What to do in June in Amsterdam

You know that big European-wide spectacle of sport that is going on right now for the next few weeks?  That thing that involves men from countries all over the continent kicking a ball around in Poland and the Ukraine?

Yes, well this post is nothing about that. 

Because chances are you are already watching that (Aren’t we all?), and you already have your favorite bar or cafe or spot on the couch to watch it, and so this list is if- for whatever reason– you decide to go and do something OTHER than watch that big sporting thing that is taking The Europe by storm right now.

So here goes, the list of What to do in June in Amsterdam which does not include watching sports. 

(And by the way, if you’re looking to head out to your favorite bar to have a *quiet* drink, you should maybe consult this schedule first and avoid going out during any of the Dutch matches, because every- and I do mean EVERY- bar and cafe will be jam packed with Orange mania.  Hup Holland Hup!)

Holland Festival 1 – 28 June:  Music, theater, opera, dance, film, and everything in between at 20 locations.  With acts and artists from all over the world converging on the city this month, it is a good time to experience something that you might not ever again, such as watching 2001: A Space Odyssey with a live orchestra instead of the normal narrative, or watching a wrestling match with accompanying live accordion music!  Because….why not!  When are you ever going to get that chance again?  There are also Whirling Dervishes!   Everyone loves a whirling dervish, right?

Accordion Wrestling at Holland Festival

GRID Photo Festival, until 1 July: A bi-annual international photography festival, GRID will showcase exhibitions by approximately 30 international artists, and an OFF-GRID program of events and talks, walking tours and workshops in galleries throughout the city, but mainly in the East.  The lomography workshops look really interesting, and for photographers who might already have a collective body of work that fits in the theme “Urban Reality Check – Reflections on Changing behaviour and space”, there is also a competition!

GRID Photography Festival

Open Air Theater 3 June – September:  All summer long Vondelpark will host a series of openair music, theater and dance concerts on Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays.  Everything from opera to standup comedy to children’s shows, it is best to check the program and plan ahead.  Case Mayfield (17 June, 17:00) played once at Hotel V and was really great, so we can recommend that show!  And just before Case at 16:30, Mister & Mississippi looks like it might also be one to catch (and keep an eye on!).

Vondelpark Openlucht Theater

Advanced Style: An Evening with Fashion Photographer Ari Seth Cohen 14 June:  In a world that frequently associates “fashion” with “youth”, it is a refreshing change of pace and a breath of fresh air to see one fashion photographer, Ari Seth Cohen, focusing on fashion with experience.  Releasing a beautiful book (he also has a blog) called ‘Advanced Style’, Cohen captures the world’s most fashionable women (usually over 60 years old) in some of the world’s fashion capitals.  This book launch will be held at the ABC Treehouse, and is sure to be a special evening!  Even better – bring your mother!

From the Advanced Style blog

Stedelijk Blikopeners Event at Trouw 14 June:  During this evening, the Blikopeners of the Stedelijk (young people with part-time jobs in the museum) examine the thin line dividing an original from a reproduction. Young musicians will cover Shocking Blue’s “Venus” (the Stedelijk was the background for the music video); photocopiers make it possible for everyone to determine the circulation of a work by Piet Parra; two continuous experiments examine the survival of long stories that are passed on orally; and there is a masterclass to answer the question whether art can be practiced anywhere and by anyone by following instructions. In addition, artists and employees of the Stedelijk give short talks to describe how reproductions influence their work. A selection of reinterpretations, odes, and appropriations in contemporary and video art will be on display throughout the building.

Nuit Blanche 16 June: An evening of art in all forms that stretches from 7 pm to 7 am.  “Obscure and beautiful projects at unexpected places” with a diverse range of artistic collaborators.  Every year this is a very special event that will take you all over the city, but be prepared for crowds.  It seems that everyone is art-hungry these days!  And here is just a glimpse of what you might experience:  Tattoo Parlour//het Ruyterhuis, sailors and naval battles. The Closet//street art, squatting, Brazil.  Red light Radio//life action role play, Ramses Shaffy, chocolatier, Haiku’s, reports.  If that doesn’t tickle your curiosity, then I don’t know what will!

Nuit Blance- don’t try to figure it out. Just EXPERIENCE it.

Open Garden Days 15 – 17 June: For three days this weekend, various canal houses around the city will open their doors to give you a peek into their back gardens- a privelege very few get to see (unless you are of the priveleged classes, in which case: may we come in?).  This year the theme is ‘Coach houses and garden houses’, so expect lots of cute back buildings!

Open Garden Days, Amsterdam

Stanley Kubrick Retrospective  21 June: For fans of Stanley Kubrick, there will be an exhibition and accompanying retrospective of his works starting on 21 June at the EYE Film Institute, including debates, interviews and lectures, and covering all aspects of his films, from scorse to storyboards to props.  In conjunction with the John Adams Institute, there will also be a talk given by his widow and his executive producer about the man himself- his life and vision.  His movies will be shown throughout the summer at the EYE.

Stanley Kubrick exhibition & retrospective

Have a great June everyone!

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