Summer 2017 started months ago. Every weekend is packed with festivals. Every Dutch city, every town has its own festival. You follow the crowd on social media. They lead you to music festivals in the Netherlands. Friends take you by the hand and guide you to the best biological fairs. Ads on television and newspaper inspire you to buy summer festival tickets that are way beyond your budget. And sometimes, just sometimes, you just don’t know where to go. There’s simply too much choice and too much on offer. In those rare occasions you turn to Verita’s Visit and you check this list of my favourite summer festivals in South Holland.
Travel the World, Listen to its Music
In the 2nd weekend of June the Festival Wereld Delfshaven takes place in the city of ports and worldly vibes: Rotterdam.
The 16th of July. It’s time to loosen those hips on the swinging rhythm of the The Hague African Festival. Once a small festival in Delft, this festival has moved to the city of Peace and Justice to become thé sensational experience of July in The Hague city centre.
The 25-29th of July. The Rotterdam Summer Carnaval has merged with the world music festival Dunya. The result is Robin Rotterdam Unlimited. Four days of uplifting tunes, energetic dances and a multitude of colours. Worth seeing, but be prepared for the big festival crowd.
Spicy Classics or Crossover Jazz
The 14rd of July untill the 16th of July. Big Rivers Dordrecht doesn’t really fit into any kind of category. Besides a fantastic range of bands that play anything from jazz to punk the festival also offers art & theatre. In Dordrecht and in this festival there’s always something new to discover.
The 28th of June untill the 15th of July North Sea Jazz Round Town is for me the best combination of cruising on a bike through Rotterdam, having a drink on a summer terrace and getting that jazzy feeling. Although this appetizer of its big brother North Sea Jazz brings jazz in town, it also has a great mix of soul and a funky touch here and there.
The 27th of July untill the 6th of August Chamber Music Festival Delft. For this summer event you can choose to dress more elegantly, but it’s not an obligation. Classical music still does not attract many young people. Not visiting the Chamber Music Festival in Delft in my opinion would be a great miss. If it’s not for the music, you should visit it for the atmosphere and the historical entourage. The main venue of this festival is the Prinsenhof in Delft. I’m very interested what you think about the view in the concert hall. I myself am just delighted when I am in an evening concert and have a view on the Old Church of Delft bathing in the summer sunset. And when it rains, it’s even nicer to attend a concert here. The rain ticking on the glassed ceiling brings in an extra effect.
The 17th until the 19th of August it’s time for the Jazz in de Gracht 2017, The Hague. The Dutch do like to make use of the canals, which you can see in the Amsterdam Pride & Westland Flower Parade. Are you in The Hague the third weekend of August? Find a canal, enjoy some good jazz & some evening sun. By the way, there’s also a great Fireworks Festival in beach resort Scheveningen. A good combi, I say.
In the city parks, with or without your own picnic
Between the 10th of July and the 24th of August Dordrecht, Breda, Bergen op Zoom & Roosendaal celebrate the Palm Parkies, a festival where a Palm beer is served with good music.
Parkpop in The Hague & Werfpop in Leiden. Two beautiful city parks in South Holland are the place to be on respectively the 25th of June and the 16th of July. Get out your dancing outfit and enjoy the fantastic atmosphere, the classic food & drink stalls and the great mix of music.
Picknick Festival Leiden every Sunday in July. Many festivals you can’t enter with food and drinks brought from home. The Van der Werfpark in Leiden turn into one big open air picnic. There are stalls and stands where you can get food and drinks, but you don’t have to. On your own picnic blanket you can enjoy the different bands playing on stage and there are several children’s activities. A day out with the whole family.
Not so typical or traditional Dutch
August is my highlight of the festival season when it comes to Dutch music. My tour of Dutch discoveries usually starts on the Scheveningen beach with:
Schollenpop on the 5th of August
Then I’m off to
Waterpop in Wateringen on the 11th & 12th of August
Followed by some summer terrace hopping in Vlaardingen during the
Zomerterras Vlaardingen every weekend between the 4th untill the 20th of August.
And when the event in Vlaardingen comes to an end I take my bike to cycle to the Gorinchem Zomerfeesten from the 15th untill the 20th of August
To slowly get adjusted again to big city life in the
Oude Haven Zomerfestival on the 20th of August in city centre Rotterdam.
You could always come on the Festival Hopping South Holland Cycle Tour. The idea is simple: you take a bike and visit various festival in the region. Stay tuned by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
*The great music attached to this post is from Matt Roso’s YouTube Channel.*