Amsterdam music festival season 2023
Amsterdam’s music festival scene has become a major attraction for music lovers from all over the world. With a wide range of festivals featuring diverse genres, from electronic dance music to classical and jazz, Amsterdam has something to offer for everyone. The city’s stunning venues and exceptional lineups have made Amsterdam a hot spot for music festivals. In this article, we will take a closer look at the top music festivals in Amsterdam, the best venues to host them, and what to expect when attending these events.
Introduction to Amsterdam’s Music Festival Scene
Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands, is famous for its vibrant nightlife and music festival scene. The city is home to some of the biggest and most popular music festivals in Europe, attracting music lovers from all over the world. From electronic music to indie rock, Amsterdam has something for everyone. In this article, we will take a closer look at the history of Amsterdam’s music festival scene, the most popular festivals, the best venues, and what to expect at these events.
Overview of Amsterdam’s Music Festival History
Amsterdam’s music festival scene has a rich history, dating back to the 1960s when the city became a hub for counterculture movements. The first music festival in Amsterdam, the Holland Pop Festival, was held in 1970, featuring artists like Pink Floyd, Santana, and Jefferson Airplane. Since then, Amsterdam has become a hot spot for music festivals, attracting both local and international artists.
Top Music Festivals in Amsterdam
Lente Kabinet, 27-28 May 2023, Het Twiske
Fondly referred to as the little sister festival to Dekmantel, Lente Kabinet unfolds each Spring in the stunning green surroundings of Het Twiske just north of Amsterdam. Expect a dazzling line-up spread across various indoor and outdoor stages, with smaller DJ booths frequently set up in the woods to provide a magical soundtrack beneath the trees and art installations.
Genre: house, techno, disco.
Famous acts: Antal, Peggy Gou, Todd Terje, Palms Trax, Young Marco, Peach, Job Jobse, Fatima Yamaha.
Amsterdam Open Air, 3-4 June 2023, Gaasperpark
Amsterdam Open Air is an annual outdoor music festival that takes place in the Gaasperpark. The festival features a diverse lineup, with performers from various genres, including electronic, hip hop, and indie rock. Amsterdam Open Air is the perfect event for those who want to enjoy great music in a beautiful natural setting. It offers a diverse lineup, with performers like Disclosure, Jorja Smith, and Charlotte de Witte.
Genre: house, techno, dubstep, electro, hip-hop.
Famous acts: Claptone, Kerri Chandler, Goldbland, De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig, Froukje, Kris Kross Amsterdam, Henrik Schwarz, Joris Voorn.
Luminosity Beach Festival, 22-24 June 2023, Bloemendaal aan Zee
Head to the shores of Bloemendaal aan Zee for Luminosity, an annual festival, where three days of pure trance are on the cards. Every summer edition, major international acts and up-and-coming talents take to the decks delivering blistering sets so you can feel the beats and the sand between your toes.
Awakenings Festival, 7-9 July 2023, Spaarnwoude
Awakenings Festival is the largest techno festival in the world, featuring multiple stages and world-renowned DJs. The festival takes place in the iconic Gashouder, a former gasworks building that has become one of Amsterdam’s most iconic venues. Awakenings Festival is the largest techno festival in the world, attracting over 80,000 visitors annually. It is taking place three times per year, starting 7-9 April, during Easter, 13-14 May (Spring season) & 7-9 July 2023 in the summer period.
Famous acts: Richie Hawtin, Robert Hood, Joris Voorn, Amelie Lens, Charlotte de Witte, Paul Kalkbrenner, Nina Kraviz, Reiner Zonnenveld.
Milkshake, 28-31 July 2023, Westerpark
An iconic festival which takes place during Queer & Pride Amsterdam, Milkshake is an event with a clear message about respect, freedom, love and tolerance. Each stage has its own defining character and acts. You can expect everything from top DJs to drag acts, a queer chess club tent and colourful performance art. Of course, you’ll need to dress to impress, with loads of glitter guaranteed.
Genre: house, disco, pop, techno, R&B and dancehall.
Dekmantel, 3-7 August 2023, Amsterdamse Bos
This festival takes place each August and lasts for multiple days. The electronic music of this event attracts people of all ages and grows in popularity every year. Dekmantel has added several other locations for their Dekmantel aan ‘t IJ programme (2-3 August). These include Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, Tolhuistuin, Parallel and Shelter, where you’ll find close listening sessions, live concerts, lectures and film screenings.
Genre: house, techno.
Famous acts: Four Tet, Jeff Mills, Jamie XX, Omar S, Jon Hopkins, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Thundercat.
Loveland, 12-13 August, Sloterpark
Now running for 25 years, Loveland takes over the lush green Sloterpark in August for a two-day weekend every August. Whilst the focus is on house and techno, you can always expect a friendly and diverse crowd enjoying cheerful tunes that everyone can dance to. Don’t miss the iconic Loveland van Oranje party, which takes place on King’s Day (27 April) each year with a line-up, as they say, that consists only of royalty.
Genre: house, techno.
Famous acts: Carl Cox, Solomon, Adriatique, Mall Grab, Maceo Plex, Âme, Dixon, Moody Mehran, Olympe, Joris Voorn, Dam Swindle.
Lowlands, 18-20 August 2023, Biddinghuizen
Every year, more than 55,000 pilgrims make the trek to the middle of the Dutch countryside for this musical paradise. The line-up at Lowlands invariably features some of the world’s best performers and musicians from the more alternative side of the spectrum. There are also restaurants, a market, relaxation rooms, arts, theatre, literature and a sauna and hot tub area.
Genre: rock, pop, electronic.
Famous acts: Kendrick Lamar, Jame Blake, Muse, The Prodigy, Bjork, Gorillaz, The XX, The Artic Monkeys.
Mysteryland, 25-27 August 2023, Haarlemmermeer
In August, the former Floriade site in Haarlemmermeer will transform into the most fairytale-like and diverse electronic music festival in the Netherlands for Mysteryland. Discover hundreds of upcoming talents and leading DJs from home and abroad, providing a dazzling party. There are also exhibitions by artist collectives and theatre makers, dance performances, the smallest cinema in the world and ‘spoken word’ performances. Camping is optional!
Genre: house, techno, hip-hop, trance, hardcore.
Famous acts: Sven Väth, Hardwell, Adam Beyer, Diøn, James Hype, Ronnie Flex, Sound Rush, Cosmic Gate.
ADE: Amsterdam Dance Event, 18-22 October 2023, citywide
ADE (Amsterdam Dance Event) is the largest electronic music festival in Amsterdam. It is a five-day event that features over 2,500 artists from around the world. The festival attracts over 400,000 visitors annually and takes place in various venues across the city (including the iconic Melkweg, Paradiso, and the Gashouder). ADE is the perfect event for electronic music enthusiasts, with performances from top DJs and producers.
Genre: electro, trance.
Famous Acts: Armin van Buuren, David Guetta, Tiësto.
The Popularity of Amsterdam’s Music Festivals
The popularity of Amsterdam’s music festivals has been growing in recent years, with millions of visitors attending these events annually. The city’s vibrant music scene, combined with its scenic canals and historic architecture, makes it the perfect destination for music lovers. The festivals offer a unique experience for attendees, with top-notch performances, diverse lineups, and a lively atmosphere!