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: 13-15 March 2020. Location: Westergas, Amsterdam.
CineDans Fest – [DANCE FILM] International ‘dance on screen’ festival with around 60 film screenings plus debates and workshops. Date: 25-29 March 2020 (17th 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: April 2020 (36th edition, to be confirmed). Location: EYE Film, Amsterdam.
Tulp Festival – [FLOWERS] Now in its 3rd year, tulips will be on display again across the entire city of Amsterdam for the month of April 2020.
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 2020.
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: May 2020 (13th edition). Location: Westergas, Amsterdam.
Oost TAPT Festival – [BEER] International beer festival (formerly BierOost festival) which includes food, games and live music. Date: May 2020 (unconfirmed). 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: June 2020 (73rd edition). Locations: Carré Theatre, Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, Concertgebouw, Stadsschouwburg, Westergasfabriek and others, all in Amsterdam.
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: June 2020 (31st edition, unconfirmed). 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: June 2020 (10th edition, unconfirmed). 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: June 2020 (12th edition, unconfirmed). Location: Amstelpark, Amsterdam.
Bacchus Wine Festival – [WINE] Outdoor food and wine event held on the outskirts of the city over 2 consecutive weekends. Date: June 2020 (7th edition, unconfirmed). 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: July 2020 (23rd edition, unconfirmed). 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: 10-19 July 2020 (28th edition). 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: July-August 2020 (unconfirmed). 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: July 2020 (unconfirmed). 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: 25 July to 2 August 2020, canal parade 1 Aug 2020. Location: around Amsterdam.
Sail Amsterdam 2020 – [TALL SHIPS] Major international tall ships event held in Amsterdam every 5 years. With around 600 ships moored around the IJ, it has become Europe’s largest free-access nautical event. Date: 12-16 August 2020 (10th edition). Location: IJ harbour 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: 28-20 August 2020 (43rd edition). Location: 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: 14-30 August 2020. 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: August 2020 (unconfirmed). 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: August 2020 (unconfirmed). 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: 28-30 August 2020 (27th 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: August 2020 (17th 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 15 Aug 2020 (unconfirmed) at the pontoon of the Pulitzer Hotel. Date: 7-16 August 2020 (23rd edition). Location: various around 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: September 2020 (unconfirmed). Location: various around Amsterdam.
Jordaan Festival – [FOLK MUSIC] Dutch musical singers gather in the streets of the Jordaan neighbourhood. Founded 1975. Date: September 2020 (46th edition, unconfirmed). Location: Appeltjesmarkt, Amsterdam.
Valtifest – [ELECTRONIC MUSIC] DJs perform dance, house, electro and hip-hop on the waterfront at Amsterdam Noord. Founded 2007. Date: September 2020 (13th edition, unconfirmed). Location: Kaap Oost, Amsterdam.
West TAPT Festival – [BEER] Beer festival which includes food, games and live music. Date: 20-21 September 2019. Location: Rembrandt Park, Amsterdam.
Ambacht in Beeld Festival – [CRAFT] Festival offering workshops, masterclasses and documentary films covering a wide range of craft skills. Date: 28-29 September 2019. Location: De Hallen in west Amsterdam.
Lift-Off Film Festival – [INDEPENDENT FILM] International film festival showcasing emerging artists and featuring shorts, documentaries, animations and features. Date: 7-12 October 2019. Location: LAB111, Amsterdam.
Afrovibes Festival – [AFRICAN CULTURE] Afrovibes shows the dynamic cultural life of Urban Africa with a programme by African and Dutch artists. Date: 3-13 October 2019 (16th edition). Locations: various in Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht.
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: 16-20 October 2019 (24th edition). Location: various around Amsterdam.
KABOOM – [ANIMATION FILM] This is joint international animation festival in Amsterdam and Utrecht, replaces the former KLIKxHAFF Festival. Date: 9-17 November 2019. Location: Westergas, Amsterdam.
Cinekid – [KIDS FILM] International film, television and new media festival for kids. Date: 19-25 October 2019. Location: Westergas, Amsterdam.
Cello Biennale Amsterdam – [CLASSICAL MUSIC] Ten day long international music festival revolving around the cello with over 100 events (some free). Date: October 2020 (unconfirmed). Location: Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ and the Bimhuis in Amsterdam.
IDFA – [DOCUMENTARY FILM] International documentary film festival Amsterdam. Annual event showing a wide variety of thought-provoking documentaries. Date: 20 November to 1 December 2019 (32nd 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: 21-24 November 2019 (8th edition). 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 8th 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. Date: 28 November 2019 to 19 January 2020.
Tangotrain – [TANGO] Tango festival cooperative event which runs the last week of December. Date: last week of December 2019 (6th edition, unconfirmed). Location: various around Amsterdam.
Whisky Weekend – [WHISKY] Annual whisky festival featuring some 30 whisky-themed stalls. Date: 17-18 January 2020 (12th edition). Location: De Posthoornkerk (Amsterdam West).
IMPRO Amsterdam – [IMPRO THEATRE] Improvisation theatre festival which attracts a high calibre of international impro players. Date: 25 January to 1 February 2020 (25th edition). Location: Compagnietheater, Amsterdam.
Chocoa Festival – [CHOCOLATE] Chocolate festival promoting sustainable and good quality chocolate including workshops and tastings. Date: 22-23 February 2020 (8th edition). 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. Founded 1970. Date: 19-21 June 2020. 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: June 2020 (33rd 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: 10-12 July 2020. Location: Ahoy Rotterdam.
Camera Japan – [JAPANESE CULTURE] Japanese cultural festival which features film, art, music, architecture plus Japanese food. Founded 2006. Date: 25-29 September 2019 in Rotterdam and 3-6 October 2019 in Amsterdam (14th edition). Location: Kriterion and EYE Film in Amsterdam.
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 at short notice so always double check with the relevant website or social media outlet.