Seven great festivals outside of the Netherlands

Seven great festivals outside of the Netherlands

The Netherlands is a real festival country with many great outdoor music and culture events. However, many people extend their party-going outside of the borders, and travel into Europe to check out the legends among international happenings.

Don’t be surprised if you run into a sizeable Dutch colony at many of these festivals abroad!

Seven of the best festivals

Here are our seven picks of the best annual festivals you can visit outside of the Netherlands:

Rock Werchter

Belgium, end of June, into July
Rock Werchter presents music’s finest on three stages at the Werchter Festival Park: the Main Stage, KluB C and The Barn.

The festival is all about bringing together a mix of different genres, a practice that has proved to be very popular. Rock Werchter is an international hit, visited by over 150.000 festivalgoers from all over the world.

 Sziget Festival

Hungary, August
Sziget Festival in one of the biggest multicultural festivals in Europe. It is somewhat far away, but many Dutch people are happy to make the trip.

Attracting over 440.000 fans from around the world, the event is located in the heart of Budapest on an island (called "The Island of Freedom") in the Donau.

For one week, visitors can enjoy non-stop parties, while grand live performances on 50 stages and 200 programme items make the Sziget Festival a festivity to remember.

Big stars in the international pop, rock, world music and electro scene, as well as smaller beloved bands performing metal, folk, jazz, alternative and classic music delight the viewers with diverse acts.

Many other kinds of cultural shows, as well as a great beach and good food, make the gathering a fully rounded experience.


Belgium, end of July
Tomorrowland is a grand outdoor dance event, featuring international top DJs. Using fairytale-like decorations and playing many kinds of electronic genres, visitors can move from sector to sector to hear anything from groove and club music to hardstyle. At the end of the event, Tomorrowland wraps up with a fireworks show.

Edinburgh Fringe

Scotland - August
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world and takes place every August for three weeks in Scotland’s capital city.

The atmosphere in the city is truly unparalleled and is sure to make theatre lovers feel at home with one-hour-long performances, from free shows by starting groups to affordable shows by your favourite famous comedians and groups.

The performances are stuffed into every cafe, theatre, cellar and even on the streets, and you will find great entertainment and artistic souls wherever you turn.


Germany, Half November into October
Oktoberfest is the world's largest and most famous beer festival. The 16-day folk event is annually attended by more than six million people from all over the world.

The Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture, having been held since 1810. The Munich event has inspired many other Oktoberfest celebrations, but nothing’s quite like the original!

Several millions of litres of Oktoberfest Beer is consumed during the festival, and visitors can also enjoy amusement rides, games and traditional foods, like german sausage and pretzels.

La Tomatina

Spain, end of August
You can also make a trip further south to La Tomatina, the world’s biggest food fight! Thousands of people come together in the streets of Bunol, a town near Valencia, to throw around more than one hundred metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets.

Bunol itself only has around 10.000 residents, so the number of participants is limited to just 20.000 people.

While you're there, have a go at the Palo Jabon, a greased pole with a Spanish ham at the top. Whoever manages to climb the pole and get the ham can keep it!


Germany, July
Berlin is known as a musical hotspot, and Melt! Festival plays a big part in this. For three days, this major international festival features performances by world-wide music heroes and hot newcomers.

The famous event started out as a small but beloved event for rave lovers and techno enthusiasts. Today, you can find electro, hip hop and indie, anything from mainstream to subculture.

Held in the giant industrial museum Ferropolis, Melt! has a line-up of over 80 live acts on more than six floors.


What is your favourite festival outside of the Netherlands? Let us know in the comments below!

Alexandra van Kampen


Alexandra van Kampen

English and Japanese theatre and culture are my forte. My mother was raised in England, and my grandmother in Japan. I studied Japanese Language and Culture, and Film and Photographic...

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