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.
Headliners: Nina Kraviz, Sven Väth, Blawan, Bonobo [DJ set], Marcel Dettmann, Honey Dijon, Paul Kalkbrenner, Mall Grab
The Amsterdam branch of the international DGTL festival series is one of the main house and techno festivals in the world. Every year, thousands flock to the NDSM Docklands in northern Amsterdam to showcase some of the best, most influential and creative artists in the genre. This festival is on the bucket list of many techno and house fans and continues to be the flagship festival for the genre.
When & Where: 10-12 April 2020, NDSM Docklands, Amsterdam
Headliners (2020): FJAAK [live], Rebekah, Nina Kraviz, Anetha, Marcellus Pittman
With over a decades worth of experience under it's belt, Soenda Festival is known for running on the harder side of house and techno, producing lineups which continue to push the creative walls of the genre. 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
Free Your Mind Festival
Headliners (2020): TBA
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: 6 June 2020, Arnhem
Headliners (2020): Carl Cox, Amelie Lens, Richie Hawtin, ANNA, Chris Liebing, Charlotte De Witte, Jeff Mills, Adam Beyer
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 8 extravagant stages, and seen by many as Amsterdam's techno festival of the year.
When & Where: 27-28 June 2020, Spaarnwoude
Headliners (2020): Clouds, Detlef, Franky Rizardo, Ghost in the Machine, Sam Divine
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, and 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: 11 July 2020, Zaandam
Headliners (2020): Helena Hauff, DJ Harvey, DJ Stingray, Floating Points [live], Call Super, David Vunk
"When you play 150 shows a year, there's one or two shows where you think 'wow that's the one.'" - Marcel Dettmann talking about 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: 31 July - 4 August, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Into The Woods Festival
Headliners (2020): TBA
For those who are delving for something out of the mainstream, the Into the Woods Festival is pushing the boundaries of house and techno. 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: Date TBA, Amersfoort
Headliners (2020): DJ Snake, Armin Van Buuren, Carl Cox, Timmy Trumpet, Vini Vici, Brennan Heart, Wildstylez
Dating back to 1993, Mysteryland is known as the OG electronic music festival in the world. With a more multi-genre lineup, they bring together artists and DJ's from house, techno, electronica, EDM and hardcore. Decorated with world class names in the field, they are accompanied by friends, however Mysteryland has also known for giving us the best underground and up-and-coming voices. This is where it all began. This is Mysteryland.
When & Where: 28-30 August 2020, Amsterdam
ADE: Amsterdam Dance Event
Headliners (2020): TBA
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 beyond that you're not going to find a lineup of better artists anywhere.
When & Where: 21-25 October 2020, Amsterdam
Headliners: Eric Prydz, Richie Hawtin, Jeff Mills, Tale of Us. Solomun, Chris Liebing, Dixon, Jamie Jones
Loveland has been around since 1995, becoming one of the true 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, with 6 stages, they bring something for everyone.
When & Where: 8-9 August 2020, Amsterdam
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