Amsterdam Weekend Guide – September 1-3
Our August weekends might be over, but Amsterdam’s eclectic, eccentric and all-around excellent events are still in full force.
This weekend we’ve got a street-food spectacle, a genre-bending gig, a boat-and-watersports fest, a celebration of all things geeky and a music festival with a bohemian twist.
Amsterdam Comic Con
San Diego’s Comic Con is one of the world’s biggest conventions devoted to geek culture, including comic books, movies, TV, video games and more. And the Amsterdam version – now in its second edition – gives us Europeans a chance to get in on the geeky action. The packed programme features autograph sessions with celebrities, panels, photo opportunities and a whole array of quirky activities. Cosplay is a famously huge part of the show, so expect some authentic and mind-boggling costumes from fellow attendees.
Celebrities present this year are Pamela Anderson (‘Baywatch’), Michael Madsen (‘Reservoir Dogs’), Billy Boyd (‘The Lord of the Rings’) and Carice van Houten (‘Game of Thrones’). There’s also a dedicated merchandise area, where international retailers will showcase their nerdy wares – including plenty of limited-edition merch. As always, there’ll be photo opportunities galore; think recreated movie scenes, nerdtastic props and cosplayers you’ll just have to a selfie with. You can even sign up for workshops with screenwriting experts – or check out the latest gaming tech and trends at the Game Zone.
Amsterdam In-Water Boat Show
This annual boating and watersports extravaganza on the IJ is one of the most robust in Northern Europe, boasting the latest and greatest in yachting, watersports and all things sailing. Over 250 spectacular boats – local and global – will dock in the NDSM Wharf to strut their nautical stuff to sailing fanatics and newcomers alike.
It’s certainly a neat insight into how the other half lives, but this event is a far cry from being just a bombastic barrage of boats. The programme features a range of fun-filled activities, including kayaking, high-octane sailing races and watersports galore, for people of all skill levels.
It might be the end of the summer festival season, but we’ve still got a couple of great dance music festivals to come. One of them is this weekend’s Pleinvrees Festival, which boasts an impressively wide-ranging programme. Its five stages cover everything from theatre and cabaret to pop, jazz and world music – there really is something for all tastes.
This year, the festival’s happening at Amsterdam Noord’s stunning Het Twiste recreation area, which is packed with beautiful green vistas, rolling hills and nature aplenty. This really ties into the feel-good vibe of the festival, which is all about dancing, eating, drinking, relaxing and escaping the hecticness of everyday life.
Street Food Festival
July and August brought some truly tasty food festivals to the Dutch capital, and September looks to continue this trend – starting strong with Street Food Festival. The Dutch have some delectable street food of their own, including raw herring, kibbeling (battered fish morsels) and those quintessential thick-cut fries (with mayo, of course.) But one of the best things about Amsterdam is how much it embraces other cultures’ traditions, which is reflected nicely at the Street Food Festival.
The open-air fest features almost every kind of street food you can think: poke bowls, burgers, pizza, barbeque grub and a whole host of international street cuisine – you name it, one of their food trucks probably has it. On top of the great food, you’ll also find DJs, chill-out areas, karaoke and even a cocktail bar. Gezellig!
Let’s face it, music tastes differ, and sometimes it’s hard to find a gig that caters to everyone in your group. But Dreadzone are special, simultaneously appealing to even the staunchest of rockers and hip-hop aficionados. The band made a name for themselves by melding conflicting genres, including dub, reggae, trip hop and rock. They’ve been a band for almost 25 years now, so they know all the best ways to gel these ‘incompatible’ genres. And they just dropped their new album, ‘Dread Times’, so expect some new zany musical concoctions.