Photo: Eric Staller
Amsterdam: Festivals Galore
The city of Amsterdam hosts a plethora of festivals in the summer, when the skies are clear and blue, the sun shines brightly and true, and the people are happy to spend most of the available time outdoors. The festivals are of many kinds but they all reflect the pluralistic ethos of this great and friendly metropolis. Here are the more important festivals that are worthy of special mention and you can have a whale of a time, by participating in them.
OPEN AIR THEATRE: VONDELPARK
Beginning from June 2 and ending on August 25, 2013, the Vondelpark Open Air Theatre unlocks a program that is three months long and includes cabaret, dance, jazz, comedy, children’s theatre, and music of all genres.
The Vondelpark has a long history of theatre and music. What is popularly known as “Vondelpark Parties” were organized in the famous park, with both the Vondelpark Stage and Music Pavilion hosting operetta, music and dance performances through the years.
The freshness of open air
The Vondelpark Open Air Theatre was initiated as early as 1974, by merging the “Vondelpark Parties” as well as the so-called “Happenings”, which is the name imparted to the whole series of performances organized at that time. Performances are conducted on Friday, Saturday as well as Sunday all through the summer. Although there is no entry fee, but all voluntary donations always welcome.
THE HORTUS FESTIVAL
Attending the Hortus Festival is a fine way of spending a cultured, yet idyllic summer evening. It is essentially a festival ofclassical music that is usually held at Amsterdam’s botanical garden, on certain dates that fall between July 18 and August 22, 2013.
Live classical performances
The Hortus Festival 2013 celebrates its 10th edition featuring performances of live classical music at the Orangery terrace of Amsterdam’s Hortus Botanicus, on several Thursday evenings in July as well as August. The performances can be as diverse as passionate tango to funky jazz. The Orangery arranges the program of every performance, according to the characteristic of each act.
the Hortus Festival 2013, features a clear Dutch-Russian slant, that includes a incomparable performance of Le Sacre du Printemps by Stravinsky for four pianos with the Berlage Saxophone Quartet paying homage to the great saxophonist William Raaijman, who was the founder of the great festival, and whose eventful life came to a sad end in 2007.
SOUTH EAST JAZZ FESTIVAL
The fifth annual edition of the South East Jazz Festival will be held at Amsterdam ArenA on August 3, 2013. The unique festival features the cream of acts from the world of jazz music, rolling out cool tunes on the warm summer night.
Five stages of swing
An incredible 15 bands as also performers will perform on the five stages of the event this year. Some of the highpoints of the festival are performances by the great Belgian jazz artist Toots Thielemans, the funk and acid jazz power maestros Brand New Heavies as well as the South American great Matt Bianco.
APPLESAP FRESH MUSIC FESTIVAL
Appelsap means apple juice and this incomparable event symbolizes everything that is juicy and fresh. The gala event is due to be held on Saturday, August 10, 2013 at Amsterdam’s well known Oosterpark’s fresh-air ambiance. After refreshing yourself with a couple of fresh drinks, you can enjoy a plethora of fresh electro and hip-hop acts, as well as a crateful of fresh and tangy DJs!
Electro and Hip-hop line-up
Applesap Fresh Musical Festival 2013 features the elite of international as well as Dutch hip-hop artists on the resounding stage along with the very cream of the rap, electronic as also soul scenes. Big names such as Waka Flocka Flame, Flatbush Zombies, The Opposites, Tawiah, Cinnaman, Jackmaster, Benji-B and Vic Crezée have already been announced for 2013.
Apart from these, the traditionally fervent Appelsap throngs will help to make certain that the festival’s amps as well as vibes get turned up way high, yet again on this extra special day at the Oosterpark. So like Cliff Richard so beautifully once sang, “put on your dancing shoes” and alsoput down that picnic basket. For one thing, you’ll hardly have the time to sit yourself down and for another there is the delectable international cuisine that is up for grabs. And in case you feel like going on partying even after the sun goes down, there is a traditional after-party in the city, the location for this year is yet to be annouced.
Tickets are available at the Appelsap website with €15 for early birds or the usual €29. If you haven’t bought your tickets early enough ant want to buy them on the festival day, it will cost you as much as €35 and that too subject to availability.
LUMINOSITY BEACH FESTIVAL
This famous festival is held on August 17 and 18 on the shores of the much favored Blijburg aan Zee, the city beach in Amsterdam. It will last the whole weekend and features the finest in trance, as the foremost international acts as well as up-and-coming performers land on the decks.
Get into a trance under the sun
At this alfresco dance event, feel free to experience the vibes on the sand as well as a big dance floor. Luminosity 2013 is scheduled to feature the sets by Paul Oakenfold, the trance mainstay from England, along with John O’Callaghan, the Irish DJ and Sean Tyas of New York and many more.
FESTIVAL WHY NOT
This highly exciting event is hosted by De Stichting de Vreemde Beweging. It is a music, dance, and art fair, held customarily during the period of August 22 through August 24, 2013. Performances take place at four venues such as Living Room West and Mediamatic Fabriek.
Festival Why Not is in its fourth year in 2013, and it strives to provide a welcoming as well as inviting spot for all those who are not wholly familiar with the field of dance. The fest also includes films and live music. The dancers scheduled to perform this year consists of Olga Tsvetkova, Paula Chavez as also Adva Zakai. On the closing evening of the event, there will also be an after party at the Roest.
THE WAVE FESTIVAL
The organizers of the intimate dance event the Wave Festival are keen to provide all attendees with a cozy, easy-going event than a full scale bonanza. The setting of the festival, as it is between the lake and the adjacent forest, is just perfect. The 2013 music line-up includes such famous names like Deepchord, the electronic maestro from Detroit, Delta Funktionen the genre-defiant performer, and Basic Soul Unit, the deep house producer from Canada.
Set on the lush shores of the lake De Stootersplas and situated in the north of the city, this house as well as techno festival literally explodes at the Paviljoen ‘t Twiske on August 17. The second edition of Wave features fine food, drinks, chill and shopping.
SUMMER DANCE FOREVER
Summer Dance Festival, the international dance festival is held from August 22 – 29, 2013, focusing it’s the spotlights steadily on the urban dance genre right at the heart of the city Amsterdam. With performances in a plethora of dance genres, the event will kick start a whole week of workshops, parties, as well as “battles” at several locations throughout the city.
The summer dance festival consists of a series of international acts at a few of Amsterdam’s cool venues. Here is a list of the major events:
Thursday, August 22: Venue Paradiso. Kick Off Summer Dance Forever, presenting Father Father as well as Wanted Posser Father at 17:00, with the performances beginning at 17:30.
Saturday, August 24: Venue MC Theatre. The House Dance Forever Battle is to be hosted by Tatsuo, Kapela and Cricket, the judges at 15:00. The battle begins at 17:00 sharp.
Wednesday, August 26 to Wednesday, August 28. Venue Lucia Marthas Dance Academy. Workshops conducted by a series of dancers hailing from around the world. Various times.
GROEN ALS GRAS
If you want to dance away all your cares, there is no better venue for you to do it than Groen Als Gras. The exciting event is a delightful lakeside festival set among the verdant ambience of the Gaasperplas, performing scores of electronic acts on five stages. The Groen Als Gras 2013 annual deep house festival includes live performances by Belgian duo Mugwump, the famed French DJ Jennifer Cardini, and German electronic music producers such as Tube & Berger, and many more.
Possibly the perfect alternative if you feel that full-tilt techno festivals are not up to the mark, the perfect possible alternative for you is Groen Als Gras Festival which by the way, means Green as the Grass Festival. It takes place this summer on August 11, at the recreation grounds of Gaasperplas located in southeast Amsterdam.
DANCE VALLEY 2913
Twenty years have passed since the advent of Dance Valley which transformed every hillock of Spaarnwoude into the pulsating heart of all lovers of dance. This distinctive festival will be held on August 3, 2013.
Dance Valley, dubbed the Woodstock of Dance is a jam packed event, featuring a plethora of areas, with a finer line-up than before. Last year’s Dance Valley saw such major names such as Afrojack, Laidback Luke, Goose, Ferry Corsten, Robby Rivera, Housequake, Marco Bailey, and Funkerman.
As a substantial addition to the city’s festival agenda, the multidiscipline festival presents four jam-packed weekends depicting Dutch culture at the Oostpunt grounds located in Amsterdam Oost. This year the Magneet Festival will be held on Friday, August 23 through Sunday, September 15, 2013.
This unique multifaceted festival invites every visitor to become involved in the event by submitting his/her own ideas and of course, even partaking in the festival itself. This brings about a whole array of music, art, theatre, and experimental architecture to the venue.
Two fortnights of fun
The event essentially comes alive during four weekends viz., Fridays, Saturdays as also Sundays between 5:00 – 01:00. There are also specific days of sporting titles like Shoeless on August 31, The Public Decides on September 6, Gay Sunday on September 8 as well as Burn on September 15, the final night of the whole festival. Tickets can be had from the website of the Magneet Festival with day tickets at 12.50 Euros or 75 Euros for entry to the whole of the festival.
THE MYSTERY LAND FESTIVAL
With enchanting surroundings, intimate spaces and wide open fields, Mysteryland has earned a reputation of being one of the foremost exclusive dance festival arenas on earth. This year the festival is due to be held at the Floriade festival grounds situated at Haarlemmermeer on Saturday, August 24, 2013.
Mysteryland includes a wide array of creative events together with the annual detonation of diverse electronic musical modes that range from cutting-edge hip-hop, dubstep, and disco featuring top international performers in techno, house, and electro.
As to this year, around 100 artists will perform facing an incredible 60,000 partygoers. The festival program consists of exhibitions made possible by many artistic collectives as well as theatre makers also.
Tickets cost 69.75 Euros.
More information can be had from the websites of the festivals.