What's On in Amsterdam in August

Performances at Grachtenfestival take place on or around Amsterdam's canals
Performances at Grachtenfestival take place on or around Amsterdam's canals | © kirkandmimi / Pixabay
Photo of Tom Coggins
31 May 2018

During August, the final month of summer, Amsterdam’s cultural calendar features many larger, outdoor events that take place in the city’s parks, plazas and canals. These summery celebrations include several annual music festivals and many other events that revolve around open-air concerts, performances and of course, positive vibes.


Performances at Grachtenfestival take place on or around Amsterdam's canals | © kirkandmimi / Pixabay


📅 Saturday, July 28th to Sunday, August 5th

During Amsterdam’s weeklong Pride celebrations, the city hosts many different events that champion sexual diversity, ranging from colourful street parties to solidarity marches. An enormous canal parade takes place on the second Saturday of Pride week, which trails through the city’s central waterways and involves music, dancing and massive, waterborne floats.

📍Various locations


📅 Friday, August 10th to Sunday, August 19th

Every year in mid-August hundreds of classical music concerts are held at venues located inside Amsterdam’s historic canal belt, during an annual, ten day festival called Grachtenfestival. Many of the aforementioned performances take place on custom-built stages that are mounted onto barges and then set afloat on the city’s canals, whereas others are orchestrated inside prestigious concert halls like de Concertgebouw.

📍Various locations

Appelsap Fresh Music Festival

📅 Saturday, August 11th

This annual hiphop and RnB festival has taken place in Amsterdam-Oost since 2001 and ranks among the largest events of its kind in the Netherlands. Its line-up always features an impressive mix of established, international artists and famous, local talent, making it perfect for anyone who is eager to discover the Dutch hiphop scene.


Pluk de Nacht | © Michiel / Flickr

Pluk de Nacht


Pluk de Nacht (translated as ‘Seize the Night’) is an annual, open-air film festival, that presents the latest and greatest offerings from independent cinema. The festival screens its selection on a rocky, peninsula near Amsterdam’s Centraal Station and shows a different movie every night, alongside several shorts. The festival doesn’t charge entrance fees and allows potential attendees to reserve spots online in exchange for small donations.

World Cinema Festival

📅 Thursday, August 16th to Saturday, August 25th

Six different venues around Amsterdam host movie screenings during this annual film festival, including Vondelpark’s Open Theatre and VU University Amsterdam On the Roof cinema. The festival showcases independent films from Africa, Asia and South America and divides its programme into several sections related to specific themes.

📍Various locations


Daniel de Leau / | © Culture Trip


📅 Friday, August 24th to Sunday, August 26th

This weekend-long, performing arts festival traditionally heralds in the new cultural season in the Netherlands. Uitmarkt essentially serves as a springboard for the rest of the year and showcases work by local and international talents. The main festival takes place around Amsterdam’s Oosterdok harbour and always involves many different types of live performances, including concerts, dance shows and literary recitals. Other cultural venues also participate during Uitmarkt and organise free shows throughout the festival’s duration.

Jordaan Festival

📅 Friday, August 24th to Sunday, August 26th

As its name suggests this annual folk music festival takes place in Amsterdam’s picturesque de Jordaan and celebrates the neighbourhood’s heritage and culture. The festival started over 40 years ago and mainly revolves around forlorn Amsterdam-style crooning and other variants of traditional Dutch folk music.


De Parade

📅 Friday, August 17th to Sunday, September 2nd

This roaming, performing arts festival moves between several other major cities in the Netherlands from July until August, before concluding its annual tour in Amsterdam. Its programme always features an impressive range of full-length and shorter performances, including outdoor dance pieces, avant-garde plays and family-friendly concerts.

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