After strolling around its endless green fields, glassy lakes, and fairytale bridges, it is clear to see why beautiful Vondelpark is one of the most famous in Europe. But its winding paths also contain a rich history of music and theatre, which you can experience firsthand at the Open Air Theatre this summer. Vondelpark has long been a cultural hub here in Amsterdam, with parties, concerts, and shows being held here since its birth in 1865. In 1974 the Open Air Theatre was officially opened, and every summer since visitors are treated to a program packed with festivals, shows, dance, cabaret, comedy and much more. Best of all - entrance is free! So pack a picnic and go soak up some sun in Amsterdam's favorite park - along with a whole lot of culture too!
Now celebrating its 25th year of raving, Dance Valley, AKA the “Woodstock of Dance” is the worlds longest running daytime dance festival. In fact, it’s probably older than some of our readers. But don’t be fooled, kids... like a fine wine, Dance Valley just keeps getting better with age. From techno to hardcore to trance, this iconic festival is the perfect place to immerse yourself in Amsterdam's famous electronic music culture, along with 90,000 others from all over the world! This year it will be held on August 10th in the beautiful Velsen Valley. World class music, insane light shows, good vibes and good weather (oh, and David Guetta). What more could you want??
Whichever way you swing, you most definitely do not want to miss Amsterdam’s annual Gay Pride Parade. Over half a million visitors flock to the city for this iconic event, and it’s easy to see why. Holland is famous for its diverse LGBTQ community and culture, so what better place to hold one of the worlds biggest pride parades than on its sunny canals! A day dedicated to celebrating love in all of its equally wonderful forms, it’s a crazy, colorful affair with an infectiously fun atmosphere. Over 80 elaborately decorated floats cruise the packed canals, with the Amsterdam Police Corps, several hospitals, the Ministry of Defence and even the military taking part in the festivities with their very own floats! It’s not just the canals that go off - there are countless street parties, hundreds of music and dance events, and even a Drag Queen Olympics to sink your teeth into - YAS KWEEN! This year the parade runs from July 27th to August 4th, so get out your glitter paint and rainbow flags and come and feel the love. Whether you’re queer or square - you better be there!
Summer Dance Forever
So you think you can dance? Then you better get those moves prepped and polished for Amsterdam’s biggest urban dance festival, Summer Dance Forever. Each year the festival brings together the hottest talent from around the globe for nine days of performances, theatre, club nights, workshops, and of course - the notorious dance battles. All this and more will be taking place between August 20th - 28th in some of Amsterdam’s best venues, including Paradiso, Melkweg and DeLaMar Theatre. So whether you want to dance your way to the top, learn some new skills, or simply watch in awe, there’s something for everyone at Summer Dance Forever. First, get your tickets, then get your freak on!
If there’s one thing the city of Amsterdam knows how to do right, it’s electronic music. So it makes sense that the worlds biggest club festival and electronic music conference has taken place here ever since 1995. Every year the Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) gathers not only the worlds best DJs and artists but also the leaders of the electronic music industry, to worship rave religion as Amsterdam becomes a dance lovers Mecca for five whole days and nights. This means over 1000 events in nearly 200 venues across the city, showcasing the hottest talent in a huge variety of sub-genres including electro, acid, house, drum & bass and techno to name a few. This year the dates are set for October 16th-20th, so you best rest up and get ready to eat, sleep, rave and repeat (minus the eating and sleeping, obviously).