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 all large events in the Netherlands between 13 March and 1st September 2020 have been cancelled. Many festivals have either rescheduled dates or had to cancel entirely. The future situation remains uncertain so please check with the event organisers directly for the very latest news.

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: normally March, rescheduled for 11-13 Sep 2020. Location: Westergas, Amsterdam.

CineDans Fest – [DANCE FILM] International ‘dance on screen’ festival with around 60 film screenings plus debates and workshops. Date: March 2021 (17th edition). Location: EYE Film, Amsterdam.

DGTL Festival – [ELECTRONIC MUSIC] Global electronic music festival with mix of art installations and sustainability projects. Date: expected April 2021. Location: NDSM-wharf, 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: small hybrid edition will run 28 August to 6 September 2020, next edition expected April 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: unconfirmed. Location: 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: unknown. 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 event postponed, rescheduled for 4-6 and 11-13 September 2020 (7th edition). 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: 9-19 July 2020 (inaugural 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: July 2020 (28th edition) cancelled, expected to return July 2021. 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 July 2021. 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 31July 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. The 2020 event goes ahead with reduced number of venues. Date: 7-16 August 2020 (23rd edition). Location: various around Amsterdam.

Uitmarkt – [ARTS] The largest cultural festival (normally 300 performances across 25 stages, event is cut down 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: 28-30 August 2020 (43rd edition, this year will be a hybrid event with online performances and small indoor locations with a limited audience.). 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. Date: August 2020 (17th 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: 3-13 September 2020. Location: various around Amsterdam.

Jordaan Festival – [FOLK MUSIC] Dutch musical singers gather in the streets of the Jordaan neighbourhood. Founded 1975. Date: 4-6 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: 5 September 2020 (13th edition, unconfirmed). Location: unknown

Ambacht in Beeld Festival – [CRAFT] Festival offering workshops, masterclasses and documentary films covering a wide range of craft skills. Date: 26-27 September 2020. 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: 4-10 October 2020. 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: 21-25 October 2020 (25th edition). Location: various around Amsterdam.

Cinekid – [KIDS FILM] International film, television and new media festival for kids. Date: 10-25 October 2020. 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: 22-31 October 2020. 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: 18-29 November 2020 (32nd 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. However a small scale Amsterdam Art ‘Gallery’ Weekend will run 25-29 Nov 2020. Date: 25-29 November 2020 (9th edition, unconfirmed). Location: various

Winter festivals in Amsterdam

Amsterdam Light Festival – [ILLUMINATIONS] Heading for its 9th year, this event promises to light up the city during the festive season. It is best seen by taking an evening canal cruise. Date: 26 November 2020 to 17 January 2021. Location: Likely route from Oosterdok to Entrepotdok via the Amstel.

Tangotrain – [TANGO] Tango festival cooperative event which runs the last week of December. Date: last week of December 2020 (7th edition, unconfirmed). Location: various around Amsterdam.

Whisky Weekend – [WHISKY] Annual whisky festival featuring some 30 whisky-themed stalls. Date: 15-16 January 2021 (13th 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 2021 (26th edition). Location: Compagnietheater, Amsterdam.

Chocoa Festival – [CHOCOLATE] Chocolate festival promoting sustainable and good quality chocolate including workshops and tastings. Date: late February 2021 (9th 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. 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: 2-4 October 2020 (15th edition). Location: unknown.

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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