When you're hoping to catch one or more music festivals in Amsterdam during your visit to the Dutch capital, start planning for either a spring or summertime trip to the Netherlands.
The best music festivals in Amsterdam are held from March through to around the middle of October and there's a very good reason for that. It's called the climate.
Outdoor music festivals just don't have the same impact when you're standing under an umbrella and while Amsterdam may be a nirvana for electronic music fans, try doing some of your best techno dance moves with your feet caked in mud. You'll soon realize why the DGTL Festival and the Amsterdam Open Air Festival don't take place in mid-winter.
A music festival is not the sort of event you can take large bags to. Many of the music festivals in Amsterdam have strict security measures in place so turn up with a suitcase and you're more than likely to get turned away. Ticket or no ticket. Use a Bounce luggage storage facility in Amsterdam to store your stuff. It'll be safe in a secure luggage locker and you'll be free to get your boogie on without having to think twice about it.
If you're worried about how you're going to get to any of the festivals while you're staying in Amsterdam, don't be. The best way to get around Amsterdam is by public transport which is efficient, convenient, and as cheap as a cone of patatjes with pindasaus. If you've never had fries with peanut sauce before, don't miss trying them while you're there.
Best Music Festivals In Amsterdam In 2022
Don't Let Daddy Know
Don't Let Daddy Know, or DLDK for short is a music festival that began life in Ibiza and then, like an infectious virus, spread around the world. This festival is one of the first of Amsterdam's annual events and although it's had to be postponed for the past couple of years, 2022 included, it will be reappearing on the festival calendar in 2023 so make a note of it in your diary.
DLDK usually takes place at the beginning of March, anytime around the 4th to the 6th, and is held in the Ziggo Dome. It's an all-night electronic dance party that kicks off at ten and ends around seven the next morning or until the world-class DJs like Tiësto and Dimitri Vegas and brother, Like Mike, run out of steam.
DGTL Amsterdam Festival
The DGTL Festival is a three-day electronic music festival held over a long weekend in mid-April in Amsterdam's NDSM Docklands area. Before you get too excited and start booking your flight tickets, it's sadly over for this year, but as it sold out well in advance of opening, there's no harm in planning for the next one.
The DGTL Amsterdam Festival presents a lineup of first-class DJs playing multiple music genres including house, techno, hip hop, and electronic subgenres. The event begins on a Friday, but the main days for non-stop music day and night are Saturday and Sunday.
Music On Festival
The Music On Festival is a weekend event taking place in Havenpark on the 7th and 8th of May. It's one of the biggest and best festivals in Amsterdam in spring and attracts thousands of people. It's a turn-up early and stay late Amsterdam dance event that begins around midday and continues through until midnight on the Saturday and eleven on the Sunday.
Music On is all about techno and house and the lineup this year is as exceptional as the last festival which was held in 2019. Headlining the music festival will be Marco Carola, the founder, and Loco Dice plus many more top DJs of this music genre.
Amsterdam Open Air
If you can't live without going to one Amsterdam music festival this year, start packing your bags for the beginning of June. The Amsterdam Open Air Festival takes place on the 4th and 5th of June in the city's Gaasperpark.
This is a massive event that attracts around 40,000 people over the two days and is a colorful collaboration between the worlds of music, art, and fashion. The event organizers wholly support diminishing the human carbon footprint on the planet so this year any food served there will be completely vegetarian. Music at this festival is a combination of electronic, house, and hip hop plus many more different genres.
Mystic Garden Festival
The Mystic Garden Festival is a one-day event that takes place in Amsterdam's Sloterpark which is on Pres. Allendelaan. It's a 12-hour-long festival that begins at 11 am and calls it a day somewhere around 11 pm.
For the whole entire day of the festival, the park is transformed into a fairytale world. Myth meets music in an event similar to comic con but for lovers of fantasy rather than aficionados of superheroes. There are mythical creatures and fairies performing theater and dance throughout the event. The live music lineup is multi-genre and there are DJs later in the evening to help keep the party atmosphere going.
NB: The 2022 Mystic Garden Festival planned for the 18th of June has already sold out so if you fancy attending this fanciful fantasy festival, start thinking of 2023.
Amsterdam Roots Festival
The Amsterdam Roots Festival is a multi-ethnic event that takes place in several different venues around the city over various days and then cumulates on the final day in Oosterpark.
This annual festival kicks off on the 29th of June and continues through to the 3rd of July. Venues are expected to be places like Framer Framed, TapasTheater, and Bimhuis. The exact dates and locations of the performances and workshops are published closer to the festival date on the official website.
The grand finale of the festival in Oosterpark is a massive get-together called the Roots Open Air where there's nonstop music and dance performed by a lineup of live bands and international artists from Africa, Europe, and Latin America as well as DJs playing dance music.
The Milkshake Festival is scheduled to happen in 2022 on the 30th and 31st of July in Westerpark. This event is much more than a music festival as it's an event where you can also explore your sexual orientation without anyone you know knowing or caring about it.
The festival was created by two of the top nightclubs in Amsterdam to generate respect for all. If you're prudish or anti-gay then this is probably one event you may want to skip mainly because you won't be welcome and you'll put a dampener on everyone else's fun.
For this festival, think Gay Pride then triple it. It's wild, colorful, and absolute fun from the off until the end which is midday until 11 pm on both days. If you want to wear glitter, high heels, and a feather boa, go for it, these are the two days to do it.
There's never a boring moment at the Milkshake Festival no matter what music genre rocks your boat. Here they play everything from disco to pop, r&b, afro, trance, hip hop, and dancehall so there's no excuse for not hitting the dance floor.
The Loveland Festival is one of the best festivals held in Amsterdam during the summer. This mega two-day Amsterdam dance event will be held in Sloterpark this year on the 13th and 14th of August.
It's a multi-stage event, count on six stages at least, held on a peninsula that juts out into the park's lake where there's not just continuous house and techno music, but an Art Island, and a Relax Island too.
2022 is the 25th anniversary of the Loveland Festival so don't wait until the last minute to try and get hold of an entrance ticket.
The line up of DJs performing over the two days is far too long to mention all of them, but if you're into this music genre you may recognize names like Extrawelt, Jamie Jones, Ferro, Guy J, Butch, and Adam Beyer. They're just a few of the top names that will be hitting the decks at this year's Loveland.
The Saturday of the festival is the longest as it starts at 11 am and goes on for a straight 12 hours. That means you can sleep in and have time for the best brunch in Amsterdam on Sunday as the partying doesn't start until 1 pm.
If you're not into house, hip hop, techno, or any of the other similar genres of dance music that are generally played at the music festivals in Amsterdam, you'll probably be very pleased to find out about the Grachtenfestival.
The Grachtenfestival is a series of jazz and classical music concerts held indoors and out around Amsterdam from the 12th to the 21st of August in 2022.
This festival, also known as the Amsterdam Canal Festival, takes place in various locations throughout the city and on the city's waterways. In essence, it's a secret festival until the locations of performances are published on the official website as no one knows where they are going to be.
During the days the event is held, stages are constructed next to the canals or floating on them, and amateurs, as well as professional musicians, are given the chance to perform to the public.
If classical music is your thing, don't miss the main performance of this festival which isn't so secret and takes place on a makeshift stage set up on the Prinsengracht canal in front of the Hotel Pulitzer. The best way to arrive, sit back and enjoy the concert is on a canal boat. Do that and you'll definitely be doing it the Dutch way. It’s absolutely magical.
Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE)
The Amsterdam Dance Event, ADE, is the music festival to end all music festivals in Amsterdam. Spread over five days in October, a full pass to this event will cost you as much, if not more, than your accommodation.
This festival is more than a dance in the park event. Held in over 200 venues throughout the entire city, it features not just 2,500 DJs and musicians performing electronic music from all its subgenres, but workshops, lectures, conferences, film shows, and exhibitions.
ADE takes place this year from the 19th to the 23rd of October, both dates inclusive. The last time this festival was held, it drew around 400,000 people to the city. If you're planning on going, don't leave booking either your passes or your accommodation to the last minute.
NB: A full breakdown of the lineup of events, there's usually around a thousand, venues, and participants is published on the official ADE website in September.
Planning To Stay More Days In Amsterdam?
If you're planning on spending more time in the Dutch capital than your chosen music festival is being held for, you won't be short of things to do. You can easily fill three days in Amsterdam and then some. Visiting the museums in Amsterdam can turn into a full-time occupation there are so many. It's a great city for shopping too.
Street food addicts might want to think about scheduling their visit for early June when the TASTE Amsterdam Festival takes place. That way you get the best of both worlds – amazing street food and top-notch live music, but very little techno.
When you're not really into electronic music, techno, and house, which most of the Amsterdam music festivals are pretty much all about, consider a change of plan. Pack your wellies and waterproofs and go to Glastonbury in the UK instead.