Amsterdam Weekend Guide – May 26-28
Looks like we’ll be getting another taste of summer this weekend, with a forecast that would make even Barcelona blush. This time we’ve got a hip food festival in the west, a Latin extravaganza, a hipster-friendly music festival, a 5k run (stop rolling your eyes; it’s a good ‘un) and a punktastic gig at Pacific Parc.
It’s that time of year again; along with the odd bit of sun and a seemingly infinite number of dance festivals, slews of delectable food festivals are starting to make their way to the Dutch capital. This weekend’s highlight is the annual Rolling Kitchens, which sees troves of reasonably priced food trucks setting up shop at the Westergasfabriek. There’s something for everyone; fresh Italian pizza, typically Dutch delicacies, seafood – you name it, you can probably find it somewhere at Rolling Kitchens. Of course, it’s free to enter, so grab your mates and a few beers, eat a little too much grub and make the most of that sun! Gelzellig!
London Calling – named after The Clash’s kick-ass third album – takes place twice a year in Amsterdam’s very own pop temple, showing off the best up-and-coming bands, with a major focus on British acts. The festival’s been going for 25 years now, and it’s helped propel some truly massive UK acts onto the wider European stage: Kaiser Chiefs, The Darkness, Franz Ferdinand and Libertines all played this festival before they made it big. Who knows, go along and you might discover the next big thing on the indie scene. It’s not just indie and Britpop bands on show, though: recent instalments have focused on international acts and dance music, as well – adding a nice bit of variety to the two-day indiefest.
Summer Breeze Latin Festival
Even though our summer officially kicks off on 21 June, Summer Breeze invites all to get spicy in Vondelpark for a festive Latin fiesta this Sunday, and it’s free! Expect a celebration of all things salsa (the music, not the delicious sauce), complete with masterful dance acts, dancing workshops – to cure that second left foot of yours – and a lively mix of Latin beats. Legendary salsa percussionist Gerardo Rosales will be performing with his band, giving attendees an authentic taste of Latin jazz from one of Europe’s biggest ambassadors of the scene.
Color Run Netherlands
What better way to blast away Saturday’s hangover than a nice 5k run around Sloterpark? Right? The Color Run, now in its 10th edition, is not your run-of-the-mill jog: every new kilometre – or zone – introduces a vivid new colour to the fold. Oh, and those colours will be bombarded at runners with vibrant splats of powdered paint, so maybe don’t go too extravagant on the outfit front, and do wear some sunnies, eh? There’ll also be a great mix of entertainment after the run, including the Flower Power Hippie Market and – of course – a range of dance DJs (this is Amsterdam, after all). And it’s all for a worthy cause: not only does the event actively promote happiness and togetherness, but it’s sponsoring the charity Orange Babies this year, which supports those affected by HIV and AIDS in Namibia, Zambia and South Africa.
The Coathangers at Pacific Parc
You can’t beat the atmosphere in Pacific Parc around this time of year. If you’ve never checked it out, it’s a funky industrial space that boasts weekly DJ nights and a trendy terrace that’s picture-perfect when the sun decides to make an appearance. There’s a Fifties-style vibe to the place that you simply can’t find anywhere else in the city; the DJs typically play rockabilly, punk and swing, which can be a welcome change from Amsterdam’s dance-music epidemic. Pacific attracts a pretty diverse crowd, too: students, locals, expats and everyone in between all mixed together and enjoying themselves (some a little too much, truth be told). This Saturday, the venue welcomes all-female punk rockers The Coathangers – a trio of Atlantans who are known for their catchy riffs, crass choruses and wild-as-hell stage presence. After their set, Pacific’s DJs will concoct their usual eclectic musical cocktail.