A Blog by International Students at Leiden University

Festivals to look out for in the Netherlands

It’s finally festival time again, and why not put aside some money at the end of this year to experience one in the Netherlands? There are plenty around, and even some for free, so here are the best to keep an eye on in the coming months.

International Festival of Technology, 6th-8th June

This week in Delft you’ll find a host of events, including music and lectures, for the International Festival of Technology. On Wednesday and Thursday you can enjoy lectures on topics such as feeding megacities, cybersecurity, and space exploration. On Friday music takes centre stage as artists including Kraantje Pappie and Weval round the festival off with performances. All music performances and lectures are free, though you might need to register and pay a small fee for workshops and tours.

Best Kept Secret, 8th-10th June

One of the Netherlands’ foremost music festivals, Best Kept Secret is held at Beekse Bergen Safari Park near Tilburg in North Brabant. Not only does the festival host major names (this year Arctic Monkeys, The National and LCD Soundsystem headline), but it is also praised for its lineup of food stalls. Weekend tickets with or without camping are still available from €150 or go just for the day for €85 – though cheaper day tickets can be found on Ticketswap.

Pinkpop, 15th-17th June 18

This year will be the 49th edition of this pop and rock festival in Limburg. Situated in Gemeente Landgraaf, perched right on the corner of the Netherlands near Maastricht, Pinkpop isn’t easy to get to, but the lineup offers a variety of acts including Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, Bruno Mars, Noel Gallagher and Editors. Weekend tickets are now sold out, but day tickets can be had for €100.

Rock Werchter, 5th-8th July

So, technically Rock Werchter is in Belgium not the Netherlands – but they’re so close that it’s probably easier to get to Belgium than to a festival in the very east of the Netherlands. This line up is jam packed with major names: The Killers, Ben Howard, Gorillaz, MGMT, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Post Malone, Queens of the Stone Age to name just a few. Unfortunately, day tickets for Saturday and Sunday are now sold out, but a ticket for the entire 4-day festival is still available for €238.

North Sea Jazz Festival, 13th-15th July

This jazz festival has been running since 1976 and is now the largest indoor music festival in the world, held at the Rotterdam Ahoy venue (located next to Rotterdam Zuidplein station). It’s not only jazz that’s enjoyed at the festival though – the lineup has grown to include other similar musical genres such as funk, hip-hop and world music. Acts including Gary Clark Jr., Earth Wind & Fire, Chic and N.E.R.D. will perform at the festival this year, and considering the sheer amount of artists performing, day tickets priced at €89 are pretty reasonable.

About Abigail@TheLeidener

I graduated from Goldsmiths in July 2016, and just a week later moved to Leiden to start my Masters in American Studies. This was a huge change from living in the bustling metropolis of London for 3 years, but a very welcome change nonetheless! Leiden also seemed the ideal place to study America, considering it was the place the Pilgrims first took residence from England before setting off for America. So far it’s been great meeting a host of other international students from around the world (including many others from the UK) and I look forward to documenting my time here through writing for The Leidener.

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