM kids (er, adults!).

Date

Event

Location

Jul 1-11

Get posh for Mercedes-Benz FashionWeek Amsterdam Twice a year, the fashionistas take over the town. This being Amsterdam, expect some boundary-pushing mode du jour, plus plenty of parties full of really, really good-looking people.

Around town

Get posh for Mercedes-Benz FashionWeek Amsterdam Around town Twice a year, the fashionistas take over the town. This being Amsterdam, expect some boundary-pushing mode du jour, plus plenty of parties full of really, really good-looking people.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 1-Aug 31

Rediscover classical music at the Robeco SummerNights The SummerNights program also covers jazz and pop, and is often paired with special meal deals and/or behind-the-scenes tours. One of the best bits for even less highbrow fans is the “SummerNight at the Movies” concerts July 15 and August 19, where the music of James Bond, Indiana Jones, Frozen, Schindler’s List, and other films is made larger than life by a full orchestra.

Het (Koninklijk) Concertgebouw

Rediscover classical music at the Robeco SummerNights Het (Koninklijk) Concertgebouw The SummerNights program also covers jazz and pop, and is often paired with special meal deals and/or behind-the-scenes tours. One of the best bits for even less highbrow fans is the “SummerNight at the Movies” concerts July 15 and August 19, where the music of James Bond, Indiana Jones, Frozen, Schindler’s List, and other films is made larger than life by a full orchestra.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 2 Sat

Gear up in white or black for Sensation The all-white dress code has been broken: this year’s Sensation will ask half its attendees to come in head-to-toe black for an “Angels and Demons” theme… and a whole lotta makin’ gray on the dance floor, we guess.

Amsterdam ArenA

Gear up in white or black for Sensation Amsterdam ArenA The all-white dress code has been broken: this year’s Sensation will ask half its attendees to come in head-to-toe black for an “Angels and Demons” theme… and a whole lotta makin’ gray on the dance floor, we guess.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 2 Sat

Keep the Ruigoord going at the Manifestival With dance, theatre, and visual arts, think of it as a “best of the Ruigoord.” Proceeds go toward preserving the artists’ village.

Ruigoord

Keep the Ruigoord going at the Manifestival Ruigoord With dance, theatre, and visual arts, think of it as a “best of the Ruigoord.” Proceeds go toward preserving the artists’ village.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 2 Sat

Eat and be merry at the Japies Hof Festival Amsterdam’s biggest ice-skating rink gets some exercise in its offseason with this all-ages festival of food and live music.

Jaap Edenhal

Eat and be merry at the Japies Hof Festival Jaap Edenhal Amsterdam’s biggest ice-skating rink gets some exercise in its offseason with this all-ages festival of food and live music.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 2 Sat

Dance some more at Verknipt Festival House, techno, and everything in between are snipped together to inspire a dancing frenzy at Verknipt.

Sportpark Riekerhaven

Dance some more at Verknipt Festival Sportpark Riekerhaven House, techno, and everything in between are snipped together to inspire a dancing frenzy at Verknipt.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 3 Sun

Down banana beer and roti at Roots Open Air By far the most popular event of the Amsterdam Roots Festival -- so popular it’s really a festival of its own -- Roots again takes over the (recently renovated) Oosterpark for a mash-up of people, drinks, snacks, and sounds in the open air. No gates, no entrance fees.

Oosterpark

Down banana beer and roti at Roots Open Air Oosterpark By far the most popular event of the Amsterdam Roots Festival -- so popular it’s really a festival of its own -- Roots again takes over the (recently renovated) Oosterpark for a mash-up of people, drinks, snacks, and sounds in the open air. No gates, no entrance fees.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 6-Aug 6

Laugh your ass off at the Comedytrain International Summer Festival For one month, top-level English-language stand-up comics alternately delight and humiliate frequently sold-out audiences at the Toomler. 2016 names includes Natasha Legerro and Andrew Schulz.

Toomler

Laugh your ass off at the Comedytrain International Summer Festival Toomler For one month, top-level English-language stand-up comics alternately delight and humiliate frequently sold-out audiences at the Toomler. 2016 names includes Natasha Legerro and Andrew Schulz.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 6-10

Be a lazy ass at the 2016 European Athletics Championships Taking place once every two years, this mini-Olympics for European track & field talent is happening in Amsterdam this time around. Some events will even happen right smack in the middle of the city in Museumplein... just to, you know, make you feel bad for not going to the gym.

Olympic Stadium, Museumplein

Be a lazy ass at the 2016 European Athletics Championships Olympic Stadium, Museumplein Taking place once every two years, this mini-Olympics for European track & field talent is happening in Amsterdam this time around. Some events will even happen right smack in the middle of the city in Museumplein... just to, you know, make you feel bad for not going to the gym.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 8-17

Find theater in strangest places during the Over het IJ Festival You’ll find poetry, theater, music, and visual art outside and inside NDSM’s iconic shipping containers.
 

NDSM

Find theater in strangest places during the Over het IJ Festival NDSM You’ll find poetry, theater, music, and visual art outside and inside NDSM’s iconic shipping containers.
 

Date

Event

Location

Jul 9 Sat

Step into a fairy tale during the Amsterdam Night Ride One night every summer, all the carriage owners of the greater Amsterdam area (about 55, apparently) take a brisk ride through the central and Jordaan areas of the city in a parade of everything horse-drawn, from carts to elaborate stagecoaches.

Various locations

Step into a fairy tale during the Amsterdam Night Ride Various locations One night every summer, all the carriage owners of the greater Amsterdam area (about 55, apparently) take a brisk ride through the central and Jordaan areas of the city in a parade of everything horse-drawn, from carts to elaborate stagecoaches.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 9 Sat

Explore Georgie’s Wundergarten Expect DJs, live music, performance art, and all the usual Ruigoord whimsy.

Ruigoord

Explore Georgie’s Wundergarten Ruigoord Expect DJs, live music, performance art, and all the usual Ruigoord whimsy.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 16 Sat

Engage in some whimsy in the woods during A Day at the Park House, techno, and tech house come together in a forested setting full of random WTF surprises that keep all the kids on their toes and cameras snapping.

Amsterdamse Bos

Engage in some whimsy in the woods during A Day at the Park Amsterdamse Bos House, techno, and tech house come together in a forested setting full of random WTF surprises that keep all the kids on their toes and cameras snapping.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 16 Sat

Get intimate at the lake with The Social Garden Hip-hop and disco take the lead at this slightly-more-laid-back outdoor dance fest put on by, amongst others, Thrillist favorites Chicago Social Club and Waterkant.

Nieuwe Meer

Get intimate at the lake with The Social Garden Nieuwe Meer Hip-hop and disco take the lead at this slightly-more-laid-back outdoor dance fest put on by, amongst others, Thrillist favorites Chicago Social Club and Waterkant.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 16 Sat

Cross Amsterdam boundaries for Buiten Westen Technically not in Amsterdam, but along a lake in the village almost swallowed up by Amsterdam, Buiten Westen is where you can get more of the city’s favorite house and trance summer sounds in a rural-lite setting with carnival rides.

Ouderkerkerplas, Ouderkerk aan de Amstel

Cross Amsterdam boundaries for Buiten Westen Ouderkerkerplas, Ouderkerk aan de Amstel Technically not in Amsterdam, but along a lake in the village almost swallowed up by Amsterdam, Buiten Westen is where you can get more of the city’s favorite house and trance summer sounds in a rural-lite setting with carnival rides.

Buiten Western

Date

Event

Location

Jul 16-Aug 8

Get multicultural at the Kwaku Summer Festival Named for a statue celebrating the abolition of slavery in Suriname and the Dutch Antilles, this festival packs in four weekends of outdoor music and dance, plus sports, food, and drink, on expansive festival grounds that play host to 300,000+ partiers of all ages.

Nelson Mandela Park

Get multicultural at the Kwaku Summer Festival Nelson Mandela Park Named for a statue celebrating the abolition of slavery in Suriname and the Dutch Antilles, this festival packs in four weekends of outdoor music and dance, plus sports, food, and drink, on expansive festival grounds that play host to 300,000+ partiers of all ages.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 21-Aug 25

Sing to the plants at the Hortus Festival Classical music concerts -- early 19th century chamber music, to be exact -- come to not only Amsterdam’s Hortus Botanicus (the city’s historical and totally-worth-visiting botanical gardens) but also the “horti” of Leiden, Utrecht, and Haren. This year’s theme: “Night song, a journey through the night…”

Hortus Botanicus

Sing to the plants at the Hortus Festival Hortus Botanicus Classical music concerts -- early 19th century chamber music, to be exact -- come to not only Amsterdam’s Hortus Botanicus (the city’s historical and totally-worth-visiting botanical gardens) but also the “horti” of Leiden, Utrecht, and Haren. This year’s theme: “Night song, a journey through the night…”

Date

Event

Location

Jul 23 Sat

Sample 22 genres at 22fest 22tracks does what it does best: put together a curated list of the best upcoming DJs and music acts from 22 genres... in this case, to dance in the forest at the edge of Diemen.

Diemerbos

Sample 22 genres at 22fest Diemerbos 22tracks does what it does best: put together a curated list of the best upcoming DJs and music acts from 22 genres... in this case, to dance in the forest at the edge of Diemen.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 23 Sat

Find new tunes at Welcome to the Future Just above Amsterdam, the freshest electro is aired out to thousands of dancing (and lounging) maniacs. If you’re looking to learn about the latest electro, be one of them.

Het Twiske, Oostzaan

Find new tunes at Welcome to the Future Het Twiske, Oostzaan Just above Amsterdam, the freshest electro is aired out to thousands of dancing (and lounging) maniacs. If you’re looking to learn about the latest electro, be one of them.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 23 Sat

Forge new family at the Electronic Family After all, if your real family doesn’t like outdoor trance, who needs them anyway?

Amsterdamse Bos

Forge new family at the Electronic Family Amsterdamse Bos After all, if your real family doesn’t like outdoor trance, who needs them anyway?

Date

Event

Location

Jul 23-Aug 7

Let it all hang out at EuroPride Though most people pour into the city for the main event -- the canal parade on August 6th -- there are actually events all around the city in the weeks leading up to it, like open-air film screenings, concerts, and street parties targeted to different groups in the LGBT crowd. Easily the biggest fan favorite: the Drag Queen Olympics on Friday, Aug 5th. (Just go see, as the event has been designated this year’s official EuroPride event).

All over town

Let it all hang out at EuroPride All over town Though most people pour into the city for the main event -- the canal parade on August 6th -- there are actually events all around the city in the weeks leading up to it, like open-air film screenings, concerts, and street parties targeted to different groups in the LGBT crowd. Easily the biggest fan favorite: the Drag Queen Olympics on Friday, Aug 5th. (Just go see, as the event has been designated this year’s official EuroPride event).

Date

Event

Location

Jul 24 Sun

Rock the rhythm at the Liquicity Festival Drum & bass fans finally get their due with a massive outdoor festival, now in year two, that is dedicated 100% to them.

Diemerbos

Rock the rhythm at the Liquicity Festival Diemerbos Drum & bass fans finally get their due with a massive outdoor festival, now in year two, that is dedicated 100% to them.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 30-31

Show your pride at the Milkshake Festival This gay-friendly (and hetero-friendly) outdoor danceathon has sort of been absorbed by the expanding Pride festivities -- which is fantastic. Break out the rainbow dancing shoes.

Westerpark

Show your pride at the Milkshake Festival Westerpark This gay-friendly (and hetero-friendly) outdoor danceathon has sort of been absorbed by the expanding Pride festivities -- which is fantastic. Break out the rainbow dancing shoes.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 30 Sat

Tell “The Man” where to stick it at the CRAFT Festival CRAFT = Can’t Remember a Fucking Thing. Punk lives in Amsterdam. The stuff you won’t be remembering: seven stages of hardstyle tuned to the theme “lose your mind.”

NDSM

Tell “The Man” where to stick it at the CRAFT Festival NDSM CRAFT = Can’t Remember a Fucking Thing. Punk lives in Amsterdam. The stuff you won’t be remembering: seven stages of hardstyle tuned to the theme “lose your mind.”

Date

Event

Location

Jul 30 Sat

Do things you normally wouldn’t at DLDK Music Festival Another memorable abbreviation, this one stands for “Don’t Let Daddy Know”... that you’re at the first Amsterdam edition of this Ibiza-spawned global EDM movement.

Olympic Stadium

Do things you normally wouldn’t at DLDK Music Festival Olympic Stadium Another memorable abbreviation, this one stands for “Don’t Let Daddy Know”... that you’re at the first Amsterdam edition of this Ibiza-spawned global EDM movement.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 30 Sat

Hang with the cool crowd at the EdelWise Festival When after-work drinks get out of control (as in lines-around-the-block out of control), you get the monthly EdelWise party. When you take that madness outdoors and add a bunch of capacity, food, drinks, and other treats, you get the EdelWise Festival.

Rembrandtpark

Hang with the cool crowd at the EdelWise Festival Rembrandtpark When after-work drinks get out of control (as in lines-around-the-block out of control), you get the monthly EdelWise party. When you take that madness outdoors and add a bunch of capacity, food, drinks, and other treats, you get the EdelWise Festival.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 30-31

Get your ears dirty at the Vunzige Deuntjes weekender The “filthy tunes” this regular party’s first weekender is named after (oh yeah, that’s what the name means) include R&B, dancehall, and hip-hop.

Diemerbos

Get your ears dirty at the Vunzige Deuntjes weekender Diemerbos The “filthy tunes” this regular party’s first weekender is named after (oh yeah, that’s what the name means) include R&B, dancehall, and hip-hop.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 31 Sun

Discover up-and-comers at the Damaris Festival Pile onto the ferry and load up on music, comedy, food, theater, art, and more entertainment from new names.

NDSM

Discover up-and-comers at the Damaris Festival NDSM Pile onto the ferry and load up on music, comedy, food, theater, art, and more entertainment from new names.

Dance Valley Festival

Date

Event

Location

Aug 3-13

Seize the night at Pluk de Nacht A cultural institution on the Amsterdam social calendar, the mixed bag of international films (with English subtitles) offered on the big screen next to the water is almost beside the point. Most come for the view, a date (event organizers themselves even set up blind dates in a special folding chair for two up front), or to mix and mingle with friends, and post-screening parties go into the night.

Het Stenen Hoofd

Seize the night at Pluk de Nacht Het Stenen Hoofd A cultural institution on the Amsterdam social calendar, the mixed bag of international films (with English subtitles) offered on the big screen next to the water is almost beside the point. Most come for the view, a date (event organizers themselves even set up blind dates in a special folding chair for two up front), or to mix and mingle with friends, and post-screening parties go into the night.

Date

Event

Location

Aug 6 Sat

Embrace the insanity of the EuroPride Canal Parade This is what the Pride events are all leading up to: a parade of colorful boats shaking with the clashing bass systems and gyrating revellers packed on board. Even on land, it’s a marvelous madhouse of impromptu food stands, pockets of live music, and -- most of all -- crazy costumes. Find your freak flag and fly it.

Prinsengracht

Embrace the insanity of the EuroPride Canal Parade Prinsengracht This is what the Pride events are all leading up to: a parade of colorful boats shaking with the clashing bass systems and gyrating revellers packed on board. Even on land, it’s a marvelous madhouse of impromptu food stands, pockets of live music, and -- most of all -- crazy costumes. Find your freak flag and fly it.

Date

Event

Location

Aug 6 Sat

Indulge in daydreams at the Dagdromen Festival Art, music, and entertainment intertwine in a surreal atmosphere on Amsterdam’s most water-free beach.

Dok Amsterdam

Indulge in daydreams at the Dagdromen Festival Dok Amsterdam Art, music, and entertainment intertwine in a surreal atmosphere on Amsterdam’s most water-free beach.

Date

Event

Location

Aug 10-15

Discover artistic treasures at the Landjuweel festival The Ruigoord’s biggest festival of the year covers all the usual music, art, and dance on a bigger scale. The “land jewel” name refers to the group that runs this artists’ colony... and, of course, the little village itself.

Ruigoord

Discover artistic treasures at the Landjuweel festival Ruigoord The Ruigoord’s biggest festival of the year covers all the usual music, art, and dance on a bigger scale. The “land jewel” name refers to the group that runs this artists’ colony... and, of course, the little village itself.

Date

Event

Location

Aug 12-21

Slip into something more classical during the Grachtenfestival Over 10 days, classical concerts take place in some of central Amsterdam’s most gorgeous venues -- most notably on or next to the canals. Many events are free.

On and around Amsterdam’s canals

Slip into something more classical during the Grachtenfestival On and around Amsterdam’s canals Over 10 days, classical concerts take place in some of central Amsterdam’s most gorgeous venues -- most notably on or next to the canals. Many events are free.

Date

Event

Location

Aug 12-28

Dive into the weird at Parade After parading through three other Dutch cities, Parade lands in southern Amsterdam with a carnival take on indoor/outdoor (often experimental) theater.

Martin Luther Kingpark

Dive into the weird at Parade Martin Luther Kingpark After parading through three other Dutch cities, Parade lands in southern Amsterdam with a carnival take on indoor/outdoor (often experimental) theater.

Date

Event

Location

Aug 13 Sat

Keep the festival tradition going at Dance Valley Twenty-year-old stalwart Dance Valley fulfills the promise of its name with a solid lineup of big-name techno, electro, hardstyle, and Goa dance.

Spaarnwoude

Keep the festival tradition going at Dance Valley Spaarnwoude Twenty-year-old stalwart Dance Valley fulfills the promise of its name with a solid lineup of big-name techno, electro, hardstyle, and Goa dance.

Date

Event

Location

Aug 13 Sat

Live and let love at the Loveland Festival Another one of Amsterdam’s massive classic summer dance fests, this one narrows its focus to techno and house.

Sloterpark

Live and let love at the Loveland Festival Sloterpark Another one of Amsterdam’s massive classic summer dance fests, this one narrows its focus to techno and house.

Date

Event

Location

Aug 13 Sat

Get both fresh and funky at the Appelsap Fresh Music Festival For a change in tune, head east for some hip-hop, electro, funk, and other urban sounds at another summer festival favorite.

Flevopark

Get both fresh and funky at the Appelsap Fresh Music Festival Flevopark For a change in tune, head east for some hip-hop, electro, funk, and other urban sounds at another summer festival favorite.

Date

Event

Location

Aug 13 Sat

Celebrate a decade of Gaasper Pleasure The formerly illegal fest celebrates its 10th anniversary with a laid-back mix of house, minimal, tech house, and techno... plus food, games, and other entertainment -- all (now) legal, of course.

Gaasperplas

Celebrate a decade of Gaasper Pleasure Gaasperplas The formerly illegal fest celebrates its 10th anniversary with a laid-back mix of house, minimal, tech house, and techno... plus food, games, and other entertainment -- all (now) legal, of course.

Date

Event

Location

Aug 14 Sun

Sing along at Guilty Pleasure Festival It’s a massive sing-along of hits (according to the Dutch) of the ‘80s, ‘90s, and 2000s.

Gaasperplas

Sing along at Guilty Pleasure Festival Gaasperplas It’s a massive sing-along of hits (according to the Dutch) of the ‘80s, ‘90s, and 2000s.

Date

Event

Location

Aug 18-27

Travel the world through film during World Cinema Amsterdam The seventh year of indoor and outdoor cinema from Africa, Asia, and Latin America will this year focus on Turkey, with the usual coveted prizes awarded at the end of the competition.

Rialto Filmtheater, De Balie, Vondelpark Open Air Theatre, Marie Heinekenplein, Q-Factory

Travel the world through film during World Cinema Amsterdam Rialto Filmtheater, De Balie, Vondelpark Open Air Theatre, Marie Heinekenplein, Q-Factory The seventh year of indoor and outdoor cinema from Africa, Asia, and Latin America will this year focus on Turkey, with the usual coveted prizes awarded at the end of the competition.

Date

Event

Location

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