A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
One of the best treats for a music lover here in the Netherlands is that there are quite a lot of festivals here – Best Kept Secret during this past weekend, Down The Rabbit Hole on the coming weekend, and Lowlands in August… But sometimes they can be quite expensive for a student, especially if you don’t have any specific bands or singers you want to see live. No worries 😀 I have been following the updates of some free music festivals during this summer based around The Hague/Rotterdam area. Here’s my top 8 recommendations!
1.Metropolis Festival in Rotterdam, July 6th
Checking the past line-ups of Metropolis Festival, you will see that they always get the newly popular bands with one or two big shots. Most of the bands are from outside the Netherlands. This year they’ve got Twenty One Pilots and Jagwar Ma, which I think are sort of the headliners. For this year, they also get some new Dutch bands such as Afterpartees.
Recommended bands: Jagwar Ma // The Bohicas // Superfood // Afterpartees
2.Parkpop in The Hague, June 29th
Last time when I was in Paradiso for London Calling 2014, a friend’s friend, who is a booking agent talked with us and specifically mentioned Parkpop. He is taking a Chinese band, Hanggai there this year. I wouldn’t say I really like its line-up, but it’s in The Hague, so why not?
Recommended bands: Epica
3.Valkhof Festival in Nijmegen, July 12th – 18th
I know, I know. Nijmegen is a long way for a Leidener, but you simply cannot miss Valkhof. The line-up is definitely worth the trip for a free festival. Although it lasts over a week, you can have a careful pick of the line-up and maybe stay in Nijmegen for a day or two.
Recommended bands: Conor Oberst // Skaters // Nick Mulvey
4. Bruis Festival in Maastricht, September 5th – 7th
Having been to Maastricht, I am very looking forward to Bruis festival in September. Maastricht is a very beautiful town in the south of the country, near the borders of Germany and Belgium. This year, Bruis festival will have Bombay Bicycle Club, which is surely worth seeing if you have this chance.
Recommended bands: Bombay Bicycle Club // This Will Destroy You // Bells of Youth // Rue Royale
5.Absolutely Free Festival in Genk, Belgium, August 1st – 2nd
Okay, I know I’ve gone farther and farther now. But if you missed Thurston Moore’s gig last year in Paard van Troje last year in The Hague, now is the chance to catch up. (Don’t tell me you don’t know who Thurston Moore is.) I am genuinely looking forward to the announcing of more bands for this festival.
Recommended bands: Thurston Moore // Yuck
6.Werfpop in Leiden, July 20th
Back to Leiden! Happy to see a free festival in Leiden. If you live in Leiden, think about it seriously – you don’t even have to get on a bus to attend a festival. Now I have to fill you in on the dark side of the festival. As a non-Dutch, I’ve only heard of two or three bands from the current line-up list. But it’s free. It’s near. What else could you ask for?
Recommended bands: Chef’ Special
7.Westerpop in Delft, August 29th and 30th
Same probably with Werfpop in Leiden – hardly heard of any bands here, but still it’s worth checking out if you are looking for some nice music and simply fun with little money, which is only the ticket price.
8.Appelpop in Tiel, September 12th – 13th
If you are into Kaiser Chiefs or similar music, you need to go to Appelpop this year. So far only four acts have been announced, and Kaiser Chiefs are one of them. I’m still looking forward to more announcements.
Recommended bands: Kaiser Chiefs