Talk to any DJ and they'll tell you playing in Holland, and Amsterdam in particular, is a different experience from most places. Fans here know their music and thus DJs have to work harder to win them over. And if there's one thing a good DJ loves it's being challenged by a crowd.
Because of this, sets in the Netherlands just seem to transcend, leading aficionados to flock here in order to hear their favourite DJs in prime conditions.
This has led to a glut of festivals popping up throughout the country, so we figured we'd help you cut through the noise. Here are the Top 10 House and Techno Festivals in the Netherlands.
Festival Lineup (2020): Nina Kraviz, Sven Väth, Blawan, Bonobo [DJ set], Marcel Dettmann, Honey Dijon, Paul Kalkbrenner, Mall Grab
The Dutch branch of the international DGTL festival series is one of the most respected house and techno festivals in the world. Every year thousands flock to the NDSM Docklands in northern Amsterdam to witness some of the best, most influential and creative artists in electronic music. This festival is on the bucket list of many techno and house fans and continues to be the flagship festival for the scene.
When & Where: 3-4 April 2021, NDSM Docklands, Amsterdam
DGTL Amsterdam 2021 Guide & Waiting List
Festival Lineup (2020): FJAAK [live], Rebekah, Nina Kraviz, Anetha, Marcellus Pittman, Ross From Friends, Rod
With over a decade's worth of experience under its belt, Soenda Festival is known for running on the harder sides of house and techno, producing lineups which continue to push the creative walls of the genres. This is aimed at fans who are looking for something out of the mainstream. Set just outside of Utrecht, Soenda Festival mixes its boundary-breaking lineup with a picturesque landscape making it a festival you have to visit.
When & Where: 22 May 2021, Utrecht
Soenda Festival 2021 Guide & Waiting List
Free Your Mind Festival
Festival Lineup (2019): Amelie Lens, Rødhåd, Chris Liebing, Kölsch, Joris Voorn, Anastasia Kristensen, Boris Brejcha
Bringing you a collection of underground and celebrated Dj's from across the world, Free your Mind mixes techno, house and dance with the classic outdoor festival experience. Set on a peninsula in Arnhem , surrounded by a forest and the banks of the Reign river, they blend together to create an unforgettable and surreal atmosphere. A pillar of the Dutch techno scene, this festival is the best of its kind.
When & Where: 5 June 2021, Arnhem
Free Your Mind Festival 2021 Guide & Waiting List
Festival Lineup (2021): Carl Cox, Amelie Lens, Richie Hawtin, Helena Hauff, Chris Liebing, Charlotte De Witte, Jeff Mills
One of the best known and legendary techno brands around, Awakenings holds many indoor events around Amsterdam over the year. However, every summer at the end of June they head outdoors to the lush Velsen Valley, just northwest of the city. They use the bigger space to their full advantage, producing eight extravagant stages that they pack with star power and talent. This festival is in the discussion for techno festival of the year every year.
When & Where: 26-27 June 2021, Spaarnwoude
Awakenings Festival 2021 Guide & Waiting List
Festival Lineup (2020): Franky Rizardo, Juan Sanchez, ROD, Nic Fanciuilli, wAFF, Sam Divine, Prunk
It's all in the name really. 18hrs is an all out party that lasts for, you guessed it, 18 hours. What's great about it is its combination of an outdoor getaway festival with underground warehouse partying. The music starts at midday, outdoors on the banks of the North Sea Channel, then moves indoors into onsite warehouses at 23:00 and keeps going till 06:00. Do you think you have it in you to dance for 18hrs?
When & Where: 10 July 2021, Zaandam
18hrs 2021 Guide & Waiting List
Festival Lineup (2021): Helena Hauff, DJ Harvey, DJ Stingray, Floating Points, Theo Parrish, Aurora Halal, Hunee
"When you play 150 shows a year, there's one or two shows where you think 'wow that's the one.'" - Marcel Dettmann on Dekmantel.
If there's one festival in Europe where DJs are encouraged to be sonically adventurous, it's Dekmantel. This freedom has led the festival to gain a reputation as one of the most creative and progressive in the world, becoming a favourite for DJs to play and for music heads to attend.
When & Where: 4-8 August 2021, Amsterdam
Dekmantel 2021 Guide & Waiting List
Into The Woods Festival
Festival Lineup (2019): Abstract Division, Adriatique, Rebekah, Alan Fitzpatrick, Nightmares On Wax, Juan Sanchez, Red Axes
For those who are looking for something out of the mainstream, Into the Woods is one for you. Now over a decade old, they mix nature, surrealism and a lineup of underground and up and coming artists to bring you to a magic fairy-tale world. As one of the best known in the country, every year Into The Woods gives us something we weren't expecting.
When & Where: TBA September, Amersfoort
Into the Woods 2021 Guide & Waiting List
Festival Lineup (2020): DJ Snake, Armin Van Buuren, Carl Cox, Timmy Trumpet, Sven Väth, Brennan Heart, Wildstylez
Dating back to 1993, Mysteryland is known as the OG electronic music festival in the world. Featuring a varied lineup, the festival showcases a wide range of sounds, including house, techno, electro, EDM, and hardcore. Decorated with world class names up and down the bill, Mysteryland has also built a reputation for giving us the best underground and up-and-coming voices. This is, after all, where it all began.
When & Where: 27-29 August 2021, Amsterdam
Mysteryland 2021 Guide & Waiting List
ADE: Amsterdam Dance Event
Festival Lineup (2020): Mano Le Tough, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Mind Against, Dr. Rubinstein, Ben Sims, Dave Clarke, Paul Van Dyk
This is the South By Southwest of electronic music. More than just a music festival, ADE features conferences on the state of electronic music and its place in society, along with masterclasses led by industry leaders and technical showcases. But of course the music is the main attraction. Headliners can verge slightly on the mainstream side, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. You're not going to find a lineup of better artists anywhere.
When & Where: 21-25 October 2020, Amsterdam
Festival Lineup (2021): Eric Prydz, Richie Hawtin, Jeff Mills, Tale of Us, Ellen Allien, Chris Liebing, Dixon
Loveland was founded in 1995 and has since become one of the biggest dance promoters in The Netherlands. Every year they manage to curate some of the best lineups of the year, bringing top artists from all over the world to their two day festival and spreading them across 6 stages.
When & Where: 7-8 August 2021, Amsterdam
Loveland 2021 Guide & Waiting List
More like this: