festivals in amsterdam

Festivals in Amsterdam - Annual Calendar

Amsterdam is well-renowned for having a large number of diverse festivals on its cultural calendar. Events run throughout the entire year, although the main festival season peaks during the summer months. The city's major festivals include Holland Festival, Uitmarkt, Grachten Festival, Amsterdam Dance Event and the Amsterdam Light Festival. In the following listing, we mention about 50 Amsterdam festivals ordered by season, plus a few more around the rest of the Netherlands.

Spring festivals in Amsterdam

Amsterdam Coffee Festival – [COFFEE] A festival event for coffee lovers and industry professionals featuring artisan coffee, gourmet food stalls, barista demonstrations, live music and art exhibitions. Founded 2014. Date: 1-3 March 2019. Location: Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam.

CineDans Festival – [DANCE FILM] International 'dance on screen' festival with around 60 film screenings plus debates and workshops. Date: 8-10 March 2019 (16th edition). Location: EYE Film, Amsterdam.

Imagine Film Festival – [CULT FILM] Well-established international film festival (formerly Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival) showing sci-fi, cult, fantasy and horror films. Founded 1984. Date: expected March 2019 (34th edition, unconfirmed). Location: EYE Film, Amsterdam.

King's Day - [STREET PARTY] Amsterdam goes orange crazy one day each year with this huge street party and market celebrating the King's birthday. Up to a 800,000 revellers hit the city. Date: 27 April 2018.

Rolling Kitchens– [FOOD] The Rollende Keukens food festival (free entry) features dozens of mobile kitchens and food trucks offering appetising dishes plus live music. Date: 9-13 May 2018 (11th edition). Location: Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam.

Oost TAPT Festival – [BEER] International beer festival (formerly BierOost festival) which includes food, games and live music. Date: 26 May 2018. Location: Jaap Eden IJsbaan (ice rink), Amsterdam.

Summer festivals in Amsterdam

Holland Festival – [PERFORMING ARTS] The country’s biggest performing arts festival running most of June every year. The event features scores of performances including theatre, visual arts, classical, dance, opera and film. It attracts a high calibre of local and international performers with around 75,000 visitors. Founded 1947. Date: 7 June - 1 July 2018 (71st edition). Locations: Carré Theatre, Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Concertgebouw, Stadsschouwburg, Westergasfabriek and others, all in Amsterdam. Full program announced in February 2018.

ITs Festival Amsterdam – [THEATRE] International theatre school festival in Amsterdam held every June featuring the crop of the year’s theatre and dance graduates. Founded 1990. Date: 19-24 June 2018 (29th edition). Locations: Frascati Theatre, De Brakke Grond Theatre, in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam Open Air – [ELECTRONIC MUSIC] Outdoor music festival with camping area held over a weekend. Founded 2011. Date: 2-3 June 2018 (8th edition). Location: Gaasperpark, south-east Amsterdam.

Taste of Amsterdam – [FOOD] Culinary festival held over 4 days with dishes from some of Amsterdam's best restaurants and chefs. Events include tastings, workshops, a food market and live music. Date: 1-3 June 2018 (10th edition). Location: Amstelpark, Amsterdam.

Dutch Raw Food Festival – [FOOD] Raw food event with demonstrations, workshops and presentations including some in English. Date: expected June 2018 (6th edition, unconfirmed). Location: Boerderij Langerlust (farm), near the Gaasperplas in south-east Amsterdam.

Bacchus Wine Festival – [WINE] Outdoor food and wine event held on the outskirts of the city over 2 consecutive weekends. Date: 8-10/15-17 June 2018 (5th edition). Location: Amsterdamse Bos.

Amsterdam Roots Festival – [WORLD MUSIC] Well-established international music and circus festival held at various venues around the city. Includes the free entry Roots Open Air at Oosterpark which features music, food and stalls. Founded in 1983 as the Africa Roots Festival, and since 1998 as the Amsterdam Roots Festival. Date: 2-8 July 2018 (21st edition). Locations: Oosterpark, Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Bimhuis, Paradiso, De Tropen, all in Amsterdam.

Over het IJ Festival – [THEATRE] A 10 day summer theatre festival held on the waterfront of the IJ river and around Amsterdam Noord. It also includes live bands, DJs and plenty of good food and drink. Date: 13-22 July 2018 (26th edition). Location: NDSM wharf, Amsterdam (accessible by free ferry from Amsterdam Central).

PITCH – [ELECTRONIC MUSIC] Progressive electronic music festival event with 4 stages held on a single day. Date: expected early July 2018 (8th edition, unconfirmed). Location: NDSM wharf, Amsterdam (accessible by free ferry from Amsterdam Central).

Kwaku Festival – [MULTI-CULTURAL FESTIVAL] The Kwaku festival is a colourful event held in south-east Amsterdam over consecutive weekends during the summer. The festival's origins came about to celebrate the anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the Dutch Antilles and Suriname. It features live music, dance, DJs, a football competition and appetising ethnic food stalls. Date: 14 July- 5 August 2018. Location: Nelson Mandelapark, south-east Amsterdam.

Milkshake Festival – [DANCE PARTY] Gay-friendly dance music festival over a weekend organised by Paradiso and AIR which includes a camping area. Date: expected 28-29 July 2018. Location: Westerpark, Amsterdam.

Pride Amsterdam – [LGBT EVENT] World famous annual gay cultural event held over a week at the end of July/beginning of August. The highlight is the spectacular canal parade around the Prinsengracht canal and river Amstel which attracts large crowds. Date: 28 July to 5 August 2018, canal parade 4 Aug 2018. Location: around Amsterdam.

Uitmarkt – [ARTS] Largest cultural festival (300 performances across 25 stages) in the Netherlands taking place in central Amsterdam over a single weekend, marking the start of the new Dutch cultural season. Free entry. Date: 24-26 August 2018 (41st edition). Location: Oosterdok, Museumplein and other venues around Amsterdam.

De Parade – [THEATRE] A travelling theatre festival which visits Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Amsterdam. The Amsterdam event will take place over 2 weeks in the Rivierenbuurt district where theatre tents will be set up and dozens of performances take place. Plenty of activities for kids as well. Date: expected 17 August - 2 September 2018. Location: Martin Luther King Park, Amsterdam.

Appelsap Fresh Music Festival – [HIP-HOP/ELECTRONIC MUSIC] The annual "Apple Juice" festival features progressive electronic music plus hip-hop and R&B from international artists and DJs. Date: 11 August 2018. Location: Flevopark in east Amsterdam.

Loveland Festival – [DANCE PARTY] Big DJ dance festival event with a local and international line-up in the western suburbs of Amsterdam, Date: 11-12 August 2018. Location: Sloterpark, Amsterdam.

Mysteryland Festival – [ELECTRONIC MUSIC] Large electronic music festival event with multiple stages held over an August weekend just outside Amsterdam. Features over 250 artists and 100,000 visitors. Includes a well-equipped camping site. Founded 1993. Date: 24-26 August 2018 (25th edition). Location: Floriade festival grounds, Haarlemmermeer (near Hoofddoprp).

Pluk de Nacht Festival – [OPEN-AIR FILM] "Seize the night" open-air film festival (free entry) showing a variety of unreleased international films, animations and documentaries. Also held in Utrecht. Founded 2003. Date: 15-25 August 2018 (15th edition). Location: Het Stenen Hoofd, Amsterdam.

Grachten Festival – [CLASSICAL MUSIC] Canal festival featuring classical and jazz music performances throughout Amsterdam, many on unique stages on the city's waterways. With 250 concerts in 90 venues, perhaps the highlight is the free Prinsengracht concert on 18 Aug 2018 at the pontoon of the Pulitzer Hotel. Date: 10-19 August 2018 (21st edition). Location: various around Amsterdam.

Jordaan Festival – [FOLK MUSIC] Dutch musical singers gather in the streets of the Jordaan neighbourhood. Founded 1975. Date: end of August 2018 (44th edition, unconfirmed). Location: Appeltjesmarkt, Amsterdam.

Autumn festivals in Amsterdam

Amsterdam Fringe Festival – [THEATRE] The Dutch Theatre Festival shows the best of last season's productions whilst the Fringe offers avant-garde theatre. Date: 6-16 September 2018, Location: various around Amsterdam.

Balance Festival Amsterdam – [FITNESS/YOGA] Festival with a focus on yoga, fitness and the welness movement. Features workshops, workouts and cooking demos. Date: 7-9 September 2018. Location: Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam.

Valtifest – [ELECTRONIC MUSIC] DJs perform dance, house, electro and hip-hop on the waterfront at Amsterdam Noord. Founded 2007. Date: 1 September 2018 (11th edition). Location: Thuishaven, Amsterdam.

West Beach Film Festival – [OPEN-AIR FILM] Open-air film festival at a spectacular waterside location screening a variety of feature films. Free entrance. Date: expected September 2018 (15th edition, unconfirmed). Location: Noordzijde 41, west Amsterdam (next to Sloterplasbad swimming pool).

Ambacht in Beeld Festival – [CRAFT] Festival offering workshops, masterclasses and documentary films covering a wide range of craft skills. Date: 29-30 September 2018. Location: De Hallen in west Amsterdam.

NEU NOW – [ARTS] International arts festival which features emerging talent from Europe. Date: expected September 2018 (10th edition, unconfirmed). Location: Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam.

Lift-Off Film Festival – [INDEPENDENT FILM] International film festival showcasing emerging artists and featuring shorts, documentaries, animations and features. Date: expected October 2018 (unconfirmed). Location: LAB111, Amsterdam.

Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) – [ELECTRONIC MUSIC] Major international conference and festival for electronic music. The festival has an extensive range of electronic sub-genres with 2,500 artists and 500 performances attracting almost 400,000 visitors; it's also the world's most important electric music conference for industry professionals with over 300 events and 600 speakers. Date: 17-21 October 2018 (23rd edition, unconfirmed). Location: various around Amsterdam.

KLIK! – [ANIMATION FILM] KLIK Amsterdam international animation festival features shorts and features plus presentations, workshops and parties. Date: 9-14 October 2018 (11th edition). Location: EYE Film Museum, Amsterdam.

Cinekid – [KIDS FILM] International film, television and new media festival for kids. Date: expected October 2018 (unconfirmed). Location: various including Westergasfabriek and The Movies, Amsterdam.

PINT Bokbier Festival – [BEER] The largest beer festival in Netherlands where you can try out over 100 types of bok beer from the tap. Attracts over 10,000 visitors. Date: expected October 2018 (41st edition, unconfirmed). Location: Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam.

IDFA – [DOCUMENTARY FILM] International documentary film festival Amsterdam. Annual event showing a wide variety of thought-provoking documentaries. Date: 14-25 November 2018 (31st edition). Location: Pathé Tuschinski, Het Ketelhuis, de Brakke Grond theatre, Amsterdam plus others.

Amsterdam Art Weekend – [ART] Special contemporary art event with around 100 events in total (exhibitions, performances, film screenings and debates) at 50 locations around the city. Date: late November 2018 (7th edition, unconfirmed). Location: various including Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, EYE Film, Rijksakademie and Oude Kerk in Amsterdam.

Winter festivals in Amsterdam

Amsterdam Light Festival – [ILLUMINATIONS] Heading for its 7th year, this event promises to light up the city during the festive season. Featuring a Water Colours boat route which can best be seen by taking an evening canal cruise; or check out the the new land exhibition around Amsterdam's Marineterrein. Expected December 2018-January 2019.

Tangotrain – [TANGO] Tango festival cooperative event which runs the last week of December. Date: last week of December 2018 (5th edition, unconfirmed). Location: various around Amsterdam.

Whisky Weekend - [WHISKY] Annual whisky festival featuring some 30 whisky-themed stalls. Date: 18-19 January 2019 (11th edition). Location: De Posthoornkerk (Amsterdam West).

IMPRO Amsterdam – [IMPRO THEATRE] Improvisation theatre festival which attracts a high calibre of international impro players. Date: late January 2019 (24th edition, unconfirmed). Location: Compagnietheater, Amsterdam.

Chocoa Festival – [CHOCOLATE] Chocolate festival promoting sustainable and good quality chocolate including workshops and tastings. Date: late February 2019 (7th edition, unconfirmed). Location: Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam.

Festivals in the Netherlands

Pinkpop – [POP/ROCK] Large annual music festival running which features major artists playing on 4 stages. Expected 2018 line-up includes Bruno Mars and the Foo Fighters. Founded 1970. Date: 15-17 June 2018. Location: Megaland, Landgraaf in Limburg, south Netherlands.

Mundial Festival – [WORLD MUSIC] Major world music festival held in Tilburg, some 90 minutes south by train from Amsterdam. Date: 23-24 June 2018 (31st edition). Location: Spoorzone Tilburg.

North Sea Jazz Festival – [JAZZ] The world's largest indoor music festival held over 3 days featuring international jazz plus blues, soul, funk, hip hop, world music and more. Founded 1976. Date: 13-15 July 2018. Location: Ahoy Rotterdam.

Camera Japan – [JAPANESE CULTURE] Japanese cultural festival which features film, art, music, architecture plus Japanese food. Founded 2006. Date: expected September 2018 (13th edition, unconfirmed). Location: Shofukan, Rotterdam.

NOTE – We try to provide as accurate info as possible, however some smaller events may only confirm exact dates a few weeks beforehand; events can also be changed or cancelled so always double check with the relevant website or social media outlet.

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