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Amsterdam City Guide - Festivals, Events and Parties

amsterdam festivals and eventsHolland loves festivals and the festival season kicks off in May and ends in September. The three best known festivals are Pinkpop (mainstream rock), Lowlands and Dancevalley. The Lowlands festival is not just a festival but more an experience. There are loads of good bands to see, as well as movies, theatre and visual arts. Wander around, expect nothing and experience it all.

Dancevalley is Holland's best dance festival. It always takes place near Amsterdam. So dance along with the Dutch who gather from all over Holland to dressup, show off and dance their ass off till the sun comes up again. This is the Woodstock festival of our generation.Beats instead of guitars this time but westill want peace, love and happiness. On this page we will give you some recommendations and general info for you to pick out the festivals which suit you best.
This is not just a festival but more of an all-round experience! There are loads of great, live performances varying from big names to promising newcomers. Different movies are shown, theatre sketches are performed and visual arts are presented. Wander around and experience it all! The festival goes on for 3 days and you can camp at the adjoining campsite. For daily programmes and tickets check the www.lowlands.nl site.

This is Holland's best dance festivity. Its location is always close to Amsterdam. So dance among the crazy, dressed up Dutch gathered from all over Holland to be there. Everyone parties until the early morning hours. Todays Woodstock festival means no guitars or 'cumbaya my lord' but great beats with hot moves for peace, love and happiness!

Amsterdam is the starting point of the Worldpress photo exhibition of 2004. You can check out the impressive images in the old church on the Oudekerksplein. While there, don't forget to take a look around the church. It's very old and completely built out of wood.

Every summer the Vondel Openair theatre offers a long varied programme of theatre, jazz, classical & pop music and stand-up comedy. You can also participate in singing and dancing lessons which are organized on a regular basis. There's something for everyone! For a weekly programme you can either look at the www.openluchttheater.nl site or check the posters at the entrances of the Vondelpark.

One of the most friendly and bubbliest festivals in Holland is the Parade. It's a theatre festival but is also known for its delicious sangria and carousel. You can take a Parade boat from the Waterlooplein and stroll around all night, drink sangria, dance in the silent disco with headphones on (it looks really funny for the people around not hearing the music
you're dancing on) and see different live bands.

A similar sort of festival is held on one of Holland's most beautiful islands: Terschelling.
For two whole weeks of the year the entire island is transformed into one big artistic arena for the Oerol festival. Rent a bike and cycle from east to west while passing different theatres, strange arts and listen to music. Camp out among the Dutchies and join them for a beer in one of the typical brown cafés on the island.

This is my own personal favourite! It's located at the Oosterpark on the east side of Amsterdam. It's a festival with music from all over the world, like from Suriname and the Antilles but also from Turkey and Morocco or from different African countries like Ethiopia and Ghana. All the live music is performed on different stages around the park and there are worldly dishes to tickle your senses. It's not a trendy, hip event but a great cultural festival.
It gives you a good view on what the Dutch population looks like these days. Dance together with small kids, students and 'old' people and you're guaranteed of a good vibe. People of all colours and cultures gather to share their food and music traditions. All of which offers an energetic, lively mix. Go and check it out, the entrance is free!

Another multi-cultural festival is Kwakoe Festival in the Bijlmer area. The Bijlmer is a part of Amsterdam where many families live that originate from Africa, Suriname (former Dutch colony) and the Dutch Antilles. This festival brings you five full weeks of music, food and dancing. The weekends are the best time to go for a visit. These are just some of the festivals that Holland has to offer this summer. So much to see, lots of parties to go to! See you in Amsterdam? We'll try to keep a good spot for you in the Park. I'll bring the blanket, do
you bring the wine? Who's bringing the guitar again....


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