When I lived in Spain I liked to go to flamenco shows. Now I’m living in the Netherlands I go to festivals instead and there always seems to be so many to choose from. At the weekend there was a festival called Duizel in het Park in Rotterdam. It began on Friday and ran until Sunday evening. In Eindhoven, it was Lepeltje Lepeltje. I went to Rotterdam on Saturday and Eindhoven on Sunday.
Apart from the fact that there always seems to be a great atmosphere, one of the things I like most about festivals is it gives me a chance to listen to music I wouldn’t normally hear. When I went to the Valkhof Festival in July I was really impressed by a Belgian group called Lili Grace. Now I have them saved as favourites in Spotify and SoundCloud. When I went to Duizel in het Park and heard Amber Arcades I was equally blown away, and another band, called Bolt and the Swamp People came on stage later and rocked out one of the best covers of “Bad Moon Rising” I have ever heard.
The band I liked best at Eindhoven was Kasba. It’s a Dutch group, but I have no idea what language they were singing in. It certainly wasn’t Dutch, but it’s a long time since I saw a band that are so good at getting the audience involved. The last time I saw so many people dancing in the crowd was last year at the Embassy Festival in Den Haag and the band was La Chiva Gantiva.
If you are reading this and considering visiting the Netherlands, and want to experience something different from the usual tourist spots, I recommend trying one of the festivals, but don’t be surprised if you find your money isn’t good enough when you visit any of the stalls and try to get a drink or something to eat. The stalls only take tokens, which usually cost around €2.50 – €2.60 each.
The queues can be long, so the trick is to buy enough tokens to last you for the day, but not more than you are likely to use. If you do buy too many it’s likely to be money wasted because the tokens are different for each festival.