Expat Essentials

New for 2019: Dispatches’ always-updated list of the best Dutch music festivals

(Editor’s note: We’ve gotten several emails and FB messages that The Flying Dutch is canceled for 2019 because local officials have stated the crowds are too large. More as we know more. But we’ve added We Are Electric on the advice of Dispatches’ in-house group of festival aficionados/advisers.)

Last year, we gave you a year’s worth of Dutch music festivals to check out, and that post was a hit with Dispatches readers. So, we’ve decided to do it again for 2019 and beyond with an always-updated list of the best Dutch music festivals to carry you through 2019.

Thus, with summer’s warmth a few weeks away, here’s what you should be checking out in the Netherlands from late May onward. From EDM to melodic death metal, from Dutch pop to international superstars, we’ve got it all.

Also, bear in mind that these Dutch festivals sell out very, very quickly every year, so don’t be a procrastinator.

If we forgot your fav fest, feel free to let us know at terry@dispatcheseurope.com or cameron@dispatcheseurope.com and we’ll add it.

Amsterdam – Diynamic Festival: The 2019 edition of Diynamic Festival Amsterdam in the Amsterdam forest will be the first time that this annual underground EDM gathering created by Diynamic producer/label president Mladen Solomun will move to Saturday 1 June from the normal Friday schedule. The reasoning is that on their off day, fans can party from noon until 11 p.m. without interruptions from work or school. Good thinking.

This is also the first year Diynamic has invited major artists who are not (yet) part of the agency or label history, but are valued by Solomun including Adriatique, Apparat (DJ Set), ELAX (aka Boys Noize), Gerd Janson, Kollektiv Turmstrasse, Mano Le Tough, Stimming, Tale Of Us, and more.

You can get tickets here for 48 euros.

Amsterdam – Loveland Festival: Big Names at a Big Festival in the new capital of House and Techno. Carl Cox and Diynamic label founder Solomun will be joined by Jamie Jones, Maceo Plex, Maya, Stephan Bodzin, Marco Carola, Âme and many more.

This summer, the festival at Sloter Park will be a full weekend event on 11 & 12 August. Tickets start at 35 euros and you can get them here.

CANCELED FOR 2019 Amsterdam, Eindhoven and Rotterdam – The Flying Dutch: Those darn Dutch. They pretty much rule the EDM world with a million festivals, Amsterdam’s clubs and the world’s top DJs. But oh no, that wasn’t enough.

So, they added helicopters flying a circuit between three major cities shuttling those acts including Afrojack, Armin van Buuren and Tïesto to play for fans across the Netherlands.

This year, TFD is scheduled for 2 June. This sells out every year really quickly. So if you’re an expat lucky enough to live in one of these three cities, watch the TFD website tickets page here to see when tickets go on sales.

Coolest. Concept. Ever.

Arnhem – Free Your Mind Festival: On the day before (1 June) Flying Dutch, FYMF is targeted at “the dreamers among us” according to the release we got from Christoper Alderon. And the approach is novel.

Instead of just one theme or genre, the music is divided up by into Mind, Spirit, Heart, Soul and Body. How they match the act to the category, we’re not sure. But this is definitely one of the Netherlands’ cooler festivals with some big names including Kölsch and Boris Brejcha. And the location under the main bridge in Arnhem – and just across from Centrum – is easy to get to from just about all of the Netherlands.

Here are the acts under their category:

MIND

  • ADIN
  • Boris Brejcha
  • Henrik Schwarz
  • Joris Voorn
  • Kölsch
  • Patrice Baumel
  • Sasha

SPIRIT

  • Amelie Lens
  • Anastasia Kristensen
  • Chris Liebing
  • Park & Sons
  • ROD
  • Rhoda
  • Rodhad

HEART

  • Eddie Amore
  • Felix & Jeremy
  • Karim Soliman
  • Luuk van Dijk b2b ANOTR
  • Michel de Hey
  • Richy Ahmed
  • Wouter S

SOUL

  • Ben Rau
  • DJ Caspa b2b Daniel Williamsen
  • KAMARA
  • Luna Ludmila
  • Ovis b2b Robert Monarch
  • Project89

BODY

  • Blackfox
  • Bliek
  • Keanu Joshi
  • Portable Paradise
  • Remy
  • Talee b2b Vanepatch
  • Warren Fellow

Tickets start at 47 euros and you can get yours here.

Biddinghuizen – Lowlands Festival: A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise — Lowlands, for short — transforms the small village of Biddinghuizen into a bustling city of more than 60,000 music lovers for three days in the middle of August, bringing with them over 250 performers of all genres.

There are no less than 12 stages and everything you could ever want from a festival.

Among the 250-plus expected to rock the Lowlands 16 through 18 August include Tame Impala, A$AP Rocky, New Order, Giorgio Moroder, Lil Uzi Vert, Ronnie Flex & Deuxperience, Honey Dijon, Ziggy Marley, Moonlight Benjamin, The Chats, and more.

Tickets are available through Ticketmaster Netherlands, and are just 210 euros for the full weekend.

Eindhoven – Dynamo Metalfest: Way back in the mid-Eighties, the Dynamo rock club in our home of Eindhoven put together a party to celebrate its fifth anniversary. This party would become one of the heaviest festivals in the Netherlands, Dynamo Open Air.

After a rough few years in the 2000s, the festival would return as a one-day affair in 2015, dubbed the Dynamo Metalfest. This, the fourth year of this incarnation, will once again be held at Ijsbaan Eindhoven 19 and 20 July. All of that ice, of course, will go into keeping your beer cold as you enjoy the smooth sounds of Carcass, Arch Enemy, Soulfly, Philip H. Anselmo & the Illegals, Armored Saint, and Baest.

Tickets to this metal affair are just 38.50 euros for both days, and you can get them here.

Langoed Velder – We Are Electric: This festival between Tilburg and Eindhoven is one only the Dutch fans know about. But this year, the lineup includes The Chemical Brothers, Richie Hawten, Nina Kraviz and Charlotte de Witte.

We Are Electric is 5 through 7 July and tickets start at 48.50 for just one day. But there are soooo many options including group tickets with group camping for about 680 euros. You can get them here.

Be sure to check out the website (which is very good) on this one because there are lots of daytime activities, a few rules you should know about (this is the Netherlands) and lots of options for camping and other stuff.

For our American expats, this is a combination of Woodstock, a rave and an old-fashion Southern field party.

Haarlemmermeer – Mysteryland: Near Amsterdam in Haarlemmermeer is one of the capital city’s biggest music festivals, Mysteryland. The long-running extravaganza “renowned for its creativity and jaw-dropping production” celebrated its 25th anniversary back in 2018, and is ready to make the next 25 just as amazing.

From 23 through 25 August, Mysteryland will welcome over 300 artists to its 16 “unique and colorful stages,” including Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Martin Garrix, Loud Luxury, Sam Feldt, Luna, Warface, Diplo, Paul Oakenfold, Groove Armada, and more. Plus, campers will have their own special lineup to groove to, featuring Oliver Heldens, La Fuente, Team Rush Hour, Zonderling, and more.

A weekend ticket will set you back 119.50 euros, 189 euros with camping included. A premium VIP weekend ticket is 289 euros. Day tickets are also available, and all can be purchased here.

Hilvarenbeek – Best Kept Secret: Seven years ago, a few concert organizers put on a three-day festival around the forests of Beekse Bergen in Hilvarenbeek, filled with sounds from all sorts of performers.

Today, Best Kept Secret is still going strong, and will make the forest come alive with the sound of music 31 May through 2 June. Who’s performing this year? Carly Rae Jepsen, Bon Iver, Interpol, Guided By Voices, Death Grips, Liz Phair, Primal Scream, Princess Nokia, Catnap, Denzel Himself, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, Snail Mail, Sports Team, Viagra Boys, and so on.

A full weekend with camping is 175 euros, 152.50 without, and each day is only 80 euros to attend. You can check out all the options here.

Hilvarenbeek – Woo Hah: This one’s for the hip hop fans in our readership. Since 2014, the organizers behind the Woo Hah Festival kept everybody all in check with the best national and international hip hop acts to rock the house, with other related activities rounded out the whole package.

This year’s Woo Hah, held from 12 through 14 July, is headlined by Travis Scott and Stormzy, with acts like Bizzey, DJ Maximum, Flatbush Zombies, Jiri11, Kodak Black, Lil Uzi Vert, Pusha-T, Saweetie, The Gaslamp Killer, and Tokimonsta providing backup.

A weekend ticket is 134 euros, 169 euros with camping, and can be had here.

Landgraaf — Pinkpop: Fifty years ago on the Pentecost (Pinksteren in het Nederlands) in the town of Geleen, a small music festival was born. Its name? Pinkpop.

Today, the now-three-day affair will be celebrating its golden anniversary 8 through 10 June at Megaland in Landgraaf with a lineup worthy of such a milestone. We’re talking Fleetwood Mac, The Cure, Tenacious D, Major Lazer, Dutch rock long-runners Golden Earring, Die Antwoord, The Pretenders, Armin Van Buuren, Slash ft. Myles Kennedy & the Conspirators, and so many more.

Ticket sales just started in the middle of March, so there should be plenty still available for purchase. A single day will set you back 100 euros, while a full weekend pass (with camping) is just 220 euros. You can also snag a collector’s ticket for an additional 4.95 euros, which you probably should.

Nijmegen – Valkhof Festival: Need more variety in your life? Then head up to Nijmegen, Netherlands for the 2019 edition of the Valkhof Festival 13 through 19 July.

For a whole week, experience more than 120 acts from the Netherlands and beyond, covering post-punk and prog, pop and rock, funk and hip hop, and so on. This year’s lineup thus far includes the likes of Jonathan Bree, S10, Sudan Archives, Black Midi, Ares, DJ Pure, and Fontaines D.C.

And the best part? Admission is free.

Roermond – Solar Weekend Festival: Since 2005, Roermond’s Solar Weekend Festival has always brought the wubs and dubs together with pop sounds over four days under the early August summer sun, this year from 1 through 4 August.

What began as “a progressive initiative,” Solar Weekend has grown to become “a multi-day festival full of creativity, color and love!” This year happens to be the festival’s 15th anniversary, so the organizers have begun putting together its varied lineup to celebrate the milestone. De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig, Kamping Kitsch Club Soundsystem, Skoften Sloopservice, and Len Faki are just a few of the names scheduled to perform in Roermond.

A full four-day ticket is 140 euros, with other options available.

Rotterdam – North Sea Jazz Festival: The North Sea Jazz Festival is the Netherlands’ biggest jazz festival, and has a long history dating back to 1976. Both renowned artists and young talents take the stage at North Sea Jazz, and through jazz is a big part of the festival, blues, soul, funk, hip hop and pop music are also welcome.

Over 150 performances will take place at the festival’s 15 stages during the weekend of 12 through 14 July, including Anita Baker, Diana Krall, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Bobby McFerrin, Janelle Monáe, Tower of Power, Burt Bacharach, Macy Gray, Toto, Chance the Rapper, Hall & Oates, and more.

While three-day passes and certain shows are sold-out already, there are some day tickets available for 95 euros, which you can get here.

Wildeburg – Wildeburg Festival: This one is on us. Even though its 12 thru 14 July, we’re still telling you about Wildeburg too late to get tickets for 2019 (though not to get on the waiting list). This outdoor festival north of Amsterdam is a favorite of all our Dutch friends, and have been going for years and years. It’s that cool. (Check out the vid above.)

This year, Wildeburg features at least 70 acts on four stages. There’s camping, food and bands playing during the day in what is essentially a small village in the middle of nowhere. And strictly speaking, this isn’t an EDM event – the music is from lots of genres.

You can get on the waiting list here … and there’s always next year.

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