As a modern, vibrant and diverse city Amsterdam will host many different festivals over the forthcoming year – this includes events dedicated to music, theatre, film and much more besides.
If you’re planning a visit to Amsterdam in 2012 and want to go to a festival while you’re there, here’s a run-down of each month’s best events.
March: The Silent Procession
This traditionally religious festival at first might seem a bit odd compared to Amsterdam’s reputation as a party city, but it reflects the city’s history as an important centre for the Catholic community.
It commemorates the 1345 ‘Miracle of Amsterdam’, which involved the salvation of a dying man, and attracts thousands to walk silently through the city.
April: Queens day
Queens day is a national celebration that is particularly poignant in Amsterdam, with 750,000 visitors.
They all wear orange, the national colour of Holland, and enjoy street stalls, games and parties.
May: Art Amsterdam
This modern art fair draws visitors from around the world to see the best in modern and contemporary art.
June: Holland Festival
The Holland festival is an international performing arts event that includes theatre, dance and cinema – over the month long festival, performances take place across the city, and include both traditional and experimental artists in various different languages.
July: Amsterdam Roots Festival
Say hello to five days of roots music with a showcase of international bands and DJs.
Much of the music is European in origin, but the festival includes acts from across the world.
The first four days of the festival take place in venues across the city – the last day is a free open-air event with seven stages.
August: Grachten festival
This classical music festival includes over eighty performances from artists playing everything from professional clarinets to violins. Venues are spread across the city and include not just traditional concert halls but open-air stages, historic buildings and even people’s homes.
September: Robodock Arts Festival
The industrial setting of the Robodock Arts Festival creates a unique experience, with fire performances and gritty machinery.
Probably one of the most unusual festivals the city has to offer.
October: Amsterdam Dance Event
One of Europe’s biggest dance festivals, the Amsterdam Dance Event attracts over 110,000 ravers each year – it also attracts both big names in dance music, and some smaller, experimental and up-coming acts.
Running over four days the event includes a wide range of electronic music such as house, drum and bass, trance and techno.
November: International Documentary Film Festival
Documentaries about anything and everything show at venues across the city centre – the festival acts as a place for both professionals and audiences to gain inspiration.
If you’re inspired by the idea of attending a festival in Amsterdam the next thing to do is to find somewhere to stay.
You may even hear some festival stories to gear you up for your own adventure!