International Pillow Fight Day on Dam Square

Photo by Romy Arroyo Fernandez

Amsterdam is the city of fun and freedom and once a year, on the International Pillow Fight Day (yep, it’s a thing!), thousands of Amsterdammers come to Dam Square to celebrate it with a good pillow fight.

Fancy to join? Here is all you need to know about it! To find out more about this fluffy madness on Dam, AmsterDO spoke to Niels Buurman, one of the organizers of the Pillow Fight in the Dutch capital.

International Pillow Fight Day

The year of 2017 marks the seventh annual World Pillow Fight Day. For now, the event takes place in over 100 cities around the world. From Barcelona to New York, from Amsterdam to Vancouver, people attack each other in merciless pillow fights on the first Saturday of April. This year it’s April 1st, no joke!

The International Pillow Fight Day is an initiative of the Urban Playground Movement, the non-profit organization known for its free, fun, all-ages public activities. The idea is to reclaim urban public spaces, spreading pure fun and freedom and connecting with each other.

Source: Pillow Fight Day

Amsterdam’s edition of the Pillow Fight Day is hosted by Dam Pillow Fight and Infaders.

Pillow Fight on Dam Square: What is Happening and How?

The celebration starts around the Monument at 3 PM exactly. Armed with their pillows and ready to have fun, people wait for the countdown, and then the fight begins. It usually becomes so intense that the cobblestones around the Monument end up covered in a thick layer of fluffy white feathers.

“It’s very simple and entertaining for all ages, so bring your friends, kids and grandparents!” says Niels Buurman. Since the location is public, a lot of people can take part, either fighting or simply enjoying the show.

Take a look at the aftermovies to get the right vibe about the International Pillow Fight Day:

Being out there on the battlefield at first, Niels Buurman quit fighting a few years ago to entertain the crowd with music. With a portable sound system in rocket-shaped backpacks, the organizers manage to bring even more fun to the battle lines.

“Music is where people get their second wind from,” says Niels. While it’s hard to keep up a fight for hours straight, music makes people stay for a bit longer, hanging out with each other. Moreover, when a good song starts, they usually get in a fight again.

Photo by Romy Arroyo Fernandez

When all the fun is over, the pillow fight fans join forces to clean up the square. “While we feel like this public space is ours to claim for a good cause, we also must take the responsibility for cleaning it up”, empathizes Niels.

Rules & Tips

The organizers of the pillow fight on Dam Square rely on your goodwill and don’t have many rules. Basically, showing up with a pillow is enough to take part. However, there are few more things to keep in mind:

  • Bring your own pillow and note that it has to be soft! Consider using a second-hand one as it would be a shame to waste a new pillow. If you love birds, get one that is feather free.
  • Invite your friends. The International Pillow Fight Day is fun for all ages, genders, languages and tastes, so invite your pals, kids and grandparents!
  • Dress for the occasion. Put on comfy clothes and don’t bring any valuables. Since there will be lots of feathers flying around, goggles and dust masks are highly recommended.
  • Photo by Romy Arroyo Fernandez
  • Wait for the countdown. The fight starts exactly at 3 PM, so come in time to be there for the “peak moment” and don’t start fighting before the signal.
  • Choose your battles wisely. Do not attack people without pillows or those with cameras and try to pick on someone your own size.
  • Help with the cleaning after the pillow fight is over. Bring garbage bags, gloves and brooms and help to clean up the fluffy mess you’ve created. Make sure the event takes place again next year!
  • Donate a spare blanket. Have fun at the pillow fight and do a good deed at the same time. Bring spare blankets and/or sleeping bags to the Lion Statue near Bijenkorf, and those will be taken to the refugees in Calais.


  • Have a good pillow fight and stay tuned with AmsterDO to be there for all the great events in the future!

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    Content Manager at AmsterDO. A writing enthusiast head over heels in love with Amsterdam. Covered events like Keukenhof, Amsterdam Light Festival, Dutch Ice Sculpture Festival, Valhalla Festival, Movember Run, Preview of Loving Vincent at The Van Gogh Museum.

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