Winter is almost over, and while it is still pretty cold outside, we are already more and more thinking about the upcoming spring and summer times. Luckily, our client portfolio often reminds us of the fun times ahead, as we work with many clients in the events industry. Apart from working with them, the Hide & Seek team also loves to attend festivals! We know how difficult it can be to decide which festivals to attend each year, which is why we have created a list of the best festivals to attend in Amsterdam this spring and summer.
The first festival coming up on our list is DGTL. This Amsterdam-born festival has grown into a big international brand, with editions all over the world. Some locations are Tel-Aviv, Mumbai, Santiago, São Paulo, and there are many more to come. With electronic music at its core, DGTL covers the full musical spectrum and ranges from disco to house, dance music to techno, and everything in between. This year is the festival’s 10th year anniversary. To make the festival even more special they announced a collaboration with Boiler Room by adding an iconic Boiler Room stage to the line-up. The festival will take place from the 7th to the 9th of April at NDSM Docklands in Amsterdam-Noord.
Moving on we have Milkshake, the most inclusive festival around. Milkshake is a multi-genre music festival where almost any type of music can be found. Although, music is not the only thing that makes this festival so special. Milkshake is the festival ‘for all who love’, in other words: everyone is welcome here! Expect a (glittery) extravaganza where every type of love is celebrated and nothing is too much. You better get your sparkles on! Milkshake is happening at Westerpark from the 28th to the 30th of July.
The next festival on our list is Mystic Garden. This festival feels more like you are taking part in a fairytale. The minute you step into the woods you are starting a magical journey. Be prepared for breathtaking decor and an amazing location, all while enjoying the beats of great DJs. Wander through the woods to explore different stages and magical creatures, or drift away on the house/techno beats. You can visit the festival on the 17th of June in Sloterpark Amsterdam.
Festivals outside of Amsterdam
Amsterdam is great, however there are also some great festivals outside of the capital of dance music. Therefore, we also listed a few festivals that take place elsewhere:
Can’t wait for Milkshake in July? Then you don’t want to miss out on the Rotterdam Pride festival. This one-day festival happens during the Rotterdam Gay Pride 2023 – which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year – and takes place on June 3rd in Rotterdam, Willemsplein. Here, after the pride walk, you can enjoy an extensive program full of performances of all kinds, as well as other events such as a drag dinner, a rainbow brunch, a bingo night, cinema screenings, and afterparties.
You cannot make a festival list without mentioning Lowlands. This festival takes place from the 18th to the 20th of August at Walibi Holland in Biddinghuizen, about 60 km outside of Amsterdam. A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise, which is the official name, is a music and camping festival that calls itself a true backpacker’s “Garden of Eden and Holland’s most adventurous cultural outdoor event. It offers a wide variety of entertainment, ranging from music, film, stand-up comedy, visual arts, literature, and street theatre. Hosting twelve stages, including cinema and theatre, it welcomes around 60.000 visitors each summer. If you are a fan of music, camping, and adventure, Lowlands might be the perfect summer holiday extravaganza for you. Pro tip: don’t waste your best on the first night! With 4 days of partying consider it a marathon, not a sprint.
So far we have mainly mentioned house/techno festivals, but we do have some hardcore enthusiasts in a team as well. Their advice: include Dominator festival on your bucket list. It is the biggest hardcore festival in the world, taking place on the 14th and 15th of July in Eersel, The Netherlands. This year’s edition is called ‘voyage of the damned’. Around the festival they created a story of cursed pirates that have been sailing for over 300 years and now their curse is about to be lifted, you should be prepared to meet the most notorious raiders in history. Expect DJs like Angerfist, Paul Elstak, and Korsakoff, tons of fireworks, camping, and many international hardcore lovers! We think it’s safe to say: go hard or go home.
The next festival also takes place in Noord-Brabant and it is one of the biggest pop festivals in the province: of course, we are talking about Breda Live. This recommendation may be especially interesting for Dutch people because here you can expect the best of artists from the Netherlands. But even if you don’t speak the language, you will certainly enjoy the amazing atmosphere at the festival, as they are known for throwing a good party in the South! Something about ‘Brabantse gezelligheid’. Music wise you can expect the best Dutch artists around, like Anouk, Suzan & Freek, and Mart Hoogkamer. Although, one of the performances might surprise you: DJ Hardwell. This world famous DJ grew up in Breda and, therefore, still performs here (almost) every year. If you are into Dutch pop music but you don’t live close to Breda, then make sure to check out ASM Festival (Arnhem, 26th of August) and Wantijlive (Dordrecht, 9th of June). Breda Live will be on the 7th and 8th of July. Unfortunately, DJ Hardwell will not be attending these…
For classical music enthusiasts, two main festivals should be on your list: September Me festival and Wonderfeel festival. Both festivals are centred around classical music, culture, and overall a more relaxed atmosphere. September Me, like the name already reveals, takes place from 21st to 24th of September in Amersfoort, The Netherlands. It is a special multidisciplinary festival program for young and old with a curious and open mind, put together by artistic leader Ragazze Quartet. Every year, the festival revolves around a new theme, and this year’s theme will be New Roads. New paths in music, art, history, and for humanity, find out all about the latest technological highlights, innovative concert experiences, failed inventions, and the evolution of musical instruments.
Wonderfeel festival is a three day outdoor festival for classical music with a pop festival’s unconstrained atmosphere. It takes place from 21st to 23rd of July in a 60-acre big nature reserve in ‘s-Graveland and hosts seven stages. Here, you can listen to over 400 top musicians, the most exciting newcomers as well as your classical music heroes, while lounging on benches and beanbags, and enjoying nature at its best. Wonderfeel offers something for everyone, you can expect anything from baroque to minimal and even pop music. Additionally, there are various other activities in the program, such as poetry and children’s activities.
Festivals outside of the Netherlands
For the last festival on our list, we have to go outside of the Netherlands, just over the border. Here you will find Parookaville: Germany’s biggest electronic music festival. This year is the seventh edition of the festival, which brings together more than 225.000 visitors from all over the world each year. The lineup consists of over 300 DJs, with some of the biggest names in electronic music, but also a lot of exciting up-and-coming artists. Next to the ten stages scattered throughout the airport, you can also find an amusement park with water slides, relaxation, and meditation areas, small markets with various stores and food stalls, and much more. It takes place from the 21st to the 23rd of July at the airport Weeze, close to the border of the south of Holland. If you love electronic music and want to see some of the biggest DJs in the world performing in front of more than 200.000 people, then make sure to grab a ticket before it’s sold out!