9 unmissable Dutch music festivals happening this summer

Grab your glitter 🪩

Dutch music festivals have to be seen to be believed: Milkshake’s unapologetic drag shows and the Mysteryland animal heads cannot be missed. 

Post-festival, you will emerge, stumbling out of the tents, glitter smeared on your face, mud on your shoes, with an enlightened look in your eyes, whispering, “Now I see” 👀.

If you’re a newcomer, it’s time to let go and lose yourself in the enigma of Dutch music festivals. Anyone who’s been to a Dutch festival knows that if you haven’t attended at least one of them, you haven’t really lived. ✨

Here are nine upcoming and unmissable Dutch music festivals for the summer of 2024.

1. Lowlands 

For two splendid days in the late-August sun, a new, self-contained town emerges, and it’s called Lowlands.

That’s right, this festival is basically a separate 60,000-person civilization, with its own currency — take that, Disneyland — markets, local radio station, and newspaper. 

Meanwhile, the music is a whirlwind of seamless transitions through all the favourite genres you can’t normally can’t choose between, such as world music, metal, electro, house, and of course, techno.  

Do you feel it’s time to go off grid and escape society for a few days, but without having to sink-wash at truck stops or put yourself through the ordeal that is Dutch caravan culture? 

Fear not: Lowlands’ luxury campsite includes hot showers, hot tubs, and its own real, flushable toilets.

(If that’s not living the dream, we don’t know what is. 🤷‍♀️)

⭐ 2024 Headliners: Queens of the Stone Age, Goldband, and Skrillex
📅 Dates: August 16-18, 2024
📍 Location: Walibi, Biddinghuizen  

2. Milkshake Festival 

Milkshake is our favourite assault on the senses; it’s an explosion of rainbows, glitter bombs, pink, and pleather. 

This festival is a much-needed celebration of LGBTQ+ pride and body positivity, and the makers of Milkshake sure know how to party. 👀

With performance art, including drag acts, and music ranging from house, disco, pop, techno, R&B, and dance hall, this event is all about self-expression, sexual liberation, and being “open-minded”. 🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍⚧️

Scantily clad attendees wear whatever they want — stuff that makes Lady Gaga’s early 2010 meat dress look like formal wear — because they don’t give a rat’s ass, and we are here for it. 

⭐ 2024 Headliners: Sugababes, Trixie Mattel, Supertoys
📅 Dates: July 27 and 28, 2024
📍 Location: Westerpark, Amsterdam 

3. Loveland Festival 

Go big or go home: this Loveland festival is a mammoth techno and house music event that could only ever be fit for Sloterpark, Amsterdam’s biggest park that spans over 300 acres.

The event includes intricate lighting that will put your normal club’s meagre strobe lights to shame. ⚡️

Considering the techno genre is known for having few lyrics, there’s something sweet and universal about everyone wordlessly headbanging to drum-and-bass. 

Ironically, it might also be the most environmentally friendly festival option on this list.

For those green activists among you who really “love” the “land” (hah), rest assured that you won’t be trashing these holy grounds. 

That’s right, Loveland has gone sustainable with PET recycling.

This means there will be drink tokens, so you can keep refilling that solo cup over and over again and prevent waste. In other words, these people are saints, go support them. ♻️

⭐ 2024 Headliners: Dave Clarke, Eric Prydz, and Mind Against
📅 Dates: August 10 & 11, 2024
📍 Location: Sloterpark, Amsterdam 

4. Strafwerk Festival

Strafwerk is dedicated to playing not just house music, but deep house music.

In case you’re scratching your head wondering what the difference between these two genres is, deep house is played at fewer beats per minute, which means it’s slower, more emo, and arguably cooler *cough*. 

It also means you can dance more gently, swaying like a graceful, willowy reed in the wind — especially if you’re one of those people who, try as they might, can’t twerk to save their lives. 💁‍♀️

Even so, there are a good few aggressive techno numbers to jolt you awake if you start to feel a little too relaxed. 

⭐ 2024 Headliners: Paula Temple, Justin Tinderdate, and Easttown
📅 Dates: August 17, 2024
📍 Location: Havenpark, Amsterdam 

5. Mysteryland 

Are you longing for something trippy, psychedelic, terrifying, yet exhilarating? Mysteryland is a place where the basement of your subconscious can finally run free. 

And so can you, as you scurry around like a woodland creature among rivers, hills, and ponds that surround the outskirts of the Dutch capital. 😶‍🌫️ 

Good news is, you can don a giant horse mask during the chi gong ceremonies performed by day, and then re-wear it again as you watch 300 artists performing a wide variety of “trippy” electronics with LED lights, by night. 

They also have morning yoga on the campsite to unwind, and a “healing garden”, if you actually struggle to sleep at night after some of these “mysteries” unfold. 😵‍💫

⭐ 2024 Headliners: Artbat, Fedde le Grand, and Oliver Heldens
📅 Dates: August 30-September 1, 2024
📍 Location: Haarlemmermeer, just outside Amsterdam 

6. Pinkpop Festival

Wanna hear some good ol’ pop music? Hey, there’s no shame about it — and Pinkpop Festival is the place for it! It’s one of the most popular festivals in the Netherlands, so definitely worth checking out. 🤘

Held yearly in Landgraaf, in the south of the country, it attracts tens of thousands of attendees from across the globe. The lineup always features a diverse mix of acts from rock, pop, indie, and electronic music, so there’s something for everyone.

Renowned for hosting legendary acts like The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, and Metallica, Pinkpop has multiple big stages with simultaneous performances.

Wondering where you’re gonna stay? Well, Pinkpop offers not just a massive on-site campground (heaps of fun guaranteed!) but also more snazzy “GlamPink” huts.

⭐ 2024 Headliners: Ed Sheeran, Avril Lavigne, and Måneskin
📅 Dates: June 21-23, 2024
📍 Location: Landgraaf, Limburg 

7. Zwarte Cross 

Every year this four-day “spectacle” with motorbike stunts and theatrics garners a huge crowd of 220,000 strangers joined together by their mutual love of performance and music. 

Want to feel like you’re being serenaded by a soothing cabaret singer in a smokey jazz lounge one minute, and then bombarded by electrifying rock and roll guitars the next? 🎸 Zwarte Cross has everything.

There are about 150 different bands and 1,000 theatre acts, which are all a breath of fresh air compared to the usual repetitive club music you’re used to hearing. 

You can also take the opportunity to immerse yourself in all things Dutch with full force — some of the best Dutch artists will be playing their most famous sing-alongs. 🇳🇱

⭐ 2024 Headliners: Armin van Buuren, Douwe Bob, and Ilse de Lange
📅 Dates: July 18-21, 2024
📍 Location: De Schans, Lichtenvoorde

8. TIJDMASJIEN Festival 

Let’s turn back time like Cher wanted. This festival’s name literally translates to Time Machine Festival.

Why? Because you’ll be plunging into all those dangerously catchy and infinitely lip sync-able hits from the 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s, and 10s.

Ugh, we were totes born in the wrong decade. 💅

We’re talking about guilty pleasures, including ABBA’s main bops, the Macarena, and the relentless Everybody Dance Now tune. 

TIJDMASJIEN gives you the chance to hear them play with hyped-up friends, youths and old-timers alike, drunkenly bellowing the lyrics beside you — which, of course, we all know by heart — without an ounce of shame for one blissful night. 🕺

⭐ 2024 Headliners: yet to be announced
📅 Dates: September 14, 2024
📍 Location: Thuishaven, Amsterdam 

9. Amsterdam Dance Event 

This is a five-day event that will leave you feeling like you’ve been abducted by aliens — in the best way.

You’ll be submerged, from head to toe, in a wide spectrum of electronic music that leaves your ears ringing, heart racing, and strobe lights oozing out of every pore. 😮 

Spread across the city of Amsterdam in 200 different locations, this ADE event isn’t limited to music. There will be films, exhibitions, documentaries, DJ showcases, and even masterclass demonstrations. 🎛

Any aspiring SoundCloud rappers should definitely get their butts over there to learn more about experimenting with electronic musical gear in the privacy of their homes.

⭐ 2024 Headliners: Afrojack, Martin Garrix, and Timbaland
📅 Dates: October 16-20, 2024
📍 Location: a range of music venues across Amsterdam, including Melkweg, Ziggo Dome, and NDSM

Which one of these Dutch summer music festivals is your jam? Let us know in the comments below!

Feature Image:Freepik
Ellen Ranebo
Ellen Ranebo
As someone half Swedish and half Irish who has lived in the Netherlands, the UK, and attended an American School, Ellen is a cocktail of various nationalities. Having had her fair share of bike accidents, near-death experiences involving canals, and miscommunications while living here (Swedish and Dutch have deceptively similar words with very different meanings), she hopes to have (and document) plenty more in future.

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