Holland’s Summer of Festivals

June 10, 2015

It’s the summer of festivals in Holland this year! Are you into dance music? Classical music? Traditional customs?

You name it, Holland has it!  This summer there are over 300 festivals in Amsterdam alone.

So why not add even more to your city break with a Dutch festival? Take a look at our top picks across the country below…


Flag Day, Scheveningen, The Hague

13 June 2015

Check out some Dutch traditions! The first herring catch of the year is celebrated in Scheveningen on ‘Flag Day’.  It’s one of the biggest street festivals in The Hague with music and traditional costumes contributing to the party atmosphere around the seaside area.

Although the herring catch is the main reason for the festival, there is much more on offer! You can participate in old Dutch children’s games, sing along with popular artists, go on boat tours, listen to bands and check out traditional handicrafts.


North Sea Jazz festival, Rotterdam

10 July -12 July 2015

The North Sea Jazz Festival is Holland’s number one jazz event. Each year over 65,000 visitors enjoy jazz from musical legends and upcoming talents across fifteen stages at Ahoy Rotterdam. You can listen to musical genres ranging from traditional New Orleans jazz, swing, fusion, avant-garde jazz and electronic jazz, to blues, gospel, funk, soul, R&B, hip hop, world beat and Latin.

This year’s line-up includes performances by Mary J. Blige, Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga, Sergio Mendes & Brasil 2015, John Legend, Paolo Nutini, Chaka Khan, Lionel Richie, Hozier and Emeli Sandé to name but a few!


Milkshake, Amsterdam

19th July

The happy marriage of two of Amsterdam’s nightlife titans – pop temple Paradiso and clubbing mecca AIR – Milkshake is equal parts open-air music festival and costume party, with a message of tolerance, diversity and acceptance at its very core. Festivalgoers embrace the rainbow side of life, dressing to excess and to impress. The people watching alone is worth the ticket price!

So step outside your box, leave your preconceptions at home and head somewhere over the rainbow – or to Westerpark in Amsterdam, to be precise.


SAIL Amsterdam

19th – 23rd August

Visit the biggest nautical event in the world. SAIL Amsterdam is about boats, ships and anything else that floats! After five years of preparations, SAIL Amsterdam in August 2015 will absolutely amaze you. An entire flotilla of tall ships and many other special boats and vessels sail along the River IJ before docking near the city centre.  It guarantees an impressive and incomparable fleet of tall ships, sailing heritage craft, modern ships, naval ships and replicas. Next to all the activity on the water, there is also plenty to do on the wharfs including entertainment, art, culture, music, and children’s activities.


Grachtenfestival Amsterdam

14 – 23 August
This ten-day celebration takes classical music from the confines of the concert hall out amid the city’s iconic waterways.  It is set to attract more than 60,000 national and international visitors this summer. Taking place annually, Grachtenfestival Amsterdam is the seamless fusion of two of the city’s specialities: the 400-year-old UNESCO-protected canals and the tradition of exquisite, innovative classical music making, which allows you to enjoy performances in extraordinary venues.


Mysteryland, Amsterdam

29th & 30th August

The Netherlands is the epicentre of the European dance-music scene, hosting hundreds of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) festivals every year. One of the longest running is Mysteryland, whose history stretches back 21 years – nearly for the duration of EDM culture itself. In its fairy-tale setting, artists including Martin Garrix play the electronic spectrum from cutting-edge dubstep, hip hop and disco to house and techno. Plus, with an expansive side programme, this is one heady cultural carnival.

Not found the right festival for you?  Check out more of Holland’s hundreds of festivals and events here.

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