Whats On

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.

Note, due to ‘coronavirus’ measures most large events in the Netherlands are still being cancelled as of early 2021. Festivals have either had to cancel entirely, rescheduled dates or offered a scaled-down version. The future situation for the entire sector remains uncertain – so please check with the event organisers directly for the very latest news.

There are no events until at least 20 April 2021.

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: rescheduled for Nov 2021. Location: Westergas, Amsterdam.

CineDans Fest – [DANCE FILM] International ‘dance on screen’ festival with around 60 film screenings plus debates and workshops. Date: 26-28 Mar 2021 (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: 37th edition expected 7-17 Apr 2021. 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 2021.

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. 2020 event was cancelled, 2021 status is not yet known. Date: 27 April 2021.

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: 12-16 May 2021 (14th edition). Location: Westerpark, 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. 2020 event was cancelled Date: 3-6 Jun 2021. Location: expected at Amstelpark, 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 2021 (74th 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. 2020 event cancelled. Date: expected June 2021. 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. 2020 event cancelled. Date: 5-6 Jun 2021 (unconfirmed). Location: Gaasperpark, south-east Amsterdam.

Bacchus Wine Festival – [WINE] Outdoor food and wine event held on the outskirts of the city over 2 consecutive weekends. Date: June 2021 (unconfirmed). Location: Amsterdamse Bos.

Amsterdam Roots Festival – [WORLD MUSIC] Well-established international music and circus festival held at various venues around the city. Founded in 1983 as the Africa Roots Festival, and since 1998 as the Amsterdam Roots Festival. June 2020 event was digital. Date: expected June 2021. Locations: Oosterpark, Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, Bimhuis, Paradiso, De Tropen, all in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam Ferry Festival – A variety of art will be held on the ferries in Amsterdam including photography and visual arts, performances, installations, spoken word, digital art, video art and sound art. Date: inaugural edition was in 2020, awaiting confirmation of July 2021 event. Location: GVB ferries.

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: 2-11 Jul 2021 (29th 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. 2020 event is cancelled. Date: July-August 2021 (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. 2020 event is cancelled. Date: expected 24-25 July 2021 (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. 2020 event is cancelled. Date: expected 31 July to 8 August 2021. Location: around Amsterdam.

Sail Amsterdam 2025 – [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. 2020 event has been cancelled. Date: expected August 2025. Location: IJ harbour 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. 2020 event is cancelled. Date: expected August 2021. 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. 2020 event is cancelled. Date: expected August 2021. 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. 2020 event is cancelled. Date: expected 7-8 August 2021. Location: Sloterpark, Amsterdam.

Grachten Festival – [CLASSICAL MUSIC] Canal festival featuring classical and jazz music performances throughout Amsterdam, many on unique stages on the city’s waterways. Date: 13-22 August 2021 (24th edition). Location: various around Amsterdam.

Uitmarkt – [ARTS] The largest cultural festival (normally 300 performances across 25 stages, event was cut down significantly for 2020) in the Netherlands taking place in central Amsterdam over a single weekend, marking the start of the new Dutch cultural season. Free entry. Date: 27-29 August 2021 (44th edition). Location: various around 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. 2020 event is cancelled. Date: 27-29 August 2021. 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. 2020 event was cancelled. Date: August 2021 (18th edition). Location: Het Stenen Hoofd, 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 2021. Location: various around Amsterdam.

DGTL Festival – [ELECTRONIC MUSIC] Global electronic music festival with mix of art installations and sustainability projects. Date: expected 11-12 September 2021. Location: NDSM-wharf, Amsterdam.

Jordaan Festival – [FOLK MUSIC] Dutch musical singers gather in the streets of the Jordaan neighbourhood. Founded 1975. Date: 3-5 September 2021 (unconfirmed). Location: Appeltjesmarkt, Amsterdam.

Ambacht in Beeld Festival – [CRAFT] Festival offering workshops, masterclasses and documentary films covering a wide range of craft skills. Date: September 2021 (unconfirmed). 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: October 2021 (unconfirmed). Location: LAB111, Amsterdam.

Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) – [ELECTRONIC MUSIC] Major international conference and festival for electronic music. The festival normally 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: 13-17 Oct 2021 (26th edition). Location: various around Amsterdam.

Cinekid – [KIDS FILM] International film, television and new media festival for kids. Date: October 2021. 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 2022. 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: 17-28 November 2021 (33rd edition). Location: Pathé Tuschinski, Het Ketelhuis, de Brakke Grond theatre, Amsterdam plus others.

Amsterdam Art Weekend – [ART] The main contemporary Amsterdam Art Weekend event has been moved back to April 2021. Date: 15-18 April 2021 (9th edition). Location: 27 galleries and project spaces around Amsterdam.

Winter festivals in Amsterdam

Amsterdam Light Festival – [ILLUMINATIONS] The 2020 event has been cancelled, expected to return in winter 2021/22. Date: November 2021 to January 2022. Location: Amsterdam

Tangotrain – [TANGO] Tango festival cooperative event which runs the last week of December. Date: last week of December 2021 (8th edition, unconfirmed). Location: various around Amsterdam.

Whisky Weekend – [WHISKY] Annual whisky festival featuring some 30 whisky-themed stalls. 2021 event is cancelled. Date: January 2022. Location: De Posthoornkerk (Amsterdam West).

IMPRO Amsterdam – [IMPRO THEATRE] Improvisation theatre festival which attracts a high calibre of international impro players. Date: unknown at this point. Location: Compagnietheater, Amsterdam.

Chocoa Festival – [CHOCOLATE] Chocolate festival promoting sustainable and good quality chocolate including workshops and tastings. February 2021 edition has been cancelled. Date: February 2022 (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. Founded 1970. 2020 event was cancelled. Date: 18-20 June 2021. Location: Megaland, Landgraaf in Limburg, south Netherlands.

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. 2020 event was cancelled. Date: 9-11 July 2021. Location: Ahoy Rotterdam.

Camera Japan – [JAPANESE CULTURE] Japanese cultural festival which features film, art, music, architecture plus Japanese food. Founded 2006. Date: October 2021 (16th edition, unconfirmed). Location: LAB111

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.

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