Summer Festivals

Holland’s Summer Fiesta – Festivals Not to Miss!

Holland’s festival season has begun once again, with hundreds of events taking place across the country, from the bustling capital of Amsterdam and beyond.

From getting your mates together for an EDM fest, to enjoying the melody of classical music on the banks of a Dutch canal, to doubled-over laughing at some seriously good stand-up comedy, Holland’s summer line up is absolutely brimming with quality and energy.


Over het IJ Festival

Set on the banks of the River IJ, this waterside event takes place over 9 days, from 13 until 22 July. Theatrical performances across all genres are held out of doors, with the favourable Dutch weather making the experience all the more enjoyable. Listen to spoken word poetry inside shipping containers, while taking your pick of the delicious international food.

Amsterdam Gay Pride

A worldwide sensation, Amsterdam Gay Pride attracts around 350,000 visitors annually. The occasion will run from 29 July until 5 August, with around 200 events throughout the week. Events vary from cerebral debates, art exhibitions, church services, inspiring pride walks as well as citywide parties. Vondelpark, Amsterdam’s 42 hectare park, is transformed into PridePark, hosting a number of activities. All ages are catered to, for example the Youth Pride Park, held in PridePark, offers things to do for younger generations, which is a fantastic way of creating an open dialogue about equality from a young age. The parties see live DJ sets from local and international artists, as people dance through the streets, the bars, and on boat parades that sail down the canals. You can find the full list of events here.


Grachten Festival

Amsterdam’s UNESCO World Heritage canals form the most picturesque backdrop for Grachten Festival. With humble origins as a four-day festival, it is now celebrating its 20th year. Young classical music artists showcase their talent across 10 days, from 10 to 19 August. Performances can be caught in residential houses, cruise ships, rooftop terraces, hotels and beyond, with over 150 concerts to catch.


Described as the kick-off of the country’s cultural season, Uitmarkt is also the biggest cultural festival in Holland. Nothing is left unexplored at Uitmarkt, as both modern and classical artists perform about a range of topical issues, or simply for the purposes of entertaining. Stand up comedians, filmmakers, orchestras, musicians, thespians take centre stage for just three short days from 24 to 26 August, so pack in as many of the shows you can.


Tilburgse Kermis Funfair

Ideal if you’re heading into wider Holland with the family, or if you feel like taking your partner on the perfect old-school date, Tilburgse Kermis Funfair is an effusion of everything you love about the fair. Scream-worthy rides, funfair food and extravagant shows and characters are in abundance. Set in the heart of the charming town of Tilburg, it is the biggest of its kind in the area. It runs from 20 to 29 July and, given its setting, is surrounded by beautiful architecture and quaint streets that beg to be explored, once you’re done having fun at the fair, of course.


Haarlem Culinair

Haarlem is renowned across Holland as a cultural pioneer, and the Haarlem Culinair is as perfect testament to that. Culinary restaurants meet for a street food festival in the centre of the city from 2 to 5 August, with some of the best food in the area available at a totally affordable price. Some of the restaurants attending include Fortuyn, an eatery that prides itself on sustainably sourced food, such as seafood cooked in a charcoal oven. New York Deli will be there, too, offering serious comfort food, as will Restaurant Fris, serving delicious French cuisine. Wash it all down with speciality beers while you listen to the live music.



International Firework Festival

In the beautiful seaside resort of Scheveningen is the International Fireworks Festival, which sees participating countries competing across nine days from 10 to 18 August. There are two fireworks displays per night that are set off from a pontoon at sea, lighting up the boardwalk, iconic peer and ferris wheel. 100,000 attendees come to witness the spectacle, so make sure you’re one of them.

De Parade

One of the longest festivals in Holland, De Parade is a jaw-dropping 67 days long. The travelling theatre festival sets up in four cities across the country, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Amsterdam. As De Parade arrives in each location, the atmosphere that arrives with it can be felt across the city. Vibrancy, excitement and energy are unloaded from the festival trucks, alongside carnival tents, gourmet food trucks, carousels, and some fantastic entertainment.


World Port Days

The first weekend in September, which this year falls on 7 to 9 of the month, is when the largest annual maritime event in Rotterdam takes place. The event serves to strengthen ties between the area and its prominent nautical history. This year’s theme is ‘Energize’, with demonstrations and exhibitions that will look at the effort and energy put into the city port, as well as the movement towards sustainable energy.


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