The summer is here! And with it, festival season. From rock and metal music in Friesland to a cutting-edge international art festival in Groningen, the Northern Times has curated a list of the best summer festivals in the Northern Netherlands.
By Nina Yakimova
TT Festival Assen (https://www.ttfestival.nl/
Where: Various locations in Assen, Drenthe
When: June 27 – June 29
What: motorsports, music
Since 2015, the capital of Drenthe has hosted the TT Festival Assen, a mix of good music, roaring engines and the smell of burning rubber. You can have your pick at this festival: enjoy the headliners at the Doevenkamp, such as Maan, Famke Louise, Yung Felix and Tony Junior, take in the cultural events around town or witness the action on wheels at the TT Circuit. The festival is in various locations around Assen, including the city center, with free entry.
Dokk’em Open Air (http://www.dokkemopenair.eu/)
Where: Tolhuispark in Dokkum, Friesland
When: June 28 – June 29
What: music, (heavy) metal, rock
Dokk’em Open Air started as a dream for a group of friends from Dokkum and Raard in 2002, and since then has grown into a full-fledged two-day metal festival, with major international acts, two stages and a campsite. This year marks the festival’s 12th edition. This festival has everything a metal fan could ask for: the Frisian countryside, the best international metal bands (from King Diamond to Cradle of Filth and Cannibal Corpse), lots of beer, metal DJs and mosh pits. Check out the website for tickets and line up.
Welcome to the Village (https://welcometothevillage.nl/)
Where: Oer de Bril 5, Leeuwarden, Friesland
When: July 18 2019 – July 21
What: village festival, music, performance
Welcome to The Village is a village/festival in the middle of a landscape filled with forests and breathtaking Frisian scenery. More than 70 acts from around the world, including hip-hop, indie, world music, and everything in between will take the stage, alongside theater, dance, innovation and art, design and gastronomy, all in the setting of a wild wetlands (with a swimming pool!).
But this festival offers even more: if you’re on a mission to find sustainable solutions to today’s environmental problems, Welcome to the Village has got you covered. During the four-day festival, you can join hundreds of students, musicians, artists, volunteers, designers, and scientists working on sustainable projects.
Into the Grave (https://intothegrave.nl/)
Where: Oldehoofsterkerkhof, Leeuwarden, Friesland
When: August 9 – August 11
What: music, metal, rock
Every summer, the city centre of Leeuwarden turns into a cauldron of metal for two days. This festival is not for the faint-hearted: with a former graveyard, more than 7,000 fellow metal fans, pre- and after- parties at the famous ‘poppodium’ the Neushoorn, free entry on day three, beer and french fries, and great metal bands from all over the world, with Leeuwarden’s own leaning tower (the Oldhove) as the backdrop. And if that’s not enough for you, you can attend one of Into the Grave’s sister festivals later in the year: Into the Void and Into the Darkness.
Paradigm Festival (https://www.paradigmfestival.com)
Where: Industrieterrein Euvelgunne, Groningen
When: August 9 – August 12
What: music, techno, drum and bass
Held at a former industrial site in Groningen, the 9th edition of Paradigm Festival is sure to be the wildest yet. It is one of the most versatile and innovative electronic music festivals in The Netherlands. Aside from the internationally-renowned techno and house artists, there is plenty of space for creativity, from non-conformist art and techno music to forests and magical decorations. The acts range from British Murder Boys to Deadbeat and Textasy.
Where: Noorderplantsoen, Groningen
When: August 15 – August 25
What: music, food, performance, technology and innovation
The Noorderzon Performance Art Festival is the somewhat curious combination of a cutting-edge international art festival and a large-scale summer fest for more than 135,000 visitors. Noorderzon is one of Groningen’s most popular festivals: every year in August, the idyllic Noorderplantsoen park in the heart of Groningen transforms into a fairytale festival village where for eleven summer days, you can enjoy theatre, dance, music, literature and visual art in combination with great food and drink. Performances take place in tents or on outdoor stages in the Noorderplantsoen, as well as at many locations across the city centre of Groningen (Noorderzon DownTown). This year marks the festival’s 29th edition, and attendees can expect lots of good music and performances by international companies that often only come to the Netherlands during Noorderzon, including a puppet show for grown-ups. There will also be classical performance, interactive dance, dozens of art experiments and an intimate stop motion theatre production about unexpected fatherhood.
Where: Stadspark, Groningen
When: August 30 – August 31
What: music, pop, dance, electronic, hip-hop
The dictionary definition of a ‘hullabaloo’ is:
1 : a loud, continued noise or mixture of noises
2 : a state of commotion, excitement, or violent disturbance
“Join us on a trip”, the festival’s website proclaims. Hullabaloo is the new festivals in town and it promises a tailored experience for music lovers. The line up is a mix of national and international music acts from Craig David Presents TS5, Oscar and the Wolf, De Jeugd van Tegewoordig and Bløf to Lil Kleine, Maan, and DJ Robin Schulz. There will be four stages, including separate stages for pop and dance music. You can stay at the campsite or go home and sleep in your own bed (and use your own shower).