Vondelpark Open Air Theatre
Marking the beginning of each summer is an event every Amsterdammer looks forward to: the opening of the Vondelpark Open Air Theatre!
About Vondelpark Open Air Theatre
The Open Air Theatre, located in the centre of the Vondelpark right next to ‘t Blauwe Theehuis, is a contemporary amphitheatre with a bandshell that hosts jazz, cabaret, outdoor dancing, live bands, theatre performances, classical music and a variety of other acts each weekend throughout the summer.
The best part about the Vondelpark Open Air Theatre is that the performances are free and open to the public (although a one-euro donation is suggested)!
History of Vondelpark Open Air Theatre
The Vondelpark opened in Amsterdam in 1865 and ever since music and performances have been integral to the park’s rich history.
In the 1950s, a series of small informal performances and festivals began springing up reflecting the burgeoning creative spirit of the city.
By the 1970s, the Vondelpark had developed into something of a libertine mecca with the counter-culture finding a home in the Dutch capital. As hippies, anarchists and other groups assembled in the Vondelpark, their music came with them.
In the true spirit of the era, these informal concerts and performances called ‘Happenings’ quickly became more popular than any of the official programmes.
As a result, the Happenings and Vondelpark Festivals merged into one, with each performance being free.
Vondelpark Open Air Theatre today
Although less radical than in decades past, the Open Air Theatre still retains its liberal spirit with the free and accessible nature of the performances being fundamental to the programme.
With a subsidy from the city, the entertainment has expanded to include special children’s programming and a small café service called the Vondeling.
Today, the Vondelpark Open Air Theatre is a perennial favourite for both young and old, with an ever-expanding list of acts that have graced the stage, including:
› Candy Dulfer
› Netherlands Chamber Orchestra
› De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig
› Acda en de Munnik
› Ramses Shaffy
› Alain Clark
› Scapino Ballet Rotterdam
› Nederlands Dans Theater
› Sanne Wallis de Vries
› Micha Wertheim
› Trijntje Oosterhuis
› and many, many more!